Jimmy in same old criminal avatar: Family Of Thakurganj Review

Cast: Jimmy Sheirgill, Nandish Singh Sandhu, Pranati Rai Prakash, Saurabh Shukla, Mahie Gill, Supriya Pilgoankar, Mukesh Tiwari, Raj Zutshi, Pawan Malhotra, Yashpal Sharma, Manoj Pahwa, Sudhir Pandey

Director: Manoj K Jha

Rating: * * ½

This week we have a Jimmy Shergill double bill and neither film (Jhoota Kahin Ka nor Family of Thakurganj) is likely to do much for his career. But the real beauty of Jimmy’s talent is that he continues to look fresh and bring something new to his role even if he is being typecast (playing criminal ‘Bhaiyya’) for the umpteenth time.

The ubiquitous ‘Thakurganj’ is a den of crime controlled by Baba saab (Saurabh Shukla) and his two warring henchmen Nunnu (Jimmy Shergill) and Bhadri (Mukesh Tiwari) with forever junkie, sharp-shooter Ballu Thapa (Raj Zutshi) becoming the fall guy in their competition to suck up to the Kingmaker. Since Nunnu is the author backed character, his family constituting a Maa, Sumitra Devi (Supriya Pilgoankar), his wife Sharbati Devi (Mahie Gill), his young eight year old daughter Lali (Shivika Rishi) a miniature version of her father in all aspects, his straitlaced, idealistic brother Munnu (Nandish Singh Sandhu) who runs a coaching class, and Munnu’s weird, stick-fast girlfriend Suman (Pranati Rai Prakash) who runs an ad agency, becomes the main focus. Sajjan Singh (Yashpal Sharma) the cop with a fetish for the number 9 is conveniently in truck with the criminals, Gagan Guruji (Manoj Pahwa) is the lamenting owner of the Peeli kothi which Nunnu has usurped and Suraj Pratap (Pawan Malhotra) is the new broom SP brought in to sweep away the criminal infestation from Thakurganj.

The Maa who gets shocked seeing a bottle of booze under teen Nunnu’s bed inexplicably changes character and begins to revel in the now adult’s crime spree –even to the extent of telling her younger son, Munnu, who abhors criminality and believes in the justice system, that he is out of sync with the times. The morality and idealism depicted here are as confusing as the overall tone employed.

If the character names don’t make you laugh, then the ridiculous drama certainly will. Sharbati Devi taking off her bindi and breaking her ‘Lal-Hari chudi/Red-green bangles’ while standing in the doorway of a moving train is the most ludicrous ‘widow’ moment ever filmed. Meant to be the piece de resistance of the film and intended to evoke melodrama, the effect is bewildering and seems totally loony.

Dilip Shukla’s script is totally jumbled, the plotting is inconsistent and Manoj K Jha’s treatment evokes a tone and tenor that is alien to the high-tension drama that this was intended to be. Nandish Singh Sandhu (whom we saw wearing dark make-up, in the background, in Super 30 last week) has enough screen time but his luminous, charismatic presence can do little to alleviate the indistinct craft employed here. It’s a pity that so many competent actors are reduced to playing caricatures in such a howl inducing, totally unintentional parody!

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