Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 12 December 2019

Review: 'Jhootha Kahin Ka' isn't a good film, despite great acting

Rishi Kapoor and Jimmy Sheirgill are excellent in the movie, of course, but their dialogue is truly lacking

Jimmy Sheirgill, centre left, is excellent in the film. But it's still not a great movie. Dream N Hustle Media
Jimmy Sheirgill, centre left, is excellent in the film. But it's still not a great movie. Dream N Hustle Media

There is no substitute for experience, and the might of excellent actors Rishi Kapoor and Jimmy Sheirgill make Jhootha Kahin Ka watchable, but otherwise the lightweight comedy is entirely forgettable.

The film is far from original: Jhootha Kahin Ka is a rehashed version of the hit 2012 Punjabi film Carry on Jatta, which itself was loosely inspired by the 1989 Malayalam movie Chakkikotha Chankaran.

Jhootha Kahin Ka has Smeep Kang in the director's seat, as did Carry on Jatta, and he steers us as well as he can through a plot riddled with confusion after one lie leads to another, and another and another.

Yograj Singh (Rishi Kapoor) plays the father of Varun (Omkar Kapoor), a young man who tells his love interest Riya (Nimisha Mehta) that he is an orphan so that she will marry him, as she doesn't want anything to get in the way of her relationship with her parents (and worries a husband with a close-knit family will take up her time).

Her strong bond with them doesn't seem to be affected by the fact her parents are always fighting, however, with her father (Manoj Joshi) incredibly suspicious of his wife's character.

Things start getting even more complicated when Rishi Kapoor's Yograj joins his son, now married, where he lives in Mauritius. Varun's best friend Karan (Sunny Singh) tries to help conceal his mate's secret father, but ends up entangling his own personal life in the process.

Karan helps his friend out by saying to Varun's father that he is married to Riya, and to Riya that Yograj is his father (which is even trickier because Yograj and Riya live in houses next door to each other).

Karan's brother (Sheirgill) is a felon, and he throws many a spanner in the works with his questionable behaviour.

The carousel of confusion turns well right up to a decent climax, except that too many needless songs fracture the pace, and too often the dialogue tries too hard to induce an extra laugh even after the joke feels well and truly cooked.

Most of these tough script moments are handled well by Rishi Kapoor and Sheirgill. Joshi and Rajesh Sharma as Rishi Kapoor's brother-in-laws also handle their roles well. The latter does particularly well given most of the aforementioned needless dialogue falls in his lap.

The same applies to Rakesh Bedi: the veteran comedian has been wasted in a tiny role as the father of Karan's love interest.

The young Sunny Singh is still basking in the success of Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety where he plays a confused bridegroom-to-be, and with Jhootha Kahin Ka he runs the risk of being stereotyped. He remains in muffled dialogue delivery mode, even when he has a brainwave of an idea when solving his friend's problems.

But all of these cracks are papered over by the veteran actors. On the eve of the film's release, producer Deepak Mukut told The National that Rishi Kapoor was initially reluctant to do the film. Kapoor had just finished doing Mulk with Mukut, which was a critically acclaimed serious film dealing with Islamophobia.

And while it has is moments, Jhootha Kahin Ka will certainly not be a similar success story for Mukut and Kapoor. Or at least it doesn't deserve to be.

Updated: July 22, 2019 08:44 AM