Kunwara (2000)


Kunwara (2000)
Cast: Govinda, Urmila, Nagma, Om Puri, Kader Khan
Director: David Dhawan
Nutshell: More demented fare from the house of David Dhawan


David Dhawan and Govinda together spell box office gold and Kunwara is no different from the style of film that they have accustomed to make. With one huge exception…this is tiring, tedious, shoddily directed and almost demented fare.

Urmila (Urmila) is out to “bash up” Raju, an indian in New Zealand who apparently was trying to “rape” two women. This she is told by her friend Vicky who has ended up in bandages in hospital. This self styled vigilante is next seen standing on snowy slopes in a pin stripe suit and boots, looking to discover the elusive Raju, whom she has never seen. She slips and falls into an icy pond incapable of breaking the frozen ice above and is about to drown when wonder of wonders, Raju (Govinda) arrives and saves the self styled vigilante now turned drowning damsel in distress and brings her home.

Wrapped in a blanket against a warm fire, she breathes fire once again and tells Raju of her quest for Raju. Of course, she does not know that Raju is Raju! So Raju hatches this plan to switch places with his friend Gopal (Johny Lever) and find out what the fuss is all about. Urmila sees Gopal,and thinking him to be Raju, smacks him on the head and Raju pronounces him to be dead…he isn’t of course and what follows is 25 minutes of utter stupidity. In fact it is so painfully unfunny that I must have looked at my watch at least 3 times already and not even 50 minutes of the film had been over.

At 50 minutes, we had achieved three songs and the fact that Urmila and Raju were in love but that Raju was now returning to India. Why we have no idea but nevertheless, on his travels, he meets with a sniffling woman Sharmila (Nagma) who tells him that her boyfriend has left her and that her intended destination was not home to her foul tempered father but to remain sitting on the railway tracks with her suitcase so that the next train would give her the much needed relase from life. Why is it so desperate…you guessed it, she is carrying her boyfriend’s “nishani”!!! How I wish the train had done us all a favour but sadly, this is a film and it has to become more complicated.

The way out, as suggested by Raju is for her to find someone to act as her husband and then that man could leave and abandon her after a few days and all would be well. The distressed lady asks him whether he would be willing to do something like that and he agrees, readily. Lord only knows where he was headed as he appears to be an orphan and there is no mention of him going anywhere so he was probably only too happy to accept the offer of this damsel in distress. On arriving back home, he meets the family and as expected, is denounced by the shotgun carrying father (om Puri). However, the old grandfather (Kader Khan) takes to him. The twist in the tale comes when Urmila arrives at the home to declare that she is Sharmila’s sister…We have now reached Intermission and how I wished that life would get better after this…but it doesn’t.

The film is a complete and utter disaster. It has all the elements for this to be a funnyish film. On paper, if executed with style, you could probably have made the first half into a slapstick laugh a riot. Instead, it is hideously laboured and very unfunny. At intermission, you could have had it as a comedy of errors and a bit of a family drama, something on the lines of Hero No 1, an earlier effort of David Dhawan and Govinda…but its not. Then there is the introduction of the villains, a track that was totally unnecessary and prolongs the film even more. David Dhawan has been seeing a downturn in his fortunes of late.

Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge did average business and Chal Mere Bhai was a flop. Both of those films were somewhat bearable, the former being quite laboured and the latter mildly engaging. But this effort is lacking in all imagination, has no punch and is shoddily made. Even the songs, although shot well, are forced into the film and make proceedings even more tedious.

Govinda’s opening song is almost a carbon copy of the opening in Hadh Kardi Aapne or Dulham Hum Le Jayenge…foreign locations, various female dancers, tight clothes… we have seen it all before. Govinda cannot save the film…this is not one of his better roles although had he been directed better, he may have been able to do something more with it.

Urmila looks pretty, dances well but doesn’t play comedy too well. Nagma has a complete bore of a role, probably one that she thought would bring her talent to the fore. A waste of time. And what a horrendous shame to see Om Puri in a role and film like this…at least in Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge, he had his moments but in this…especially singing the “breatheless” rip off song, its just very sad to see how the mighty have fallen!

The music is probably the only thing which is not too bad. “Na heera na moti” is already a hit and “meri chamak challo” and Jab larka ho kunwara” are both good songs, all sung by Sonu Nigam. But that’s about all in the film that I can commend. I had gone with many aspirations…the promos looked good but what a demented fare it turned out to be.

I cannot imagine this being a hit…I sat in the film thinking whether it was worse than Joru ka Ghulam which I found unwatchable and thought that it was not. But its not much better if it is at all. And if Joru managed to turn out to be an average runner, this one will have a better chance for its music has caught on much more. Compared to this, I hope Jungle turns out to be a huge hit.