Tigmanshu Dhulia
Screenplay Dialogue

Abhishek Sharma

Sai Kabir Shrivastav
Story Co-writer

Film Review
The Shoukeens:Recycled Designer FMCG

THE Shoukeens

The Recycled Designer FMCG

Spoiler Warning – How can I spoil Recycle Bin? surprise

FACT – Garma Garam Pulao wala, Garma Garam Pulao..  
fact – Bhaiya kitne ka hai Pulao?

FACT – Veg 150, Non Veg 180; ekdum Garam hai..  
fact – Wow, I was looking for something hot since boarding the train in morning. Good, got it at bedtime finally. Never mind. Humm I love hot stuff. Give me the hottest Non-Veg packet..cheeky

FACT – Here’s your packet & change Rs 20. Btw sir, you getting old. Hot stuff, no good for your health. Bye..   
fact – Aye wait. What do you mean I can’t eat hot stuff if I am old. It’s my health, My money, My Wish, My..  
And what’s this, this Pulao isn’t fresh.. it’s..angry

FACT – Did I ever say it was fresh? I said it is Garam, not fresh. Uncle listen carefully, don’t just complain..  angry 
fact – And there’s just one small piece of Non-Veg in this..frown

FACT – So what, it is still Non-Veg technically. Btw, Non-Veg is No Good for oldies, you can’t chew. Ha ha. laugh
fact – You have cheated me. You are charging so much. You could at least use fresh ingredients even if recipe is old.

FACT – Only rice is yesterday’s uncle. Everything else is fresh – peas, potatoes, beans, the green chilli and THIS GOLDEN ESSENCE-COLOUR is the most expensive one in the market. People are buying it just for this. Got to sell more, Bye.   devil  
fact – This is too much, I mean this is too little. What more can we expect in this Bollywood Non-Stop Train to Nowhere. crying

Well then let’s begin eating the so called Hot Pulao with fresh dressings & stale rice. Just as the leitmotif goes in the film, the heroine Ahana recycles waste animal discards to make her designer fashion products, which consciously or unconsciously is what the film does - Recycle used plot and attempt to turn it into hot fashionable stuff. Unfortunately in the film, Ahana’s stuffs don’t sell because of their design but ‘her’ design. So does that mean the film too goes along the way the leitmotif does? We will need to wait for that. indecision

The Plot is borrowed from Shoukeen (1982) wherein three 60+ old men set-out to quench their carnal desires. Since it is a character driven story, the plot trails characters where their wants lead. So coming to characters first..

Old-men ogling young girls.  Voyeurs, stalkers. Anybody identifying with them in these times when society is so sensitive to such issues? Forget identification, unless you empathize with them you can’t be one with their story. The Screenplay fails to justify their plights and take the viewer along with them, because it continues to condemn them through the narrator & other characters and the way film unfolds.

There could be another way of treating this like in Masti or Grand Masti that men albeit young, venture into such sexpeditions and are doomed comically. Here even that doesn’t happen, because the screenplay isn’t aiming exactly at transforming three lecherous men.

Because film begins with justifying their needs, exactly following the pattern set by the Old Shoukeens – a widower Pinky (Piyush Mishra), a single KD (Annu Kapoor) and a married but forced single Lalwani (Kher); so you try to empathize with them but immediately the film starts taking moral course by condemning them, confusing us, as who are we with? The Old Shoukeens could have worked because the oldies wanted to do a Dasvidania (Fulfil some last desires before quitting the World) but finally give-in for a good cause. Here the oldies are habitual offenders who are condemned as “Tharki Buddhe” several times in the film and finally humiliated publicly before a Happy End twist.indecision

So if you identified with them you will feel embarrassed and if you wanted them to be rectified you feel short-changed, because that doesn’t happen satisfactorily. no

Besides that, sexpeditions of the Trio not leading to any fruition but mere embarrassment, is also unbelievable in these times of money oriented & electronically connected World.

The plot leads our Trio to Ahana (Lisa Haydon) in Mauritius where they rent out her villa. Why all three of them go crazy after her doesn’t come out clearly given their single point agenda. surprise

The Plot further stagnates when suddenly a Writing devise pops up that Ahana is an Akshay Kumar Fan, ready to “Please anybody” who arranges her meeting with Akshay. This sets the plot into an episodic story where one by one our old men try to help her out bypassing their other partners. This device doesn’t take the main plot forward but round and round with every next attempt making it repetitive also predictable but not funnier. The Old Shoukeens actually were honest friends who took voluntary turns unlike the new age cunning buddhas.

Old Shoukin had a plot where romance triggers between their muse (Rati) and their driver friend (MithunDa). This engaged the viewers as that sub-plot was integral with main plot and lead to characters growth.

In New THE Shoukeens, Super-Star Plot of Akshay Kumar runs parallel without affecting any other character or moving the main plot forward. As Ahana is just his fan, this sub-plot also takes away real romance from the film and our sympathies with Ahana as she comes out as a woman who dumps one Buddha when the next one promises ‘better’ meeting with Akshay. And these meetings too don’t progress anywhere, though Akshay’s plot is independently funny and interesting, but then that’s a different story. frown

Annu Kapoor’s KD Sharma has a back-story which is revealed with a nice twist in the end. It works but only as a surprise not beyond that. KD is bachelor because he loved some girl in his times but did not marry her for moral reasons. How much do we identify with such true love where the ‘Aiyash’ bachelor keeps indulging in all sorts of fun otherwise? sad

In name of comedy now we have been seeing lots of insensitive things recently. Here your eyes will feast on a pole-dance by a very Fat lady, Ahem. crying

Bangkok and Mauritius have also been mocked. The film equates Bangkok with Sex-tourism. I hope it doesn’t affect their tourism business. We know there is lot more to Thailand than just this. Also question arises why don’t they use transit visa instead of changing the destination?

Summarily, this could have been an opportunity to give a fresh take to this old plot in light of modern sensibilities instead the film appears just bit spiced up / coloured to give it a look of today’s times, thereby missing the spirit of today’s time and soul of yesteryears!! sad



   Sanjay Sharma

Critic who loves to appreciate. https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1754709196

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