Director: Vijay Krishna Acharya
Cast: Vicky Kaushal, Manushi Chhillar, Kumud Mishra, Manoj Pahwa and others
Where: In theatres near you
Rating: 2.5 stars
Vicky Kaushal’s first ever association with producer Aditya Chopra’s home banner, The Great Indian Family, is a light-hearted film in disguise as it questions religious beliefs and nation’s most controversial issue. Seems like director Vijay Krishna Acharya has made a clever film, especially catering to the current demographic and political fabric of our country.
Bhajan Kumar/Ved Vyas Tripathi aka Billu (Vicky Kaushal) is a small town popular devotional singer and collectively runs his family business of organising concerts. His values are bound by his father Pandit ji (Kumud Mishra). Bhajan’s life turns upside down when he discovers that he is a Muslim by birth. Will his orthodox Hindu family accept him?
Vijay manages to stir the political divide very easily in his narrative but ends up with the predictable conclusion. Social messaging has become an integral part of our films but enforcement and necessity are two different aspects of storytelling. His trademark filmmaking depicts a bad climax, no matter how big he had mounted his screenplay, be it Dhoom 3 (2013), Thugs of Hindostan (2018) or Tashan (2008) for that matter.
Although, he has gotten out of his high-octane action flicks, he is not good even here. He definitely brings the solid conflict at the interval to the flat narrative but falls miserably in the second half. The runtime of the film is less than 2-hour, however, it leads to boredom. A few dialogues are good and ignite humour in parts.
Vicky is the shining star of this weak film. It is good to see him playing a small town guy unlike his previous patriotic heroic acts or a lousy hero in terrible Govinda Naam Mera (2022). His meltdowns are to watch out for. Kumud Mishra, Manoj Pahwa, Alka Amin are a delight to watch and they did their roles aptly.
TGIF marks Manushi Chhillar’s second outing with the banner post disastrous debut Samrat Prithviraj, where she was seen playing a character based on the real life queen. After her not-so-promising act, she at-least is noticeable in her special appearance alongside Vicky. But who was she? Why was she roaming on a bike with an unknown guy? Vijay just refuses to answer all of this. There’s absolutely no reason to have her in the film. She is merely a prop.
TGIF should be retitled as Thank God It’s Friday so that people have two more days to dilute the amount of maltreat they have been offered with this so called fresh film which is nothing but a lecture on spreading religious harmony.