Mubarakan: An Unfunny and Old-fashioned Lecture on Family Values
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
After being an unfortunate witness to director Anees Bazmee’s previous films, there is a routine procedure you self-impose to prepare your eyes and ears to endure anything. For instance, a climax sequence made unfunny with a gorilla farting. So, when Mubarakan starts to bear a faint resemblance to a plot, you breathe a heavy sigh of relief. What happens after you breathe this sigh of relief? Unfortunately, you will be energetically transported back to square one.
Separated from their parents by a terrible accident, twins Karan and Charan are adopted by their aunt and uncle. Karan makes London his home whereas Charan lives in the heritage-laden streets of Chandigarh. Apart from their unwillingness to embrace unconditional love, the twins share nothing else in common. Whether or not Karan and Charan own up to their love or succumb to an arranged marriage forms the cusp of this tale.
Up until the interval, you settle for the barely bearable plot, the director presents you with. Even as the film expectedly gets increasingly loud and overly annoying, you sail through the experience like a warrior. But post interval the mindlessness and the preachiness of Mubarakan takes you by shock. Every minute of the second half is stuffed with anecdotes on how to be a good family boy.
As though it was not enough to lecture you on how to be an “Accha Baccha”, the film goes on to make a joke out of women as it gradually glorifies the “Brothers” and “Sisters”. You start to wonder if this is what an outdated, overpowering and conservative cult looks like. But then, cults don’t really make inappropriate jokes on wives, do they? So, maybe they ought to make a whole new category for atrocities like these.
Illeana D Cruz and Athiya Shetty have very little to do in the film. They’re merely used as objects to bring color to the frames. Arjun Kapoor makes the best of such an under-written and mindless character. But he fails when he tries too hard to be funny. Pavan Malhotra mostly just yells his way through the film, refusing to actually act. Anil Kapoor lends you relief through his character sensibilities. His energy by itself is contagious. Though his presence only makes the film remotely bearable, you settle for just that at this point.
On the whole, Mubarakan is nothing but an unbearably long and unfunny lecture on proclaimed family values. If the act of “Leaving your brains at home” is something you find impossible, it is best to sit this one out.