Review Hindi

Arjun Patiala review: Insipid drama that tries too hard to be funny

Release Date: 26 Jul 2019 / Rated: U/A / 01hr 47min

Read in: Hindi

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Sukhpreet Kahlon

Rohit Jugraj's latest film is supposed to be a spoof comedy, but the mediocre script fails to deliver the promise of being a riotous entertainer.

"The stage is set," the overeager scriptwriter tells the indifferent producer (Pankaj Tripathi) as he narrates a story which has comedy, action, romance, the mandatory 'item number', and a whopping five villains presenting ample opportunity to the hero to show off his fighting skills, but alas! there is something sorely missing in Rohit Jugraj’s latest film, Arjun Patiala (2019).

Starring Diljit Dosanjh and Kriti Sanon, Arjun Patiala is a spoof on the buddy cop film and on films in general and the stage is set as the credits roll James Bond-style.

When Arjun Patiala (Dosanjh) realizes his long-cherished dream of becoming a police officer, he embarks on a mission to rid the district of crime. Accompanying him is his sidekick, Onida Singh (Varun Sharma), a bevy of policemen, and, of course, the resident buffalo of the police station, Victoria Kaur.

Things are going quite well for the hero, who finds the girl of his dreams, the upright journalist Ritu Randhawa (Sanon), but when she smells a rat in his scheme of initiating a gang war to get the criminals to fight among themselves and thus achieve the goal of ridding the district of crime, things start going south.

Adding to the drama is local MLA Prapti Makkad (Seema Pahwa) who, like most politicians, wishes to manipulate the situation to her benefit. At the helm of affairs is DSP Gill (Ronit Roy), who for the most part is the only one who has a handle on things.

Being a spoof, the film brings the behind-the-scenes machinery to the forefront. In one scene, the body harness is visible on the actor and there is a disclaimer about tight budgets. At another moment, the scriptwriter says, “And here for no reason at all, there’s an item number” and on cue Sunny Leone comes on.

While the first half is fun and engaging in part, the story flounders in the second and just disintegrates into a messy situation desperately trying to be funny. The film has its moments, but a well-knit and thought-out plot would have made this into something else.

The film is directed by Rohit Jugraj of Sardaarji (2015) and Sardaarji 2 (2016) fame and given his past films, comedy is certainly his forte. So, it is disappointing when Arjun Patiala fails to come together in a coherent manner and sustain audience attention despite the different idea.

Dosanjh tries to do his best with the script while Sanon is passable. The film is a big deal for Dosanjh who has proved his stardom has no limits when it comes to Punjabi cinema, where he rules the roost, but he is yet to establish himself in Hindi cinema as being capable of carrying a film. Arjun Patiala does not help his case.

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