Yamla Pagla Deewana Review
In the 1970s and 1980s, Bollywood churned out hardcore masala films by the dozens. Those films appealed to the 'Balcony Class' as well as the 'Stall Audience' [terminology used for dissecting the audience then]. Even today, films like SHOLAY, AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY, NAMAK HALAAL, DON, ROTI KAPADA AUR MAKAAN, DHARAM-VEER, MUQADDAR KA SIKANDAR et al, the most popular films of that era, appeal to the guy riding an auto rickshaw as well as the CEO of a multinational company. Masala films, in my opinion, can never go out of vogue. The gargantuan success of films like DABANGG and GOLMAAL 3 last year endorses this viewpoint. 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 does so most convincingly.
YAMLA PAGLA DEEWANA is a tribute to the cinema of yore. Every rule in the book that made hardcore commercial films major money spinners then have been read minutely and integrated in the plotline of this one. Generally, movie makers often claim that their film is hatke, that it boasts of stuff that the viewer hasn't watched on screen before, but YAMLA PAGLA DEEWANA makes no such claims. It is old wine bottled and packaged in a new avatar. What makes YAMLA PAGLA DEEWANA work? A variety of reasons, if you ask me. One, watching the Deol parivaar in one frame is an experience in itself. Two, drama, emotions and light moments are smartly integrated in the narrative. Three, the punches [most of them] are thoroughly enjoyable. Four, the entertainment quotient. Most importantly, it delivers what it promised in its promos: Laughter and amusement. It's a film that caters to the aam aadmi, who's keen on having a good time at the movies. It's definitely NOT for the hard-nosed critics or fakes who masquerade as champions of art house cinema.
But YAMLA PAGLA DEEWANA has a flipside too: The romantic sequences are a bore and the music, barring the title track and 'Charha De Rang', is a earsore. Even the climax fight is very, very formulaic. But, thankfully, the plusses outnumber the minusses by leaps and bounds here. The second half, to be specific, salvages the show to a major extent.