Cinemas were shut down what seems like ages ago, which prompted us to resort to online streaming services for discussions in this space. Last week, we looked at Sitara – because of course what better way to start the digital cinema quarantine than Pakistan’s first Netflix original? In the coming weeks, we’ll look at a wide range of offerings, mostly from within South Asia.
Bollywood was banned in Pakistani cinemas in February 2019. Since then we’ve been looking into local, but largely Hollywood releases. Now under the new circumstances, with a pandemic bringing the world closer – and sending us all online – we’ll start exploring all kinds of Indian releases as well, from Punjabi to the wide South Indian array.
However, before we look into the high-profile releases, and suggest which Indian films you should watch, we’ll first start off with one that you absolutely should not.
Unfortunately for a film that self-identifies as comedy, there was a gaping dearth of anything that one could even cling on to as being remotely funny
Given the tension surrounding health, especially in our neck of the woods where healthcare has prodigious limitations, it made sense for one to opt for something ‘lighter’ – often euphemism for ‘mindless’, in this case most definitely.
If you open the search bar on Netflix and look for ‘new Bollywood releases’, among a few others which have already garnered acclaim, you’ll also see one that obviously hasn’t, and never should have: Jai Mummy Di.
Again, you could rightly argue, that by taking that route we had it coming, given the many other options available. However, here’s a reminder that in this space, as you might have noticed over the years, we review films of all kinds, genres, billings and expectations.
Now hindsight might suggest differently, but Jai Mummy Di actually wasn’t that horrendous a call to begin with, given what one was looking for.
It stars Sunny Singh and Sonnalli Seygall, who were seen together in Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2. JMD is also produced by Luv Films – of Pyar ka Punchnama and Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety fame – and if it had turned out a couple of fractions as entertaining as either of the PKP films, it would have been worth it.
Furthermore, everything from the title to the poster underlined that this too was going to be a comedy of some proportions, even if like PKP or SKTKS, it wasn’t exactly going to be the most woke project out there.
But even after giving the film all kinds of leeway and benefits of doubt, the only way to describe it is as absolute mother of mediocrity. And as is often the case, the fact that a film is truly mediocre isn’t its greatest folly, it’s the fact that it completely wasted the many positive tools at its disposal.
With acting maestros Supriya Pathak and Poonam Dhillon, as the two mummies of the leading duo, around whose tussle the entire plot of the film centers, the fact that the film bombed to such an extent underlines just how lackluster the writing and screenplay is.
Unfortunately for a film that self-identifies as comedy, there was a gaping dearth of anything that one could even cling on to as being remotely funny. And, again, the fact that there were so many capable comic actors at disposal, further aggravates the script’s failures.
Even the music, which can often salvage something out of Indian movies, doesn’t have much to write home about. However, perhaps if you compare it to the humour writing, the musical notes might actually strike a chord or two.
The only undoubted positive about the film is that at little over an hour and a half – pretty short by Bollywood standards. It won’t waste too much of your time. But of course, we’d suggest that you don’t waste any of your time and skip this one altogether.