Second-hand Husband: Saare Challe Mere Palle!

The blurb is a more fitting title for this film. It could have also been better titled ‘Kuch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai’ when you think of this erratically dismal offering.

As the name so politely (!) implies, the movie is about divorced men. Rajbir (Gippy Grewal)is in love with Gurpreet (Tina Ahuja) however, in a burst of  new-age Punjabi thinking, her family objects to the match not because he is a divorcee but rather because he has to pay a monthly alimony to ex-wife Neha (Geeta Basra.)Therefore, in order to keep the coffers at home filled, Rajbir hits on tthe bright idea of finding eligible men for Neha, thereby hogging most of the film footage on this theme. To add to this beleaguered man’s woes, his boss Ajit Singh (Dharmendra) is an incorrigible flirt, whose wife Beant (Rati Agnihotri) finally files for divorce after stumbling upon yet another affair. Somewhere in all this we also have Inspector  Rakesh (Vijay Raaz) a widower with a son, who wears his heart on his sleeve. Neha tells Rajbir she will let him off the financial hook if he introduces her to Ajit so she can get to marry his millions, an idea that finds much appeal with him. Eventually though, Beant and Ajit reconcile, Neha finds her “Prance Charrming” elsewhere, and Rajbir is free to get hitched to Gurpreet.

Speaking of hitches. This film is an almost whole-and-soul Punjabi set-up and therefore smacks of a strong Punju flavour, complete with the mandatory opening wedding scene. It boggles the imagination then as to how director Smeep Kang thought that Ravi Kishan, with his distinct Bhojpuri accent, was expected to play Gurpreet’s brother convincingly!

Sigh. How often must I reiterate that too many cooks create a potluck at best. ‘Second-hand Husband’has Smeep Kang, Shreya Srivastava and Vaibhav Suman rubbing heads together to come up with a semblance of a script. While the premise may have been funny when it started off with the story sitting sessions, the script leaves much to be desired .There are two main parallel tracks – that of Ajit’s womanising and of Rajbir’s frantically trying to find a groom for his ex-wife. And thus, apparently there are two parallel male leads as well! Well after the interval, the director seems to have suddenly cottoned on to the fact that his heroine is playing second fiddle to, err, the second fiddle, and so there are some superfluous scenes around Gurpreet with a lot of contrived acting.

This film marks the Bollywood debut for both the main leads. Gippy Grewal is a well-known singer and actor on the Punjabi movie scene. Although he has his trademark goofy grin intact, he could have done better than to choose a script like ‘Second-hand Husband’to make his foray into Bollywood. Also, he appears distinctly diffident while mouthing lengthy Hindi dialogues and the end result makes the film look dubbed! Tina (Narmada) Ahuja, daughter of yesteryears dancing sensation Govinda, is a colossal let-down. She ought to get a complete make-over before she ventures forth on to another film set… lose the flab, work on expression, dialogue delivery, dancing and uh oh! The girl has a lisp! Bung in voice modulation as well.

Dharmendra really should retire now. Although the director has cleverly tried to hide the flaws by making his character appear a merry drunk, the voice is slurred and the mobility slow. Best we remember him as the lovable Dharam of his heydays. Gurpreet Ghuggi is a staple in Gippy films and therefore, is here as well. Vijay Raaz performs in his inimitable style but his character has not been well fleshed out. Sanjay Misra as Beant’s lawyer is very good; if only he would rid himself of that unkempt look. Alok Nath does a decent job as Gurpreet’s daddy. Rati Agnihotri is just – there. Surprisingly, a heavily made-up Geeta Basra does a commendable job; I use the word ‘surprising’’ because she didn’t exactly leave a dent in Bollywood in her earlier body of work.

Choreography is disappointingly lacklustre, considering this is a robust Punjabi offering and also when you take into account that the music is peppy enough. Gippy has done a better job of singing than acting, ably backed by Labh Janjua, Sunidhi Chauhan, Jasmine Sandhas, Ravinra Upadhyay and Amanjot. Editing (Ritesh Soni) is very jerky and the movie jumps from scene to scene. Cinematography (Manoj Shaw) is not worth writing home about. Dialogues are banal.

So who wins the heart of the fair maiden? None other than cricketer Harbhajan “Bhaji”Singh who makes a surprise appearance at the end and on whom Basra bestows a winning smile; allegedly, the duo is said to be dating in real-life too, so all was well that ended well, except for the hapless audience, as usual!

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