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Film Review | Kuku Mathur Ki Jhand Ho Gayi

LiveMint logoLiveMint 30-05-2014 Nandini Ramnath

Falsely promoted as a sex comedy, Aman Sachdeva’s debut feature is actually a slice-of-life drama about an 18-year-old west Delhi resident’s passage from boy to man. The journey doesn’t take place through the bedroom, as the lurid posters suggest, but through the kitchen, where Kuku (Siddharth Gupta) thrives.

He is born to cook, rather than take exams, and when he fails to get a college seat, Kuku and his uncle Prabhakar (Amit Sial) fund his restaurant plans by raiding Kuku’s best friend Ronnie (Ashish Juneja). Ronnie is content to join the family garment business, but Kuku has serious entrepreneurial dreams, even if he isn’t the brightest of bulbs and doesn’t have the good sense to distinguish a fake Nike shoe pair from a real one or not to steal from his childhood buddy.

Kuku Mathur Ki Jhand Ho Gayi has many rough edges, patches of amateurish staging and acting, misguided attempts at humour, and an ear-splitting and disposable Amar Mohile background score, but it is also good-natured, warm-hearted, and finely observed. Its characters seem right at home in the Subhash Nagar, west Delhi, location in which the movie plays out.

The debutant director has a palpable feel for the milieu, and Shazia Zahid Iqbal’s production design memorably recreates the middle-class, cluttered and kitsch-loving homes and establishments of this world, in which a religious gathering carries the charge of a night at the discotheque and a matching centre is the hub of fashion.

Some of the humour in the pre-interval portions is off target, like the spoof of low-budget film-making practices, but the movie finally settles down when Kuku becomes a reluctant thief and ruins his friendship with Ronnie. Gupta and Juneja are in good form as childhood buddies, while the dependably hilarious Brijendra Kala has a nifty turn as a godman who encourages Kuku to seek “enlightment”.

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