The Shaukeens Movie Review: Disappointing

the-shaukeens-akshay-lisa-haydonIt does not work. The buffoonish characters overtly try hard to extract laughter, which is the fatal flaw of the film. It’s a crudely developed, written, directed, and performed comedy around a sound premise. It’s one of those ‘thok-patti’ project films churned out in a hurry and funded by satellite channels for the pocket-kharch of star producers.

It’s the story of three childhood buddies turned pot-bellied rich Delhi businessmen now in their sixties. Lalwani aka Lali (Anupam Kher) owns a shoe shop at CP, New Delhi. His wife (Rati Agnihotri) has turned devout and made herself non-available for sex. Pinky Goel (Piyush Mishra) is a leading spice manufacturer and exporter and a widower. KD (Annu Kapoor) is a rich bachelor currently running an NGO for widows. They have a non-existent sex life but their libido is still alive and kicking. This existential anomaly has made them lecherous. After having made some disastrous attempts to satiate their libidinal urge in Delhi, they decide to go on a sex tour to Bangkok. The families of Lali and KD rise in revolt over the mere mention of Bangkok. So, they shift the destination to Mauritius without changing their purpose.

KD books a beach bungalow in Mauritius through online booking. It’s owned by Ahana (Lisa Haydon). She will be away with his boyfriend and has put out her bungalow on rent for tourists. The trio arrives in Mauritius and begins to explore the place. They get lucky in their sex tourism mission after a few minor mishaps. Ahana returns to her bungalow having quarreled with her BF. She is a ‘deadly’ dress designer, specializes in haute couture developed from dead and recycled objects like dog skin, used toothpicks, bird feathers, frog eyes, etc. She is the muse and object de passion of the trio now. She is sexy and young. The trio begins to woo her. The lechers get their opportunity to impress the girl when Akshay Kumar (Akshay Kumar) arrives in Mauritius to shoot for a film. She is an Akshay Kumar fan and she declares that whoever fixes up her meeting with Akshay Kumar, she will offer her all to him. Her open declaration is taken on seriously, it sets off a competitive race among the three lecherous men and they even succeed in fixing up her meeting with her favorite star not once but thrice, which leads to still more disastrous consequences for the trio.

There is nothing wrong with the film’s premise and plot but there is very little that’s right with its screenplay, direction, sundry gags and performances. From the writer and director to actors in the film, all seem so obviously determined and anxious to coerce laughter out of you. In their extreme anxiety-ridden crude ways they make an odious mockery of themselves in this process, leaving the discerning audiences mostly squirming in theatre seats instead of laughing.

It’s the actors who are most disappointing. All of them are veterans and have done some good work in the past under the tutelage of good directors. They seem to have forgotten the basics of comedic performance in a film. They behave like circus jokers instead of living their roles. Piyush Mishra is most pathetic among all of them. Annu Kapoor is comparatively better and natural. Anupam Kher has always been play-acting a buffoon in films and then we have Akshay Kumar playing Akshay Kumar. Ek to karela, upar se neem Chadha. The insensitive and careless direction and writing further add to the film’s woes.

The film has quite a few songs. One of them is shot well. There is also an Alcoholics’ Anthem in the film shot on the producer-star himself. Don’t be surprised if your kid is heard singing and dancing to the tune ‘I’m an alcoholic’. I suggest you keep the keys of your liquor cabinet in a safe place.

Director : Abhishek Sharma

Producer : Ashwin Varde, Murad Khetani

Co-Producer : Trilogic Digital Media LTD

Artists (Cast) : Akshay Kumar, Lisa Haydon, Anupam Kher, Paresh Rawal, Annu Kapoor

Production Company(S) : Cape Of Good Films

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