It is Saturday and I am finally done with all my leftovers from previous week, and now I begin my journey with the new releases of this weekend, in what is a quiet little one given the Cricket World Cup Final. With that, I finished watching the new Hindi film Khichdi 2 which marks the return of my beloved Parekh family to the silver screen after more than a decade. There is a sense of nostalgia to the show Khichdi which had premiered more than two decades ago, wherein I used to tune in as a child to watch and laugh my guts out at the antics of the characters which later went on to become iconic characters.
Be it Babuji saying ‘Praful Tu Toh Gadha Hai Gadha’, to Himanshu’s favourite tagline ‘Ae Maniben’, To Hansa saying ‘Hello, How Are, Khaana Khaa Ke Jaana Hau’ yo Jayashree saying’Babuji Ko Daalo Kuwe Mein’, or Praful saying ‘Maturity(or other english words) Hansaaaa’ with the sound of the Tabla at the end(Tun Tun), all of it is collectively fresh in my mind while evoking a sense of nostalgia. The characters and the show has been an integral part of my childhood and never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would get an honour to review their film on my portal Popcorn Reviewss. There is a wacky sense of humour that has now turned into a brand, something that we associate with ‘Khichdi’. In other words, either you connect with the silliness of the humour or you completely don’t, there ain’t any middle ground here. And because I still see people discussing their favourite one-liners from the show, I would like to think that it is majorly the former, something that made me eager to watch the film. That said, does Khichdi 2 manage to tickle your funny bone, let’s find out.
Story & Screenplay
Working as an independent sequel, Khichdi 2 follows the story of the Parekh family who are tasked with a secret mission wherein they need to go to a fictional place of Paanthukistan to rescue a scientist from the reigns of their evil ruler. The only catch is that the emperor of Paanthukistan looks like Praful(what is). The story is a mad hatter comedy that might be incoherent but it was never supposed to make sense. So if I were to be overtly critical in this regard then it would be wrong on my part given that I knew what I was signing up for. The story relies heavily on the character gags which is the driving force of the drama, and honestly the gags work as well(although not all of them). The screenplay standing at about 2 hours may make you question the flow of the drama but if I were to view it from the tone that it wishes to achieve then the writing does work here for most parts with the mad-hatter antics of characters.
The drama does begin with the re-introduction of the protagonists who are shown to be in a helicopter along with a pilot essayed by Pratik Gandhi(with a hilarious Scam reference). The entire sequence relies on the gags exchanged between the characters which might seem illogical but it sets the tone of the drama to follow. Not to mention that it is hilarious and does evoke a sense of nostalgia to the proceedings. Soon, the writers introduce a conflict by giving a hilarious context on the formation of a nation wherein the Khichdi gang have an adventure on their hands, having to rescue a scientist from the cusp of the ruler who has a strong resemblance to Praful. The entire setup is funny wherein you don’t need to search for logic, instead you would just need to sit back and laugh!
It won’t be wrong to for me to say that the film was a collection gags, wherein the writers had entire set-pieces ready while traversing from one gag to another. So you need to be attentive to pick on the absurdist brand of comedy on display, the fans of which would absolutely love! The writers are relentless but I do feel that a little respite would have elevated the drama a little more, given that some gags were lost in being comprehended. So while you had half a mind on the previous gag, the current gag was already underway which kind of lowered the impact. But the first half was still quite good with its comedy.
The issue lies in the second hour wherein I did feel that the writers did get entangled on what they wished to achieve versus maintaining the tone of the drama. As a result, the writing is a little scattered almost unfolding as a sketch comedy with little to no relation between the previous scenes. It seemed like a group of gags put together, some of which also work independently but the incoherence was a little more amplified that something that I would have wished for. Yet, the final act again gets the tone of the drama right thus getting it back on track with some gags that beautifully land. I found myself chuckling and laughing towards the end which was trademark Khichdi for me. Overall, the screenplay is filled with gags, most of which work while being completely illogical. But if this brand of comedy is your thing, you will enjoy the show!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are filled with witty one-liners including the ones that you would associate with some of the characters from over the years. And the lines are hilarious while evoking a sense of nostalgia which was beautiful to witness. The Music and BGM are satisfactory given that the meat(vegetarian ave) was in the lines. The cinematography was decent, the editing felt a little scattered particularly in the second hour. But these technical aspects don’t really derail the film in anyway which was good news. Director Aatish Kapadia has a wacky sense of humour with his writing along with his implementation. And his direction remains true to the tone of the drama which made the drama pull through at the end. The direction was pretty good and in sync with the mood of the drama.
The performances are hilarious by the ensemble cast. There are charming little cameos from Farah Khan, Pratik Gandhi, Paresh Ganatra and Kiku Sharda which are hilarious and each of them manage to tickle your funny bone. Kirti Kulhari as Parminder is first rate and she just stole the show in that beach scene wherein I died of laughter. Flora Saini has a good screen presence and does a good job here, Reyaansh Chadha, Harry Josh and Swati Das are impressive as well. Anant Vidhaat as Kushal is nicely restrained and does manage to make you chuckle as well.
But the show does belong to the Khichdi OG gang. Anang Desai as Bapuji is so funny when he is correctly Praful that invariably he will put a smile on your face. Vandana Pathak as Jayashree ben uses her boisterous tone to her advantage in extracting humour from the lines in the most unassuming manner. JD Majethia as Himanshu is just so smooth with his comic timing that everytime he is onscreen, I have a good time. His poker faced expression at times also scores with the comic element. Rajiv Mehta as Praful(and as the ruler of Paanthukistan) is such a delight to witness and I feel comedy comes naturally to him in the most effortless manner. Supriya Pathak as Hansa is absolutely brilliant to the core. Her one-liners are the hilarious and no one could have executed them better. Outstanding was the word!
Despite a scattered second hour, Khichdi 2 is a mad-hatter comedy that evokes a sense of nostalgia for the fans of the show making it a good one-time watch. If illogical humour is your thing and if you have loved the show, you will most definitely find this funny. Available in a theatre near you!