Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se Review: Not again!

Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se makes for such a self-aware title. The Phir Se probably alludes to again, but ‘not again’ is more like it.

There’s no apparent reason why there should be a third Yamla Pagla Deewana reunion especially after the silly but sufferable first and a bored orangutan dancing to Sheila Ki Jawani in the subsequent.

Dedicated to reminding us of Sunny Deol’s brute force in pulling up a truck with bare hands, Bobby Deol’s inaptitude to amuse as dunce or drunk and daddy Dharmendra’s talent for taking joy in crummy cinema, the latest edition — directed by Punjabi film-maker Navaniat Singh — is as exciting as waiting for a bus.

To give the devil its due, Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se does have something of a synopsis if not a plot with a cursory championing of Ayurveda thrown in.

So Annu Kapoor’s voiceover harps on the virtues of the ancient Indian science of healing by giving instances of happy, historical clients like Emperor Akbar and Queen Victoria. They have Sunny Deol’s great, great ancestors to thank while he continues the tradition of running a Khazanchi Davakhana in a busy corner of Amritsar.

A pharmaceutical company owner from Gujarat (Mohan Kapoor’s groans and growls pay ode to bow ties and baloney) wants the secret formula behind Deol’s miracle drug, Vajrakavach, by crook or courtroom.

Add to the mix, his good-for-nothing guzzler brother (Bobby), their boozed-up lawyer tenant (Dharmendra) and an ENT surgeon (Kriti Kharbanda) we see more of at clubs than clinic and you’ve got a two-and-a-half hours long drinking game.

That includes Kriti’s miserable attempt at drunk Gujju speak, a la Kareena Kapoor in 3 Idiots.

Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se has the wit of a goat. Considering most of it is assigned to Bobby, the result is as agonising as his last outing.

His mockery of his father’s famous sloshed scene in Sholay or cashing on Dharmendra’s various chartbusters, something this movie does a lot while plugging Saregama Carvaan is regrettable. As is the caricaturish quarrel between all-heart, spirit-guzzling Punjabis and dry, deceitful Guajaratis.

Old timers Shatrughan Sinha, Rekha and Asrani whip up a little nostalgia, but the writing is just too flaky to allow them any fun. Salman Khan and Sonakshi Sinha show up too.

Phir Se, no one cares.

Rating: 1

This review was first published on rediff.com.

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