Crazy Cukkad Family review: Wish it were crazier!

Crazy Cukkad Family review: Wish it were crazier!

Source: Sify

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 17/5

Saturday 17 January 2015

Movie Title

Crazy Cukkad Family


Ritesh Menon

Star Cast

Jugnu Ishiqui, Zachary Coffin, Praveena Deshpande

The dysfunctional family can be a source of some superb dark comedy. That is what the film attempts, but achieves only intermittently.

The patriarch Mr. Beri is in coma, and this is his third time. His children, dealing with money issues of their own, secretly hope he'll kick the bucket so they can lay claim on the property.

The property here is a 172-year-old bungalow that is so huge, it has its own pin code. This beautifully done-up place is up for grabs, or at least, that's what the four children think.

The eldest is the wily Pawan Beri (played by lyricist Swanand Kirkire) who has two kids and a doormat-type wife. He doesn't tire of insulting her, and she (played by a wonderful actor) is too timid to react.

The wannabe Archana Beri (Shilpa Shukla) who dreams of winning the Mrs. India title, is one of the film's most entertaining characters. She speaks English in a delightfully annoying Punjabi accent, with its grammar all over the place. She is yet to forgive her family for marrying her to her meek husband (Ninad Kamat), and lays out her frustration on him.

Third up is Aman Beri, the simpleton (Kushal Punjabi) who is returning home with an American wife (Nora Fatehi). And the youngest child is Abhay (Siddharth Sharma) who is settled in Auckland, and returns home only to realize his life is about to change. The four of them are battling their own inner demons, which humanizes their hard- heartedness somewhat. The film is fair in portraying the ailing patriarch as a dictatorial father, who gave commands for everybody's lives. While his acerbic remarks still sting the eldest son, his decision of marrying her off in a hurry is yet to be forgiven by Archana.

As the four reunite at the farmhouse, there is more bitterness than love. They begin hounding the family lawyer for the will, even before they visit their father at the hospital, and Pawan has even thought out how the property will be divided. But the crafty old man left a 'last wish' before the will could be opened ? one that the four struggle to fulfill.

The finale is the sort where all characters?central and peripheral?happen to come together in the same location, and the result is nothing short of a circus. This portion could have been far funnier and crazier for a film titled thus.

The dialogue aims at being funny but is often crude. The one compartmentalizing their wives into Graha Shobha and Playboy was one such. Also, the film represents Archana's cross-dressing husband with much sympathy, and while he is often insulted by his wife, he often fantasizes about hitting her as well.

There are lovely nuances that are more amusing than the direct attempts at comedy. The tilts in the language, using samosas as paperweights in the property distribution meeting, the OTT styling, and the ditzy nature of the family lawyer.

There is much moral posturing. Ultimately the film shows that all's swell but not before a stretched out scene on homosexual love, which thankfully is devoid of the usual Bollywood drama. We are told that the great Indian family, despite all its trappings, is still better than the West (the only American character rues about how her parents were inept and she had to fend for herself).

In the end, Pawan is never shown contrite for bullying his wife, and another family problem is "solved" when the husband stands up to his wife, leading to a COMPLETE personality change in her.

One enjoys the diversity of the characters in the film, and they do amuse us. But the lack of consistency and improbable developments make the film uninvolving after a point.

Debut director Ritesh Menon gives us a film that's an average watch with a few amusing moments and a couple of entertaining performances. With the premise it had, the film certainly could have been far funnier and crazier.

Rating: 2 stars

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