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Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se review: Three times is too much for this Deol family franchise

Release Date: 31 Aug 2018 / Rated: U/A / 02hr 25min

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Shriram Iyengar

The third instalment of the franchise lacks the charm, innocence and even the occasional hilarity that saved the first two.

Not even Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather series could produce a third instalment worthy of its predecessors. So to expect something impressive from Navaniat Singh's Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se would be delusional. Despite the sincere attempts of Sunny Deol and a somewhat social message, the film is one too many for the franchise.

The story begins with Puran Singh (Sunny Deol), an ayurvedic doctor in Amritsar, Punjab. Puran is descended from a line of medics dating back to the Mughal era. Their greatest invention is Vajrakavach, which can supposedly cure everything.

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But Puran Singh refuses to sell the formula to big pharmaceutical companies, including the corrupt Marfatia (Mohan Kapoor). Marfatia targets the weaker link of the family, Kaala (Bobby Deol), whose dream of going to Canada is vetoed by Puran Singh's idealism.

The story moves to boiling point when Marfatia slams a patent case against Puran Singh over his medicine. Puran Singh turns to his stubborn tenant, Parmar (Dharmendra), to help him fight the legal battle. 

The film is a long-drawn-out story that is sapped of any possibility of interest by weak writing. The screenplay is riddled with clichéd jokes that fail more often than they succeed. 

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Sunny Deol and Kriti Kharbanda, his love interest Chiku in the film, manage to deliver a semblance of performance. Sunny Deol plays with sincerity the kind-hearted ayurvedic medic who can stop trucks with his bare hands, but the role has barely any meat.

Bobby Deol's attempt to reinvent himself as the romantic comic hero is as successful as his stint as a DJ was. Though the actor does have some moments, they are collectively not worth the price of a movie ticket. 

The saddest sight is of the once great Dharmendra struggling to get through his lines. The veteran looks a shadow of his charming, rustic Punjabi image but is forced to continue to play the stereotype. One almost feels sorry for him.

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The appearance of Shatrughan Sinha as a judge, and his banter with Dharmendra in court, provide some comic relief. But even that is stretched beyond bearability. 

Yamla Pagla Deewana (2011) was funny. Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 (2013) was bearable. The third instalment seems like a hurriedly put together attempt to keep the franchise going. It fails. 

Not everything can be cured by ayurveda, it appears.

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