I hate remakes, be it songs or films. I don’t like the idea of touching something that has attained cult status and then remake it years later. No, the remakes don’t make me nostalgic and in fact, many a time ends up spoiling some good memories. Also, what made sense back then, what generated laughter or gave us goosebumps, might not be relevant now. Add to that, what is a Salman Khan film remake for a fan if it doesn’t have Salman Khan in it? But that’s me, a millennial who watched Judwaa (1997) as a 12-year-old, Salman Khan fan. (1) Twenty years later, does Judwaa 2 take me down memory lane or does it ruin it all for me? (2) Does Judwaa 2, starring one of the most talented and loved actors from the younger lot (Varun Dhawan), when isolated from the fact that it’s a remake to Judwaa, prove worthy of your time and money? Read my review to know the answers to both these questions to help you make a better decision about watching or ditching this September 29 release. Also Read - Bigg Boss 14 News: TV Star Aly Goni Refuses Being a Part of The Salman Khan Show

What’s It About?

The film follows the story of the original Judwaa. Businessman Malhotra (Sachin Khedekar) meets Charles (Zakir Hussain) onboard a flight. They befriend each other but this friendship is short lived. Malhotra helps cops nab Charles, inviting his ire in return. While Charles has already played havoc on Malhotra’s life, by separating his twins at birth, he is not done as yet. He is put behind the bars for 22 years but swears to come back and take his revenge from not just Malhotra but his entire family. Meanwhile, we see the two twins grow up. Raja is a street smart lad in Mumbai, who only has best friend Nandu (Rajpal Yadav) in the name of family. The suave, guitar strumming, piano playing Prem is brought up in London by his parents. An inadvertent incident in Mumbai, where Raja locks horns with Alex (Vivan Bhatena) and ends up fatally injuring him, forces Raja to leave the country and flee to London. Once there, there are ample, mild laughter inducing situations of mistaken identity that cause confusions akin to the original Judwaa. London is also where Raja meets his lady love Alishka (Jacqueline Fernandes), while we see Prem falling for his fellow student Samaara (Taapsee Pannu). When and how the two twins meet each other and how they join forces to take down Charles, his son Alex and their team of goons is the rest of the film. Also Read - Tiger 3: Salman Khan to Begin Shoot in February? - All You Need to Know About YRF's Film

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Varun Dhawan, the lead star of the film, has been time and again accused of copying Govinda and Salman Khan’s acting styles (two superstars his father David Dhawan has worked the most with) in almost all his films. What happens when you cast him in a remake of one of these actors’ films? He turns into them. Varun Dhawan’s Judwaa 2 has him trying to be Salman Khan in most frames, leaving you confused if he is paying a tribute to the superstar or plain spoofing him. Luckily for Varun, his likeability factor saves him. His scenes border between silly and stupid, tilting more towards the latter, but you know nobody else would have done this better. But yes, if you have watched Varun Dhawan’s earlier films, you know that he would have done a better job by adding his originality to the act.

Jacqueline Fernandez, with her gorgeousness and spunk, will make you realize how she’s the perfect choice for Karisma Kapoor. While Taapsee Pannu is decent in her gujju girl act, I guess we will just need some time to adjust to her in roles different from her plain-Jane/ strong avatars in Pink and Naam Shabana. The film gets full marks for getting the casting right. Director Dhawan roped in some amazing talent for all the key parts, but failed to get a reigned in performance from them, with most characters going OTT, spoiling the experience.

The music of Judwaa 2 deserves special mention since it is one of the few aspects of the film that keep you entertained. Sajid-Wajid, Meet Bros, Sandeep Shirodkar and Anu Malik do a wonderful job at successfully taking you down memory lane with the background score and songs likes Oochi Hai Building 2.0 and Chalti Hai Kya 9 se 12. As I write this review, the tune of Ek Vaari Aa Toh Sahi is playing in my head. The song is shot well and one where we see Varun looking extremely dishy, flaunting his abs, and in his element. This one is the replacement of Duniya Mein Aai Ho To from the original film.

What’s Not?

Imagine this… you tell someone a joke today, they like it and ROFL. The next day, you go back to them and say the same joke again. The reaction that you will get is what watching Judwaa 2 will do to you if you have already seen and enjoyed Judwaa back in the 90s. Even if you haven’t seen Judwaa but are someone who is not easily impressed with juvenile humour, chances are that you will not find Judwaa 2 worth your time and money. There is humour which is so silly that it’s funny. And then there is humour which is so stupid that it will leave you exasperated. Unfortunately, it’s the latter with this remake. The gags used in the film to tickle audiences’ funny bone are clichéd and forced. An attempt is made to make the film relevant to 2017, but that hardly proves a plus for the story that still has its heart in the 90s. Be it Salman Khan fans who want to relive some memories or Varun Dhawan fans who want to watch him regale them with his antics – the film’s flawed narrative and uninteresting humour fail to make it an entertaining and exciting situational comedy.

PS: Salman Khan’s cameo doesn’t take away or add anything to this identical twin of his Judwaa.

What To Do?

You won’t be missing much if you miss Judwaa 2. It certainly doesn’t do justice to the original film and is definitely not one of the best performances from Varun Dhawan. If you still feel like watching it for the sake of nostalgia, there’s the original Judwaa on television at 7 pm today. Watch that instead.

Verdict

India.com rating: 2 stars