A khadoos and kanjoos dad can’t see eye to eye with his free-spirited son. The backdrop is a big, fat Punjabi wedding in North India. A brand new car that’s supposed to be offered as the wedding gift goes missing. Now add a tadka of assorted characters: Bhai, weirdos and cops. Perfect recipe for a truly appetizing Punjabi delicacy? Oh, yes! Y-Films’ third movie MERE DAD KI MARUTI is loud, funny, energetic and whacky.
Ashima Chibber, who has been an apprentice to talents such as Shimit Amin and Imtiaz Ali, opts for a full-on masaledaar fare in her debut film. Unlike Y-Films’ second endeavor MUJHSE FRAAANDHSIP KAROGE, a classy metro-centric love story, this one’s an over the top comic entertainer that unravels at lightening speed. And it works!
MERE DAD KI MARUTI is set against the backdrop of a Punjabi wedding in Chandigarh. It tells the story of Sameer [Saqib Saleem], who sneaks his dad’s [Ram Kapoor] fancy new car out to impress the college hottie Jasleen [Rhea Chakraborty] and how all hell breaks loose when he loses it.
The screenplay of MERE DAD KI MARUTI follows the tried and tested mantra: It activates with a dilemma and concludes with a definite resolution. In between, the fast-changing tracks and the colorful characters and episodes keep your attention arrested. You rarely go wrong if you follow this [oldest] storytelling technique in Bollywood… MERE DAD KI MARUTI gets it right on this count. Besides, Ashima does the smartest thing by making it an over the top experience.
If you’re from North India, or are aware of how a section of individuals behave in the Northern region of the country, you’d promptly identify with the characters and setting in the narrative. Sure, MERE DAD KI MARUTI stands on a skeletal plot, but screenplay writers Neeraj Udhwani, Pooja Desai and Ashima Chibber make sure they pepper it with lively characters and situations, which makes this ride enjoyable for most parts.
MERE DAD KI MARUTI manages to steer clear of major pitfalls. What stands out is the fact that most kids want to break free from parental pressures, but end up in trying situations. This aspect comes across loud and clear in the enterprise, although the film never gets preachy or sermonizing on that front. The only glitch is that the makers could’ve avoided in-your-face, blatant publicity of the vehicle brand. The director could’ve adopted a more subtle approach.
Sachin Gupta grasps the essence of the film perfectly and delivers a lively soundtrack. ‘Punjabiyan Di Battery’ is sprightly and stays on your lips instantly. ‘Main Senti Hoon’ is another song that’s aimed at youngistaan. I’d like to make a special note of the witty one-liners/dialogue [Ishita Moitra], which is exactly how youth converse these days. Also, the North Indian dialect adds loads of flavor to the lines.
Saqib Saleem showed immense potential in MUJHSE FRAAANDHSIP KAROGE and with MERE DAD KI MARUTI, proves he’s one of the brightest talents around. His comic timing, casual conversations and manic gestures are a delight to watch. Ram Kapoor, a supremely talented actor, gets his role spot-on. The cynics may argue, he’s loud and crass, but his character is meant to behave that way. Also, it only goes to prove how versatile he is, when you recall the suave character in STUDENT OF THE YEAR and the effort he invests in MERE DAD KI MARUTI to appear loud.
Rhea Chakraborty is confident, although her character doesn’t offer her much to scope to prove her talent. Prabal Panjabi, also introduced in MUJHSE FRAAANDHSIP KAROGE, stands out yet again. Together with Saqib, he contributes to several lively moments in the enterprise. Ravi Kissen is first-rate as the local Bhai. Karan Mehra [as the groom] is efficient. Benazir Shaikh [as Saqib's sister] does an okay job. The assorted characters, each of them, lend admirable support.
On the whole, MERE DAD KI MARUTI is a joyride. Mazedaar, masaledaar, full-on entertainer. Hitch a ride on this one instantly!