Movie Review: 'The Shaukeens'

With three lecherous old men as protagonists, the movie had every possiblity of being tacky and vulgar, but that doesn't happen too often and the end result is a a fairly enjoyable film

The Shaukeens
U/A; Comedy
DIRECTOR: Abhishek Sharma
CAST: Lisa Haydon, Anupam Kher, Annu Kapoor, Piyush Mishra, Akshay Kumar

With the story of three lecherous old men, the movie had every possible chance of crossing the line and becoming tacky and vulgar — and sure enough at some points it does too — but thankfully, director Abhishek Sharma and writer Tigmanshu Dhulia don’t allow the thin line between funny and smutty to be blurred too often. The end result? A fairly enjoyable film.

The Shaukeens
A still from the film

Anupam Kher, Annu Kapoor and Piyush Mishra play three raunchy old men who are so desperate to get some “action” that they are ready to go to any lengths to achieve their end. Fate lands them in the house of the dumb, starstruck bombshell Ahaana (Lisa Haydon) and predictably, the oldies try every trick possible to get her to comply. Ahaana is having boyfriend troubles, her life revolves around the number of likes she gets on her Facebook posts and is a huge fan of Akshay Kumar, the film star. The old men try outdoing each other in exploiting the situation to their benefit.

This is a remake of the 80s Basu Chatterjee film, Shaukeen which had Utpal Dutt, Ashok Kumar and AK Hangal playing the naughty yet endearing old men. Kher, Kapoor and Mishra are less loveable and more creepy, but nevertheless make up for it with convincing performances. The first hour of the film is rather dull as you get introduced to the families of the three old men and then watch them desperately running around to get laid. And you start wondering if the plot will move anywhere interesting at all. But the second half more than makes up for the lethargic pace and ends up being a laugh riot of sorts.

It is Akshay Kumar who totally changes the scene as he plays himself and laughs at himself aided by some super situations and dialogues. The joke is on Bollywood, award-winning directors, and Akshay Kumar himself. In a surprisingly honest stint at self mockery, Akshay the movie star makes fun of his career, his choice of films in his 20 year-long career and his image of being a health freak. The scenes between him and an ‘intellectual’ Bengali filmmaker are guaranteed to bring the house down with humour that hits close home. Lisa looks gorgeous as she is expected to and does a fairly decent job. Abhishek Sharma yet again manages to tickle our funny bones after his debut film, Tere Bin Laden.

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