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Hulchul Movie Review

It's important to deliver what you promise. The promos of HULCHUL promise a wacko theme and laughter unlimited. After watching the film, you realize that the makers do deliver a film that's pretty serious about offering wholesome entertainment.

Throwing logic to the winds and employing every trick in the book of cinema to woo the moviegoer, Priyadarshan churns out a film that's enjoyable in most parts.

Yes, discrepancies do seep in, especially in the post-interval portions, but the glitches and blemishes can easily be overlooked since the makers never promised earth-shattering and path-breaking stuff in the first place.

Treat this film as an entertainer, without taxing your brains, and chances are you'd enjoy the film thoroughly!

HULCHUL is about two warring families and their never-ending rivalry.

Fiery Angaarchand [Amrish Puri] and his family of four sons [Jackie Shroff, Paresh Rawal, Arbaaz Khan and Akshaye Khanna] have taken a vow to stay away from women owing to a past family tragedy.

The mere mention of the opposite sex is 'strictly forbidden' in their family. Actually, it's the battle over a woman that resulted in the entire feud between the two families.

Lakshmidevi [Lakshmi] is waiting for an opportunity to seek revenge on Angaarchand and his family. As luck would have it, Angaarchand's youngest son, Jai [Akshaye Khanna], and Lakshmidevi's grand-daughter, Anjali [Kareena Kapoor], land up in the same college. Then starts the game of deceit.

Both Jai and Anjali pretend to fall in love with each other to seek revenge for their respective families. And to aid in all the pranks comes Jai's best friend, the troublemaker Lucky [Arshad Warsi].

But somewhere down the line, all this play becomes serious and the two actually begin to develop true feelings for each other?

A remake of the Malayalam hit GODFATHER, Priyadarshan follows two schools of film-making in HULCHUL. The first is the South formula that brings to your memory the family entertainers that were churned out with amazing regularity in the 1980s. And the second school is the one invented by the accomplished director himself, where logic takes a complete backseat and all that matters is providing non-stop entertainment.

HULCHUL can be divided into two parts. The first half focuses on comical situations; the humour is the type that would appeal to the common man instantly. And credit for enlivening the goings-on goes largely to a smart and tactful screenplay [Neeraj Vora], brilliantly penned, witty dialogues [K.P. Saxena] and the two performances that dominate this half [Akshaye Khanna and Arshad Warsi].

It wouldn't be wrong to say that the first half of the enterprise is so thoroughly entertaining, so thoroughly enjoyable that you wait with bated breath for the reels of the second half to unfold.

The post-interval portions do start on a similar note, but the narrative changes tracks gradually. It now becomes a clash of two egos and the game of one-upmanship takes over. Actually, the story starts moving in an altogether new zone and that's where things stagnate.

The narrative is enjoyable till Amrish Puri learns of Paresh Rawal's 'escapades' and confronts him. But the goings-on thereafter slacken the pace to an extent. Right from Amrish Puri throwing Paresh and Akshaye out of the house to Amrish Puri agreeing to guard the entrance of the marriage venue, besides the fight between the four brothers [Jackie, Paresh, Arbaaz, Akshaye] in the market, aren't as striking.

Also, the item song and the fight thereafter look so odd in the narrative that it's highly recommended to delete the portions rightaway. That would only stimulate the proceedings.

The entire climax - right from Paresh, Akshaye, Farha, Arshad pretend to be cooks, to the mangalsutra sequence - follows the same pattern as witnessed in HUNGAMA [electric shocks]. It's the type that would appeal to the masses instantaneously. The Manoj Joshi portion in the marriage also tickles your funny bone.

With Priyadarshan in the director's seat and an interesting storyline on hand, you expect nothing but a qualitative product. And HULCHUL is one, despite the hiccups. The director succeeds on various levels, but more than anything else he knows how to package an interesting story with superior performances and entertaining moments with aplomb.

Vidyasagar's music is just about okay. The tunes are functional, but the ones that stand out ['Dekho Zara Dekho' and 'Rafta Rafta'] do so thanks to their aggressive promotion. The background music is effective and does enhance the impact of dramatic scenes. Cinematography [Jeeva] is excellent. Action [B. Thyagarajan] is functional.

HULCHUL is embellished with marvellous performances and the best part is that the director has cast actors who have a flair for comedy, their comic timing is fantastic. Akshaye Khanna is incredible, displaying his acting skills to the T. One of the most accomplished actors of the new generation, Akshaye's versatility is more than evident - he acts like a buffoon when required, but breathes fire when the situation demands.

The other performance that stands out is that by Arshad Warsi, who is awesome as Akshaye's best friend cum adviser. In fact, it wouldn't be wrong to state that the actor towers above one and all in the first half. This is another performance after MUNNABHAI M.B.B.S. that will fetch him laurels.

Kareena Kapoor looks ethereal and delivers a highly competent performance. Although she doesn't get a chance to exhibit talent in the post-interval portions, her performance in the first half continues to linger in your memory even after the show has concluded.

A Priyadarshan film would be incomplete without Paresh Rawal's winning performance. The actor may not have got the best lines in the first half, but delivers an astounding performance in the second half. He is in terrific form in that vital scene when Amrish Puri confronts him.

Amrish Puri is, like always, first-rate, essaying the role like a true veteran. Lakshmi is superb. She looks regal and essays her part with aplomb. Farha stages an impressive comeback on the big screen.

The film has a huge supporting cast, but Jackie Shroff and Suniel Shetty stand out of the lot. Arbaaz Khan is strictly okay. Manoj Joshi does a fine job. Asrani, Shakti Kapoor, Akhilendra Mishra, Deep Dhillon and Upasna Singh are adequate.

On the whole, HULCHUL works two ways. It'll appeal to those who enjoy light entertainers and also those who like family drama kind of situations. At the box-office, the fantastic promotion embarked upon by its makers [Venus] has ensured enormous craze for the film. With no opposition this week as well as next week, HULCHUL should have a joyous ride at the ticket window, with the distributors of this laugh-riot laughing all the way to the bank.

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