Everyone loved The Angrez
– it was witty, it had great characters, and it kept you entertained right through. Take 3 things out of that, and what do you get? (No, excluding programs on Telugu TV channels?) That's right – Hungama In Dubai.
Hungama In Dubai is the latest in the series of movies based on the Hyderabadi lingo theme that followed The Angrez – Hyderabad Nawabs, Charminar Boys, Kal Ka Nawab and Dabirpura Ke Howleh. Okay, so the last one hasn't been made yet, but now it's too late – one of these guys will seize upon it now that we've given them the idea. Heck, by the time you finish reading this sentence they'd have even gotten the script ready.
Yes, Hungama In Dubai is to movies what spam is to email. Some people think that you can make a funny movie just by using Hyderabadi lingo. It works for a while – after the 5 minutes are over, however, people want to see the actual movie. Which, in this case, is made from a script that is so short, they probably use it as the password for their mail account.
So here's the tale. Ajju and Mujju (Mast Ali and Aziz Janbaaz) are crooks who've just got out of jail after a 7-year stint. Most people who've gotten out of jail want to forget the past and look forward to a completely new future, and Ajju and Mujju are no different – they want to completely forget the petty crimes they committed, and aim for really big-time fraud now. And so they land a chai shop owner (D C Srivastav) and con him into selling off all his property for Rs. 2 crore, promising him they'll make a huge movie with it and make him really rich.
The trio land in Dubai for the "shooting", and this is where the first major twist happens – i. e. the movie becomes unbelievably boring. The next major twist is when it ends, since you are starting to think that the movie will never end. Indeed, there is just about nothing that happens in between. The duo live life lavishly for a few days, checking into the most expensive of hotels, throwing wads of dollars into club dancers and generally exhausting money even faster than your liveliness.
In the process, you are surprised by how easily the old-city chai shop owner can be conned, how slow he is to realize what is happening, and how horrible his acting skills are. D C Srivastav made an impact in The Angrez and Hyderabad Nawabs
, and it is surprising how expressionless, nay lifeless, he is here. But when you realize that you are the same now, you can empathize. Plus, the way his character has been written, it's doubtful anyone else could have done a much better job.
As the film progresses, there's a romance between Mujju and an Indian girl in Dubai (Swetha Khanduri) that is so pointless and illogical, it fits perfectly in this movie. The last half-hour and the climax have to be seen to be believed, but that's too high a price to pay to believe them.
Hungama In Dubai reminds you of one of those Chintal Basti barber shops that put a painting of Shah Rukh Khan on the nameplate outside, the way it uses The Angrez's starcast and theme to sell itself. Made purely to squeeze some more out of the Hyderabadi-flavor formula that The Angrez created, it features some atrocious movie-making, music and performances.
And it misses the point completely - the reason these movies run is that they are set in Hyderabad. This one is set almost totally in Dubai, leaving very little Hyderabadi flavor except for the boli
of the lead duo.
With the exception of Mast Ali and Aziz Janbaaz, there isn't a single person in the cast who can spell the word "act" correctly, even if you give them 3 tries and the correct spelling written in front of them. To give them the benefit of doubt, it's perhaps the screenplay and the direction more than them. Hena, who plays a bargirl, is some saving grace even though she disappears abruptly. There are some songs that are so incredibly tacky, even your grandmother and her friends could do a better job.
If you were to, for a moment, take Hungama In Dubai seriously, what would worry you is that its "heroes" are cheap crooks from the beginning to the end, showing no signs of reform at any stage. Neither portraying the old city's typical people like this, nor glorifying such characters to them, is really anything any socially conscious director would do. Oh, did we just use some big words?
There's only one way to get the best out of Hungama In Dubai, and that is to not watch it.