Star Cast: Siddharth Gupta, Ashish Juneja, Simran Kaur Mundi, Amit Sial, Somesh Agarwal, Alok Chaturvedi, Pallavi Batra, Brijendra Kala
Director: Aman Sachdeva
Ratings: ** stars
Kuku Mathur and Ronnie Gulati are best buddies. In posh South Delhi, they would call each other “bro”. In the Delhi these two inhabit, of small “clonies”, hosiery shops and middling ambition, the term is bhai ( not to be mistaken for the Mumbai brand of goon). The motherless Kuku (Gupta) finishes school with low marks and a dim future; Ronnie vaults straight into the shop that his much better-off family sets up for him.
This we gather in the first few minutes of the film. The rest of it is about Kuku (Gupta) trying to find a way out of the mess of his own creation, helped along by accidental bad blood between him and Ronnie (Juneja), and bad advice from his no-good uncle (Sial). A series of misadventures lead Kuku to full-fledged “jhand-dom” (jhand, to me is a faintly obscene-sounding word, but I’m assured it means being left with nothing).
It is a very Delhi slang, this jhand, and it has a slightly better translation in Hindi: thage se khadey reh gaye. And while it is mildly funny, to begin with, to see a young fellow go through a series of embarrassments to get what all young fellows want — a girl (Simran Kaur Mundi), a vocation, a life — it wears out quite soon.
The boys are all right, with Juneja being perkier than Gupta. The lines are authentic, and some raise laughs. The other parts fit into this Dilli: Kuku’s father who is struggling to pay the bills, Ronnie’s big brother with tattoo-on-bulked-up-biceps, a pushy girl trying her luck in chota-mota films. A very Delhi mata-ka-jagran sequence is spot on, but goes on and on. A swami (Kala) shows up for no good reason, and slows things down even more.
The film ends up being a strictly average, and mostly bland, slice of Delhi life. There’s a great deal of Punjabbi Hindi, but that’s par for the course of this kind of template-y film. For variation, we get Bihari, from a guard and his sari-loving wife whom he has left behind in Darbhanga, and Kanpur Hindi, from Kuku’s badmaash mama. Sit.com territory, stretched out to accommodate a film.