Friday, November 22, 2019
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Film review: Dishkiyaoon

Harman Baweja, who plays mobster Vicki Kartoos in Dishkiyaoon, is taught early in life that in the business of organised crime, brains and not bullets run the business.

I wish the film’s director, Sanamjit Singh Talwar, had taken notes and internalised that instruction while making Dishkiyaoon.

This mobster drama, touted as Baweja’s comeback vehicle after his 2009 debacle What’s Your Rashee?, is laughable and unintentionally funny. The gangsters in this drama speak in rhymes and riddles. These wannabe wiseguys pull the trigger only after delivering a pompous line or two. Sample this: “If you lie, I will stick a bullet in you” and “If I think you are lying, I will stick a bullet in you” and “If you feel like lying, I will stick a bullet in you” warns the formidable mafia kingpin Iqbaal Khaleefa before admitting Vicki into his inner circle. By the time he finishes dishing out his how-to-behave manual for his gangster group, the viewer may wish that Vicki would just lie, get shot in the head and we could all go home unscathed. But no such luck for viewers.

While you need to suspend belief while watching some blatant glamourisation of mafia dons, the reason behind Vicki turning to criminality is lame. At 13, we are told he was studying in a school filled with chubby bullies. His father (Rajat Kapoor), who extols the virtues of Gandhian non-violence, advises him to go easy on his evil classmates.

Perhaps, that was some bad parental advice but that doesn’t make it OK for a teenager to look up a local gangster named Mota Tony to seek his help. Unlike his peace-loving father, Tony gives Vicki the moral courage needed to beat his bullies into a pulp. A unique father-son bond is formed and Vicki gets a taste of that dangerous, giddy world of drugs and sleaze. He’s desperate to reach the top of the mafia food chain and even agrees to spend four years in prison to achieve that dream. That’s where he meets his prison inmate Lakwa, played by an ageing Sunny Deol.

If you thought Baweja wasn’t charismatic enough to pull off a gangster’s role, then wait till you see Deol in action. He speaks Hindi in a Harayanvi accent and is under the mistaken belief that broken English with whacky pronunciation (time become tame and fun becomes pun) equates to sly humour. While Baweja looks good shirtless, flaunting his bronzed torso, I wish he had also injected some soul into his role. What redeems this film is the eventful pace. There’s gang wars, drugs being smuggled from Iran and copious tears shed during heartbreak (yes, gangsters have hearts too).

Sadly, this viewer had reached a stage where she was beyond caring.

Out now

Film: Dishkiyaoon

Cast: Harman Baweja, Sunny Deol and Ayesha Khanna

Stars: 1.5 out of 5