Deewane Huye Pagal

For everybody who wanted a Bollywood version of There's Something About Mary, their wait is over! Deewane Huye Pagal is the movie for them. Most of the Indian films released here are either Bollywood hybrids or Academy fare. It is pretty rare to have the chance to see what the ordinary Indian citizen sees. Here's a chance, and it's not a good one. There are constant allegations that Indian filmmakers sometimes rip-off American films. After all, the average Indian citizen will not have seen most American blockbusters. There is a difference between a remake (or even an homage) and a rip-off, and it looks like Deewane may possibly be the latter. There is no acknowledgement in the credits of the source material, and there are even a few scenes lifted nearly completely from the original.

Aside from this and a few glaring technical issues, Deewane Huye Pagal is a pretty standard Bollywood film. It is full of song and dance numbers, has a monstrous running time (of 2 hours and 40 minutes), and even an intermission. The story is complex (there was much added) and surprisingly ambitious. Director Vikram Bhatt (Jurm, Elaan) spread filming across India, Dubai, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. The acting is broad, the choreography reminiscent of late 80s/early nineties Michael Jackson, and parts of the film are just plain weird. A singing cowboy narrates. Yes, that makes him an Indian (not Native American) cowboy. However, if they were going to go to the effort of releasing in the United States, they should have made a better effort with the subtitles. One character's name is misspelled three times in a matter of minutes. Not that big a deal; just mildly irritating. What was truly annoying was how random sentences remained untranslated. This did not happen often, but did happen for three crucial lines in the film, effectively gutting the scene of its emotion. Because these scenes were so important to the film, it really took a lot away from the overall story. This and the plagiarism are enough to knock the rating down one or two levels.

The love story follows There's Something About Mary closely. A few years ago, Karan (Shahid Kapoor, Fida, Ishq Vishk), then looking nerdy with glasses and braces, is madly in love with Tanya (Rimi Sen, Chased by Dreams, Dhoom). Tanya is lovely and popular singer, the envy of all men on campus. Surprisingly, she knows who Karan is, and agrees to have dinner with him. The relationship grows, until she abruptly disappears. Three years later, Karan hires Rocky (Ashkay Kumar, Garam Masala, Waqt: The Race Against Time), who tracks her down to Dubai, where she changed her name to Natasha. Struck by her beauty and wanting her for himself, Rocky lies to Karan. Karan still loves her, so he decides to ignore Rocky's advice and keep looking for Tanya.

Here is where things get, uh, weird. The reason that Tanya left was she witnessed the murder of a scientist (Om Puri, Code 46, The Mystic Masseur), who created a formula that allows people to de-age. His twin brother, a mobster, wanted this serum, and ordered a hit. The scientist locked the formula in a safe and whispered the combination into a toy parrot. While escaping, he stumbled upon Tanya, unknowingly left the parrot in her car, then was shot. Tanya, fearing for her life, fled to Dubai and changed her name, where she decides to lay low by pursuing a singing career. Now, Rocky, Karan, angry mobsters, youth-obsessed mobsters, love-stricken mobsters (yes, all different), and a few handicapped people all vie for Tanya/Natasha's affection. Bhatt apparently has no idea what political correctness means with those last few performances. Near the end, Mangesh Kulkarni (Awara Paagal Deewana, Raja Ko Rani Se Pyar Ho Gaya) and Neeraj Vora's (Garam Masala, Hulchul) screenplay morphs again into a weird action movie, complete with motorcycle and off-road vehicle stunts. It's not a good direction to go into. Deewane Huye Pagal worked best when it stayed in slapstick romantic comedy.

Mongoose Rates It: Pretty Bad.
2 hours, 40 minutes, Hindi and English with English subtitles, Not Rated but contains some mild language

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