Arjun Patiala Review (No Spoilers): GO SEE THIS MOVIE!!! You Will Laugh, You Will Smile, You Will Learn To Deconstruct Films

I love love LOVE this movie. And almost no one will write good reviews of it or see it, I just know it. But I LOVE this movie.

Remember the Matrix? When Neo could suddenly see the code and reach through it, understand the rules and patterns that underlie life itself? That’s what this movie is like. But funny. It takes an actual regular comic cop movie, and then flips it so that we see the underlying logic that makes all these cop movies work. And then we laugh at it, because understanding how silly movies are and how silly we are for enjoying them, is funny.

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From the trailer I couldn’t tell if it was just a funny self-aware trailer for a regular movie, or a funny self-aware movie. It’s the second. The structure (established in the first two minutes) is a writer narrating his script to a producer (Pankaj Tripathi) which allows for occasional freeze frames and informative onscreen text, voice over commentary, and a few times when we cut back to the writer and producer discussing what should happen next. Just for example, we are going through a sequence in the film and suddenly cut back to the writer and producer to find the writer dramatically whispering “and then, suddenly, for absolutely no reason…Item Song!” And then we cut back to the movie-within-a-movie and watch the item song.

At another point, there is a flash of a checklist on screen counting off the 5 types of songs that have to be included in a film just as one of them starts playing. There is a running gag of the hero Diljit Dosanjh being reminded it is time for “slow motion” and suddenly moving veeeeeeeeery slowly. If you ever wanted to take a class in how to write a Hindi film script and direct a Hindi movie, you don’t have to because this film will show you everything.

And on top of that, it’s an actual good plot! Clever original take on the “hero cop” genre with some nice twists and surprises. Heck, I would have enjoyed this film if it was a straight action-comedy without the meta touches! And the songs are good, and Kriti and Diljit have a fun chemistry, and it’s all bright colors and happiness onscreen. Even Varun Sharma wasn’t irritating!

The real joy was Seema Pahwa. After being the mother in Bareilly Ki Barfi and Shubh Mangala Saavdhan, she gets to sink her teeth into a juicy part in this film and is an absolute delight. There’s another reason that, by itself, would be enough to make this film fun! The outside the box casting! Diljit brings in his soft comic kind of character from his Punjabi films, Kriti gets to be strong and funny too, and Seema Pahwa, an overweight unattractive older woman, gets to have a star turn that easily steals the whole second half of the film.

Really, WATCH IT!!!! Everyone else will say it is lame and tired and superficial, but that is because other reviewers don’t like joy. Do you like joy? If so, watch this film!

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9 thoughts on “Arjun Patiala Review (No Spoilers): GO SEE THIS MOVIE!!! You Will Laugh, You Will Smile, You Will Learn To Deconstruct Films

    • Same around me! I’ll be curious to see what the official screen counts are for the two of them.

      On Sat, Jul 27, 2019 at 12:30 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  1. This sounds like my kind of movie! This goes on my must watch list now. Maybe discount Tuesday.

    If you like humorously deconstructive self aware movies, plus if you like movies that break down the fourth wall, I’d suggest these as well

    Bollywood – Mard ko Dard Natin Hota

    Hollywood – Deadpool 1 & 2

    British Netflix – Fleabag, series 1 and especially series 2. Further exploring the 4th wall trope, the show has some characters that *suspect* a fourth wall but aren’t sure…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I’ve been hearing about Fleabag as being brilliant, but not why it was brilliant. I thought it was just another realistic slice of life human comedy kind of thing, blech. Breaking the fourth wall sounds great!

      And yes, you should see this movie. Don’t go in expecting brilliant and mind blowing, but expect a rollicking good time with some really clever commentary.

      On Sat, Jul 27, 2019 at 4:53 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. I’m sold!! I will tell you that frequently I will recommend films I love to born-in -India friends (vs me, first gen half desi girl and non desi friends) and they won’t like anything too self-aware or western. Will be interesting to see what happens this time.

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    • I love this movie because it is both self-aware, and not Western. Feels like Jaane Bhi do Yaaro, or Andaz Apna Apna. Which of course were cult classics, not mainstream hits, so I guess that still proves your point. Sigh.

      On Sun, Jul 28, 2019 at 10:13 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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