After a series of waves of slapstick masala comedies featuring three jokers in varied situations (read: Priyadarshan), Bollwood can sigh a relief for here’s a script that is original, real and will have you thoroughly entertained. Hats off to director Habib Faizal.
Walt Disney production’s very first full feature Hindi film, Do Dooni Char, retains its audience of being a comic family entertainer with moral values and life lessons subtly brushed in. Mr. Duggal (Rishi Kapoor) is your school teacher caught in the dilemma faced by every common man – middle-class aspirations versus single digit salary increments and sky-rocketing prices. A dream car at the cost of his morals or spending the rest of his life on a phat-phatti two-wheeler? Will Professor Duggal finally succumb to temptation? This quirky comedy will have you reminisce about your beloved pedagogues who slave away at black boards to teach young shining India.
The Duggal family comes off as very warm and amusing. The podgy sweater- donning Mr. Duggal who teaches his students to keep off junk food, stuffs himself with roadside keema parathas. His wife (Neetu) is the housewife who wants the good life but puts the family’s needs above hers and in a very touching scene readily gives up her bangles. You will relate to at least someone you know who throws tantrums like his crabby daughter. His son is another story altogether. From girlfriends to gambling to evading a sting operation his teenage misgivings and IPL one-liners are hilarious. The family aspires for the new Indian lifestyle and somehow arranges for a loaned car to take to a wedding. When it becomes an izzat ka sawaal with the neighbors, the vexed Mr. Duggal swears to own a car in 15 days and resorts to a side-splitting series of desperate measures ranging from second hand vehicles, arranging down payments, loan sharks, BPO jobs, lucky dips, and money for marksheets.
The film is thoroughly researched. The dialogues have a refreshingly desi twang and the Delhi lingo has one bemused. Audiences will very easily relate to this very real middle class household where the fridge door has to be constantly banged shut and the rest of the décor is in perfect sync with their lives which are a daily struggle.
After thirty years, the glorious couple has returned to the silver screen with a bang! You can’t doubt the chemistry between Neetu Singh and Rishi Kapoor but wish that the director gave Neetu a more prominent role as she’s a wallflower in some scenes compared to Rishi’s pivotal role. Even then, you’ll find your eyes glued to the screen. A must-watch to revere our teaching community and for the return of the Neetu-Rishi jodi.