The three Deols come back together in one frame after the debacle of Apne. Owing to their innate histrionics, expectations build up again and its always a great sight to see their amazing chemistry on screen as they seem to work best with each other. Director Samir Karnik comes up with Yamla Pagla Deewana to get the Deols together and to eradicate his streak of flops. Does this masala caper work, in this era of the indie soul? Well, it does to a larger extent except that its exhausting. The reason why masala films tick to this date is because they have the power to entertain. I've often heard my non-film friends comment that cinema, for them, symbolizes an outing with their family. They want to be transported to a world of make-believe in those 3 hours and forget their worries/sorrows/trials/tribulations in the process. YAMLA PAGLA DEEWANA does that and pretty convincingly too.
Samir Karnik directed the multi-starrer Heroes before YPD which had its heart at the right place but the screenplay messed the movie up beyond imagination. Some of the problems of the screenplay exist in YPD too but its still enjoyable in most parts. YPD is treated and written like an old movie, the cinema of the 80s and 90s packaged in a newer bottle, but it still works in most parts. Packed with loud jokes, gratuitous item songs, a Priyadarshan-esque climax, and completely over-the-top fight scenes, this film knows exactly who its audience is and doesn't shy away from wooing them. Fans of Sunny Deol are likely to cheer when the actor lets out that deafening roar in the film's climax, which sends both the good guys and bad guys flying to the end of the room. It's his Dabangg moment, and Sunny steps up to it sportingly. He is in fact the best thing about this loosely written film, that has at least a few good jokes that stick. A larger portion of the humor relies on making fun of things that have always been made fun of about the Deols and their inside jokes. There are a bunch of things on the flipside too. The movie is long and exhausting and is not packed with laughter at all instances. The editing is poor. The music is poor and unnecessary item numbers at most places just make you feel pissed off. Bobby Deol is a bad actor and much of the movie rests on him. In an attempt to make it into a laughter-filled movie + a family drama, Karnik kinda messed up both the things. The family drama gets cheesy and simplistic and in later parts, annoying. This removes the focus from a laughathon. I would want this movie to be half an hour shorter and it would work much more for me. The love story is dull and boring too.
YPD is NOT for the hard-nosed critics or fakes who masquerade as champions of art house cinema. The problem with Apne was that it was poorly scripted which seemed to be the problem with YPD during the first half but the film picks up in the second half with most of the focus shifting on Sunny Deol. The graph zooms upwards the moment the focus shifts from Banaras to Punjab. The introduction of Anupam Kher's character, his assorted brothers, the sequence when Sunny and Bobby ask for Kulraj's hand in marriage, the arrival of Dharmendra and also Sunny's Canadian wife Emma Brown Garrett subsequently, Sunny's speech in English at the election rally and the fun never stops. The action scenes involving Sunny will be met with much applause and were the best parts of the movie. During the climax action scene, I almost fell off my seat due to laughter. I would have wanted to watch many more of these sequences.
Sunny Deol and Anupam Kher are the best parts about YPD. Sunny is totally in the skin of his character and he delivers a performance which he is famous for. Anupam Kher is such a surprise. As the uneducated always-angry Sardar, his is the best written character and he delivers a bravura performance that would win the hearts of people and make them laugh inevitably. Dharamendra and Kulraj Randhawa get same points in the acting-meter and Bobby Deol does not get any points for acting as he cannot act. He is the ony letdown in terms of acting in the movie. Cinematography is strictly average except for the engagement song in the second half. Music sucks in most parts except for the title song remake which is awesome. Editing, as said earlier, could have been so much better. The dialogues are real heart-winners and applause worthy one-liners.
On the whole, YAMLA PAGLA DEEWANA is a hardcore mass entertainer that fulfils the expectations of the aam junta, just that its way too long. Those who love Deols will adore this one, while those who don't, won't ignore it either. The film works big time for its mass-appealing second half and loads of entertainment it has to offer. The target audience is the masses and it is this segment of movie-going audience that should carry this film to success. Just by itself, the film only works in parts and could have been much better.
Rating - 2.5/5