After just 15 minutes into Bunty Aur Babli 2, one realises what a terribly written and poorly-executed film it is. The original, which most of us so thoroughly enjoyed when it first released 16 years ago, was best left untouched and director Varun V. Sharma should have just followed this rule.
With Rani Mukherji reprising her character as Vimmi, this sequel is nothing like the first one. Not even remotely close. It’s a snooze-fest that fails to engage or entertain. And sadly, doesn’t have any punches to keep you from dozing off. Bunty Aur Babli 2 never gains momentum that you want to see in a comedy.
Sharma tries too hard to ingest references from the original and he barely gets them right. The narrative is sloppy and juvenile to say the least.
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The story revolves around a young couple, engineering graduates Kunal Singh (Siddhant Chaturvedi) and Sonia Rawat (Sharvari Wagh) disguised as the new Bunty and Babli on a spree duping people using the name of the infamous con couple. And this forces the original Bunty and Babli — Vimmi and Rakesh Trivedi (Rani Mukerji and Saif Ali Khan), to return to business, which they had mastered and left behind. Will the imposters outdo the originals? Or will the real Bunty Aur Babli regain their throne? Watch at your own risk.
The film’s first half is so slow and takes forever to set the ball rolling. Just when the second half starts to look slightly better, it soon loses grip. The scams that the young couple are pulling off are so not great and you just yawn thinking, ‘Okay, what’s next?’ Imagine selling a trip to a fake country to some sex-starved potbellied men. Or giving the River Ganga on lease.
Moreover, unlike the original Bunty and Babli, Siddhant and Sharvari’s characters have no convincing backstories that would keep you interested. Perhaps that’s why more than enjoying the sequel, you are busy drawing comparisons with the original film.
The only saving grace in the film is Rani Mukerji — loud and funny. It’s fun to watch her on screen, playing Vimmi with so much elan and bringing back a ton of nostalgia. I’m glad Sharma didn’t try to change that one bit and it somehow works. Taking over from Abhishek Bachchan as Bunty, Saif delivers a decent performance, playing the quirky and goofy Rakesh. However, we’ve seen far better of him on screen, even in comedy films.
Siddhant, after playing MC Sher in Gully Boy, had set the bar a bit too high and he is just about okay as Bunty without any wow factor. Sharvari is pretty confident for her first film and has a great screen presence. As a couple however, they both looked sizzling on screen. Bringing in some effortless comedy, there’s inspector Jatayu Singh (played by Pankaj Tripathi), but there’s no newness there, and he has become too repetitive trying to cash in on that local persona and desi humour.
The music, too, isn’t anything great that you’d want to take back home. And the background score is louder than the characters are meant to be. You miss the feeling that a Kajra Re or the original title track invoked. Though the Tattoo Waliye song in the end credit is quite a visual treat.
To sum up, Bunty Aur Babli 2 had all the right ingredients to serve a perfect dish, but too much mixing left it with no great after taste. Such fine actors look wasted in a half-hearted script. Watch it only for Rani Mukerji if you must.