Till a few monsoons ago, a majority of film-makers in Bollywood would be petrified of experimenting, scared to step out of the comfort zone. Out of the box concepts and quirky titles were considered 'risky propositions' or 'professional harakiri' and those taking the road less travelled were often scoffed, derided and ridiculed for taking risks. Not anymore!
These days, leading production houses are churning out movies that defy the stereotype. Balancing mainstream films with A-listers with wacky/innovative subjects starring newcomers is the new fad. Balaji/ALT, a key player, has been dabbling with quirky plots since quite some time. Their latest offering, KUKU MATHUR KI JHAND HO GAYI [made in association with Bejoy Nambiar], makes an effort to give the spectator a slice of life experience. Does the winning mantra of 'small is big' work in favor of KUKU MATHUR KI JHAND HO GAYI, let's find out...
First, the premise. KUKU MATHUR KI JHAND HO GAYI narrates the story of two friends in a middle class colony of New Delhi. Kuku Mathur [Siddharth Gupta] and Ronnie Gulati [Ashish Juneja] are thick friends. Kuku comes from an ordinary service class family. His father is a 'Babu' at a government office, a typical one who wants his son to study hard and get a good job, whereas the Gulatis are a household name for sarees and dress material in this part of the capital. Hence, it doesn't take Dada Gulati [Ronnie's authoritative grandfather] much time to surprise his grandson with a shop of his own - Ronnie Blouse & Petticoat Matching Center.
Kuku begins his struggle to get into colleges and the Physical Educational mark sheet doesn't help much, whereas Ronnie gets real busy attending beautiful girls and quizzing them on the favourite colours of their dupattas.
Life takes a sudden turn for Kuku -- he fails to get admission, has to work as a spot boy in a film unit, senior members of the Gulati family insult him, his secret crush has found a boyfriend, his dream of starting a restaurant looks impossible as there is no way to get money -- and during all this, his best friend is too busy to even talk to him. At this point of time, Prabhakar Bhaiya [Amit Sial] makes an entry in Kuku's life.
Prabhakar Bhaiya, from Kanpur, who has a solution to all the problems, is a big jugadu. He takes on the responsibility of bringing Kuku's life back on track. He suggests a solution to Kuku, a shortcut which could sort all his problems as well as settle his score with the Gulatis. This plan makes Kuku successful, but at the same time, plants seeds for a bigger messâ€¦
KUKU MATHUR KI JHAND HO GAYI not only boasts of a hatke title, but makes an attempt to provide humor and entertainment in the alternate landscape. Like DELHI BELLY and FUKRAY, the backdrop is Delhi, the storyline is simplistic and relatable, but the humor is not over the top. This one's a drama-driven film, while the laughs are interspersed where necessary. In fact, debutant director Aman Sachdeva sets the plot in a familiar landscape, gives it a fresh coat of paint and gives the clichÃ©s a spankingly fresh look.
Frankly, it takes time to get absorbed in the world of Kuku and Ronnie, but once into it, you quite enjoy the joyride. The good part is, there's no heavy-duty drama, forced humor or gags to entice the spectator. The director keeps it subtle, shying away from over the top, slapstick humor or tomfoolery that's getting synonymous with this genre of films. The middle act [intermission point] is when the film gathers momentum and Aman makes sure he holds your attention all through the third act, right till the culmination.
Since KUKU MATHUR KI JHAND HO GAYI has a quintessential Delhi flavor, the locations, the characters and the dialect give it an authentic feel. The hiccup is that the screenplay, in the first hour specifically, could've been engaging. Also, the soundtrack is plain humdrum.
Siddharth Gupta, who plays the protagonist, is decent, a few scenes notwithstanding. Ashish Juneja exudes the right amount of confidence required for the character. Simran Kaur Mundi doesn't get much to do. Amit Sial gets his character spot-on. Siddharth Malhotra, who enacts the part of Ashish's brother, sparkles in a brief role. Brijendra Kala [enacting the part of a god man, who gives absurd advices] is efficient.
I'd like to make a mention of the actors portraying the part of Kuku's father [Somesh Agarwal], Ronnie's grandfather [Anoop Puri], the watchman [Alok Chaturvedi] and the actress [Pallavi Batra]. They're natural to the core! Rajesh Sharma appears in a cameo.
On the whole, KUKU MATHUR KI JHAND HO GAYI is a light entertainer that's simple-n-sweet, charming and most importantly, entertaining for most parts.