In an early scene in Anees Bazmee’s “Mubarakan” (meaning congratulations in Punjabi), an Indian family’s boisterous reunion in London is interrupted by their neighbours, who ask them to pipe down. “My brother is here from India. We won’t keep quiet for the next three days,” the Indian matriarch announces haughtily.
This, in essence, exemplifies the film. It has no mercy for our ear drums or sensibilities, and is more than happy to ignore logic as long as it can carry on with its loud celebration of all that is Punjabi.
Bazmee is not known for making logical films, but even by his standards, “Mubarakan” is nonsensical – a rambling 156-minute film about the most vanilla of characters. And as if one Arjun Kapoor lumbering his way through a full-length film is not enough, Bazmee gives us two. Karan and Charan are twins, raised by their father’s family after their parents die in a car crash. They might share the exact facial features, but it seems like they don’t have enough spine to go between the two of them.
Karan is in love with Sweety (Ileana D'Cruz) and Charan is first in love with Nafisa (Neha Sharma) and then Dinkle (Athiya Shetty). But even after an hour, plenty of failed gags and what feels like a hundred forced jokes, they still cannot muster the courage to tell their family about their girlfriends. Their foster parents, oblivious to the fact that grown men can fall in love and don’t need other people to fix their marriage, do exactly that.
So Karan and Charan do what any right thinking young men would do – they refuse to take responsibility for their actions and turn to their uncle Kartar Singh (Anil Kapoor) for help. The rest of the film is a sorry mess of loud comedy, with unnecessary sentimentality thrown in. Anil Kapoor tries to add some zing to his part, but it is impossible to salvage this blundering mistake of a film.
Arjun Kapoor displays a singular lack of comic timing, and the female leads are for decorative purposes only. Athiya Shetty, whose promotional appearances for this film are hugely disproportionate to the miniscule amount of screen time she gets, puts the cherry on top when she says coyly to her groom, “There must be something special about a man who sacrifices his love for his family.”
Thankfully, the end credits roll at this point and you cannot do more than just throw your hands in the air and thank your luck that the ordeal is finally over.