While Baar Baar
Dekho took a novel idea and messed it up with a tiresome narrative, writer-director
Sohail Khan does the opposite. He gathers outdated and overused situations but
goes for simple, linear storytelling which works in parts.
The humour is politically terribly inappropriate. A
stuttering kid says ‘Tooperman’ for ‘Superman’, senior citizens are labelled ‘antiques’
and ‘way past their expiry date’, there’s fun at the expense of an albino who’s called a naqli
But Sohail gets his emotions right even if they’re exceptionally
conventional. Orphan Ali has been picked up by Hindu woman Sulabha who raises
him as a Muslim. Ali has conversations with his God in a dargah and there’s
genial all-round harmony in the chawl. It’s a simple enough story of Ali
accidentally discovering that he’s gifted with natural skills on a golf
course. From there on, it’s a dream run
with the expected stumbles and tumbles until the final victory.
The face-offs are also traditional old age cinema. Rich
five-time champ Vikram Rathore humiliates and hurts Ali but it’s the underdog
who wins the game and the dame.
There’s nothing classy about Sohail Khan’s
craftsmanship that uses the ancient split screen technique to keep the story
going. Dialogues rhyme ‘style’ with
‘piles’ and ‘caddy’ with ‘daddy’. Or it gets comically dramatic with Ali’s
mother shouting, “Todh de Ali, dushman
But what prevails throughout is a sense of fun that
never lets up even when the baddies get screen time. There’s a variety of
characters like a Buddhon ka ghajini
with convenient amnesia or a hunky Danger Bhai who has problems with his
libido. Jackie Shroff making a crazy but impactful entry and his dialogues with
Ali’s Maa, ensure that something’s always brewing.
Sajid-Wajid come up with popular compositions like ‘Parinda hai parinda’ and ‘Ya Ali Murtaza’ which touch all the
But most of all Sohail Khan has a winner in Nawazuddin
Siddiqui who is spot-on in his timing. From selling colourful chaddis to breaking into a dance, from
cutting down the champ’s arrogance to saying, “Pants down” every time Vikram
Rathore says, “Shut up”, Nawaz is a complete entertainer.
For an old style fun film that doesn’t take itself
seriously, Freaky Ali gets a 2.5*
Bharathi S Pradhan
Senior Journalist & Author