They've tried to give it a more universal appeal - hence, Golmaal Returns with more babes, more songs, more noise, more physical humour, and Kareena Kapoor. Only, Kareena as an effective substitute for Paresh Rawal? Well, the question is not whether star-power will fit into a Paresh Rawal-sized hole in the universe of comedy, but whether it is enough to distract us from it. Fortunately for Golmaal Returns, Arshad Warsi and Ajay Devgan still have enough star power in case Kareena doesn't work for you. And it needs all the star power it can get.
So Gopal (Ajay Devgan) is married to a Hindi-serial-crazed Ekta (Kareena Kapoor), whose hairstylist brother Lucky is played by Tusshar Kapoor (plainly setting the stage for a few hours of indulgent pot-shotting at Balaji Telefilms). Ekta lives her life like a K-serial, sparing no excuse to suspect her skirt-chasing-prone husband of full-blown infidelity, and launch into self-pitying melodramatic tirades.
One night, Gopal saves the pavitra nari Meera (Celina Jaitley with a silly, unconvincing south-Indian accent) from goons, and ends up sheltering her in a yacht (both their cars were damaged, if you must know) for the night. And his attempts to simplify his alibi for his wife knit themselves into one predicament after another.
After he assures her he was with a friend, Ekta conspiratorially shoots off a courier to the address he nervously cooked up, and this results in his asking Lakshman Prasad (Shreyas Talpade), who incidentally is Meera's boyfriend, for help. Trouble starts when the real inmate of that address turns up, with the same name Gopal's made up. Arshad Warsi, meanwhile, plays the policeman Madhav who loves Gopal's sister Isha (a bespectacled, eager-to-act Amrita Arora), but who desperately wants Gopal in the lock-up.
Technically, Golmaal Returns splits up the original foursome and relegates Paresh Rawal to a framed photograph on the wall, but tries to be more worthy of laughs by adding more props. So you have more movie-spoof jokes, a corny haircut for Lakshman, more Tom-and-Jerry brand of butt-humour, and lots more hee-hawing by Tusshar Kapoor (without Sharman around to decode his vocabulary for us, Tusshar goes all out in making his noises much more audience-friendly). It would help to watch the original before you watch this, because there are some insider jokes.
But the suspicious-wife-flirty-husband premise of the story of Golmaal Returns is less solid, and the story weaker, than that of Golmaal
. This is muddled further by the rather hazy explanation given for what Gopal was actually doing on that night. However, it follows the same pattern of introducing last-minute twists, making the climax sufficiently noisy.
Tusshar Kapoor has had a lot to do in this film, including some lengthy applause-worthy sequences in which he is the lead - you just know he could give Black
a run for its money, when you, the audience, stop needing an interpreter to understand his mute-vocabulary.
Arshad Warsi, who only occasionally catches up with the other three, could have clearly added more chemistry to the fun. Ajay Devgan and Kareena get their star-moments; they are, after all, the lead couple. However, Kareena has only one kind of joke throughout the film, and that is the saas-bahu spoof, so that does not leave her with a wide scope for comedy.
Shreyas Talpade's cheeky Lakshman is quite the antithesis of the faint-hearted Sharman Joshi, but he is just as cutely charming, if not more, and with much more magnified screen presence. Amrita Arora has little to do, Celina Jaitley has much lesser, and Anjana Sukhani is practically a guest actress (?). The film retains a lot of its other characters, including the snake-charmed super-fighter (Vrajesh Hirjee) and the Sanjay Dutt look-alike (Mukesh Tiwari).
There are quite a few songs in the movie, some of which are painful pauses in the narration, and which were probably put in primarily to enhance the roles of the women. However, the background music is slick enough.
Golmaal Returns is still funny and lively enough to deserve your attention, mostly since there's nothing interesting at the movies just about now.