Mere Dad Ki Maruti is such unpretentious fun; it would be hard to dislike it. The plot is as lightweight as it could get, probably belongs in a TV series than a film. The characters aren't super original either. Even the Punjabi family setting and the Punjabi quirks have been seen many times before. What new do the Khullars have to offer? Despite containing all the usual suspects, this film still manages to keep you entertained with its fair share of laughs and over-the-top playfulness. This is one of those films that a bunch of friends go to watch for 'time-pass'. I'm baffled that cinema could be assigned this deplorable feature but I do completely respect someone's choice to purchase a movie ticket to pass their time, looking for a slight recreational diversion. If you're looking for this or just a clean family entertainer, this film is breezy and enjoyable.
The Punjabiness is not toned down. (Can it ever be?). There is bad English all over, anything that looks like a Royal Enfield a.k.a. Bullet is pronounced 'Bullt'. A bar is named Nach Lo Tup Lo (I want to go to there). You're definitely in the land of Punjabi. Ik vaari gedi maarna toh banta hai. Say swayyer? (Read swear) (For those who didn't understand: I just asked you take this car for a spin once)
The film gets it right with the casting. Ram Kapoor is Tej Khullar, the loud Punjabi father and has no qualms about it. One of those memes thrown around on the internet undisputedly belong to him 'Don't keep calm because you're a Punjabi'. We have also seen fathers being their son's villains in films before. Again, nothing new. But the chemistry Tej strikes with his son Sameer (Smeeer, as he is called) is the backbone of this film. Their exchanges are always amusing.
Saqib Saleem is Sameer, the son who loses his father's Maruti Ertiga. I instantly became a fan of Saqib when I saw him in Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge (2011). This time I could circle out why exactly this young actor has what it takes. Physical comedy. It is extremely difficult to make funny faces, play a brash character, talk like a knucklehead and not come out looking like a fool. Saqib shows immense confidence, never crossing the line even while he's constantly hamming it up. I'm a huge fan of over-acting. I consider it one of the cinema's bizarre gifts. This may not be the best example of it, but I'm sure we can expect him to deliver when a script comes along worthy of his talent. I was reminded of Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani (2009) and also Ranbir's similar and a more successful stab at physical humor and ridiculousness, which again I'm a huge fan of. Not many can do it right, especially when you aren't a comedian.
The supporting characters all get their moments to display some moronic side. Be it the sister who gets to show her Sheila ki jawani at her own wedding or the mother who is the only one who isn't embarrassed by it. Rhea Chakroborty is quite a good-looking girl and plays Jazzleen, her dumb chick character well, or probably it's that one psychotic joke that is somehow funny each time. Prabal Panjabi is Gattu, the best friend who is given some of the funnier lines and one hilarious gag. The song Punjabiyaan Di Battery is also worth naching and taping to. Mika and Honey Singh together should totally make up for unabashed fun.
The film seems to falter somewhere near the end. As I mentioned, the plot isn't really its strong suit but it was all going fine. Then it takes one giant misstep which no screenwriter should make. 'Uh-oh', I thought. Does it go downhill from here? To my relief, soon the film climbed right back up as the characters start doing what they were doing best, being outrageous and totally guileless. Even though we know how this would end, you aren't irritated with any aspect of it when you get there since you're busy laughing. I've always stood by this notion that if you can't make exceptionally good films, at least make watchable ones. This one is indeed thoroughly watchable.view less