One of the greatest entertainment forces of the 1990s — David Dhawan and Govinda — are back in KUNWARA. The combo has delivered hits one after the other. Tips Films & Geeta Arts’ KUNWARA, their latest release, is an acid test for both the names. KUNWARA tells the story of Raju (Govinda), in love with Urmila (Urmila Matondkar), who dangerously enters into a secret bond with Sharmila (Naghma), for humanitarian reasons.
Raju and Urmila fall in love in New Zealand. On his return to India, Raju bumps into Sharmila, who is on the verge of committing suicide since she is pregnant and her lover (Inder Kumar) has deserted her. The soft-hearted Raju decides to help her out and pretends to be her husband, when the duo reach Sharmila’s home.
The film takes a dramatic turn when Urmila returns to her home and finds that her sister Sharmila has already got married. When she learns that her brother-in-law is none other than her lover Raju, all hell breaks loose. How Raju comes out of this mess, forms the remainder of the film.
Loosely based on the Keanu Reeves starrer A WALK IN THE CLOUD and a remake of a Telugu film, BHAVANAGARU BHAGUNNARA, the film starts off quite well and the David Dhawan brand of humour manages to keep you in splits. Though illogical, the ‘ghost’ scene, involving Govinda, Urmila and Johny Lever, is truly funny. The film continues to entertain right till the interval point, when Urmila learns that her lover has married her sister.
But the screenplay goes haywire in the post-interval portions. Writers Ikram Akhtar and Yunus Sajawal have tried to incorporate every commercial ingredient in order to keep the viewer glued to the screen. However, the masala does not gel with the basic plot at all, since too many tracks have been added to merge with the main plot. To cite instances, the Mohan Joshi-Aasif Sheikh comedy track, Raza Murad’s villainy, followed by the horse race in the pre-climax and of course, the songs in the second half are totally unwarranted.
The fault lies in the fact that the second half lacks novelty and the gags and punches presented have been witnessed not just in David’s earlier films, but several films over the years. It is evident that either the writers have run out of ideas or have taken the audience for granted. It is also clear that David seems to be relying more on individual scenes, than the script in totality.
The music side of the film is also not upbeat. Barring the title track and ‘Urmila O Urmila’, none of the songs excite the viewer one bit. The only silver lining are the dialogue (Rumi Jaffrey) and the eye-filling locales of Switzerland and New Zealand. Besides, a few individual scenes try their best to elevate the proceedings, but in vain.
It has been proved time and again that no actor can rise above a weak script. Govinda is his usual self — confident and natural to the core — but the screenplay limits his prowess to an extent. Urmila Matondkar fails to impress. Barring her costumes, which are truly hep, the actress falls flat in the acting department, displaying no flair for comedy whatsoever. Naghma’s role and performance both are dull. Om Puri is too loud. Kader Khan and Johny Lever are alright.
On the whole, KUNWARA has the super-successful David Dhawan-Govinda combination as its strong point, but the film pales in comparison to the hits the two have delivered earlier. The film may start off well, but it lacks a good script to sustain after the initial curiosity subsides. This ‘kunwara’ will have no females falling for it for sure!