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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 October 2018

Film review: Khoobsurat is a flawlessly good-looking remake with plenty of laughs

And, at two-and-a-half hours, it definitely doesn't outstay its welcome.
Sonam Kapoor and Fawad Khan in Khoobsurat. Courtesy UTV Motion Pictures
Sonam Kapoor and Fawad Khan in Khoobsurat. Courtesy UTV Motion Pictures
Director: Shashanka Ghosh

Starring: Sonam Kapoor and Fawad Khan

Three stars

The movie Khoobsurat is inspired by the 1980 film of the same name that was directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee and starred Rekha.

But aside from the title and the same basic plot of an attempt to win over a family matriarch, the makers of the new film were smart enough not to try to copy the original, because anyone who thinks Sonam Kapoor can pull off a Rekha probably doesn't belong in the industry.

Having said that, the film is fun - and at about two-and-a-half hours, does not outstay its ­welcome.

Touted as a modern-day fairy tale, it is the story of Dr Mili Chakravarty (Kapoor), a misfit physiotherapist whose mother, Manju (Kirron Kher), is desperate for her to find a husband.

The mother-daughter duo are loud, sometimes annoyingly so. Kapoor takes up the offer to go to Sambalgarh, whose king, Shekhar Singh Rathore (Aamir Raza Husain), has been confined to a wheelchair after an accident that left his elder son dead.

His wife, Rani sa (Ratna Pathak Shah), as she is referred to in the film, took over his leadership role and was transformed into a strict matriarch. Their son, Vikram Singh Rathore (Fawad Khan), is suave, clever, extremely good looking and engaged to Kiara (a guest appearance by Aditi Rao ­Hydari).

The film has one major negative - Kapoor. Her role requires her to be silly and giggly, which is not a great stretch as she comes across like that in real life and so we are guessing she didn't have to act too much. However, she seems to compensate for her lack of acting chops by overacting, which just gets on your nerves.

If you can manage to ignore this, the film is not bad. It has some seriously funny moments, some of which take the audience by ­surprise.

Visually, the film is flawless - from the impeccable styling and opulent palaces to the vintage cars, no cost has been spared to create the royal experience.

Throw Khan into that setting and you've got a convincing prince; his female fan base is sure to grow by leaps and bounds after this film. He's handsome, charming and stylish, and his good acting skills certainly makes this Pakistani actor one to look out for in the coming years. The matriarchs, Shah and Kher, cannot be faulted, though the latter's repetitive loud Punjabi-mother act is getting a little old now.

Both Husain and Prosenjit Chatterjee (who plays Kapoor's father), give subdued performances that make an impact, even though they have been a little sidelined by the women in the film.

The music by Sneha Khanwalkar is thoroughly enjoyable and does a good job of mixing traditional Rajasthani music with more contemporary sounds.

ajhurani@thenational.ae