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Mere Dad Ki Maruti  : Drive To Punjab Yet Again
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Friday, March 15, 2013
Ashima Chibber
Saqib Saleem, Ram Kapoor, Prabal Panjabi, Ravi Kishen, Rhea Chakraborty
All hell breaks loose when Sameer (Saquib Saleem) loses his dad’s new Maruti, a gift to his sister for her wedding. Knowing daddy Tej’s (Ram Kapoor) rage, Sameer has to do something and that too fast, to get back the car. So go on a ride over familiar terrain that’s as much fun as hitting a road full of potholes.

The plot: Mere Dad Ki Maruti is steeped in Punjabi flavour and what better way to show the garrulous community than with a marriage? (From Hum Aapke Hain Koun to Chandni to Karan Johar’s umpteen films, a Punjabi wedding is mandatory for dance and dramatic tension.)

Everything is overtly celebratory except Sameer’s stars. And now his super strict dad Tej Khullar who always favours everybody else over him, has rubbed salt into Sameer’s wounds by buying a brand new Red Maruti for the new son-in-law.

But this doesn’t stop Sameer from taking the Ertiga for a spin to impress college hottie Jazzleen (Rhea Chakraborty). When he loses the car, his best friend Gattu (Prabal Panjabi), Jazzleen (who turns out to be his brother-in-law’s sister) and Sameer have to deal with it to save the reputation of the family. It means a very tiresome trip around town involving cops and goons to get back his dad’s Maruti.
The good: Ram Kapoor is reliably delightful, charming, funny, loud and Punjabi. Saquib Saleem is also good but it’s his side-kick Prabal Panjabi who steals the show. The duo was last seen in Mujhse Fraandship Karoge where too Prabal was the scene-stealer. Dumb Rhea Chakraborty is annoying but you get used to it as the movie progresses. She needs to work on her acting skills if she hopes to make the cut. Ravi Kissen’s role is inconsequential and abrupt but he has an effective presence for the little time that he is around.

There are some really original wisecracks, silly yet funny. If only the dialogue delivery was better and not so forced, a few of the dialogues (Ishita Moitra) could have been winners.
The bad: The music is an ear-sore (Sachin Gupta) and painfully unnecessary. Sachin Udwani’s story is predictable and seems too long a watch even if the second half picks up speed. The humour is irksome, like the saying, ‘Log thu thu karenge’ is shown literally with people actually going ‘Thu, thu’ at Tej Khullar. Inexplicable are convenient clichés like, why does Sameer hate his brother-in-law so much? Why does his sister suddenly erupt into a vulgar dance number in front of her in-laws? How does Jazzleen who met Sameer just two days ago, fall in love with her? Must every Punjabi speak grammatically laughable English?

Overall: Do you really want to take another familiar trip to Punjab when you’ve enjoyed it far more a dozen times in the past?

– Priyanka Ketkar

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