Wild Wild Punjab review: Varun Sharma, Sunny Singh go wacky, wicked and weird

Wild Wild Punjab review: Varun Sharma, Sunny Singh go wacky, wicked and weird

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Four friends, a road trip, a breakup, two girls, a gun chase and a lot of alcohol -- Wild Wild Punjabi is a wholesome entertainer devoid of any dull moments. The comedy of errors consistently plays with situations that lead to chaos one after the other. Capturing the essence of Punjab -- unlike how we have seen in Imtiaz Ali films so far -- this film brings raw and wild humour that we have missed in a long time.

Addressing someone with a Khanna or Arora surname as Khanne and Arore is so Punjabi, isn't it! It might come across as stereotyping, but much is forgiven as long as it is making you laugh. Director Simarpreet Singh lets his characters drive the story freely, and at no point forces them to underplay or restrict themselves. And that's the beauty of the film that it makes you laugh without delving too much into the situation.

The plot

The story as the trailer gave away most of it revolves around a heartbroken Khanne (Varun Sharma), on the verge of suicide, who finds solace when his friends Arore (Sunny Singh), Jainu (Jassie Gill) and Honey Paaji (Manjot Singh) hold him together. Together, they embark on a maddening road-trip across Punjab and reach Pathankot to see Khanne's ex-girlfriend Vaishali, who cheated on him and is now marrying their boss. All this to say the ultimate four words in the most dramatic manner - I am over you. The journey takes unexpected turns witnessing a series of fiascos leading these four friends along with Radha (Patralekhaa), Meera (Ishita Raj), a boisterous bullet-riding chic from Panjab University, slap-happy police officer Avtar Singh (Rajesh Sharma), and a duo of drug dealers, navigate the mishaps albeit with comedy in spotlight.

Wild Wild Punjab serves you a platter full of desi jokes, some cuss words here and there but said in the funniest tone that you don't take offence by laugh out loud. The Punjabi fervour is at an all-time high throughout the screenplay. From the dhabas where these friends stopover to have a meal, a Jeep named Paro with a jarring nameplate and lights on top, to the wedding decor with couple's name written with flowers on a swimming pool's surface and all guests dancing with pistons and rifles in their hands - it's truly wild and Punjabi like we haven't seen in many Hindi films. Oh, there's a drugs angle too, and no, it never enters the Udta Punjab territory but only adds another chaotic track in the film.

An endearing bromance

Writers Luv Ranjan, Sandeep Jain and Harman Wadala cleverly pick tropes that they know will click well when weaved in a manner that they evoke genuine laughs. Making the funny scenes look even funnier are the dialogues and one-liners that look so organic and not slapstick.

I loved the bromance between the four protagonists, and their camaraderie is just so infectious. The makers definitely played smart by casting a mix of actors from Fukrey and Pyaar Ka Punchnama franchise, as you often are reminded of moments from the previous comedies while watching them in a new zone.

A performance report card

Varun Sharma, with his impeccable comic timing is surely the standout performer. His dialogues, funny punches and jokes land so perfectly and don't miss the self-depreciating humour about his body type that he aces. Even in a vulnerable sequence -- yes, the funnyman gets you emotional you - Sharma brings his A-game forward and wins you over. Adding to this madness, Sunny Singh pays the rowdy, rough and macho guy with so much ease. From being the shy types in Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 and Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, here, the actor lets his guards down and goes all out to impress with his comedy and action. Bearing an opposite personality, Jassie Gill as a timid, scared guy has his own moments owing to daddy issues in life. Even though he has a pivotal track, Gill somewhat underwhelms with his performance and remains a bit restrained. Manjot Singh is the one who brings calm in this chaos. As the most sensible one of the lot, he is rational, calculative though very particular

And as any other Luv Ranjan film, Patralekhaa and Ishita Raj are used as mere props and enter the screenplay as and when required. Of course, both give a new direction to the film's storyline when they enter the plot, but as soon as the men takeover, the ladies comfortably take a backseat, which remains a problematic area. Performance wise, Patralekhaa's character lacked depth and she doesn't rise beyond being a typical Punjabi girl who has no say if his parents decided to get her married to a guy demanding dowry on the wedding day. Ishita, on the other hand, as a cool and daring one involved in shady hustles, adds to the glam quotient and looks pretty confident in her scenes.

Wild Wild Punjab, staying true to its title and genre, has several moments that are outright hilarious and you don't even feel like questing the whys and hows. There's a scene when Khanna stands on the top of a car, pees on a toll counter and then throws a lighter setting it on fire to have an escape from the cops. I mean, it's bizarre and funny at the same time. In another scene, this group of friends gatecrash a wedding, only to wake up the next morning and realise that one of them has a newlywed bride to take along on the rest of the road-trip. Or when a character's blood pressure drops, the group ends up giving her drugs disguised as homeopathic medicine.

Unlike other films that involve a guy taking revenge from his ex, that are plagued with misogyny and sexism, this film steers clear from any such thing. It's harmless fun, entertaining banter, some emotions that only put a smile on your face.

To sum up, Wild Wild Punjab is a movie for all seasons. It has friendship, bromance, love, heartbreak, comedy, cop encounters and entertainment that knows no bounds. If you try looking for loopholes and lose ends, you may find a few of them, but it's the overall treatment and the life these characters put in the story that makes Wild Wild Punjab a joyride to watch. The film is now streaming on Netflix.

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