The trailer for Coolie No.1, a reboot of the 90s’ masala entertainer of the same name, came out recently. Set to be streamed on Amazon Prime Video, the movie stars Varun Dhawan, Sara Ali Khan, and Paresh Rawal in pivotal roles and is directed by David Dhawan, who also helmed the original. As per the trailer, the movie will offer “loads of laughter” through the tried and tested formula of a comedy of errors.
The Contemporary Coolie No.1
The trailer starts with Paresh Rawal, portraying the role of an archetypical greedy father to Sara Ali Khan’s character, announcing that he has found a “Richie Rich” to-be husband for his daughter. Ostensibly, the prized catch owns “Asia’s biggest port”, the Burj Khalifa, and even plans to ‘buy’ the White House. Thereafter, in true Bollywood hero-style, enters Varun Dhawan as Prince Raj Pratap Singh, the aforementioned groom-to-be. Satisfied by the ostentatious riches, Rawal’s character gets his daughter married to the Prince.
However, when the former spots his “Richie Rich” son-in-law working as a menial coolie, all hell breaks loose. The Dhawans, of course, go on to take a page out of their own book and invent a fake twin brother for the 'Prince', who goes on to pair off with Khan’s character’s sister. The ensuing chaos and confusion set the stage for some inevitable slapstick comedy, peppered with rebooted songs from the original and unbelievable action sequences.
The Worst Kind Of Wacky
I’ve always believed that a film should be judged keeping in mind the context of its genre. However, even seen through the lens of a rebooted masala entertainer, the trailer disappoints on many accounts. Firstly, it's replete with every imaginable trope from the 90s-Bollywood era – gold-digging father-daughter duo, hyper-macho heroism, caricatured cross-dressing, punned expletives, and too-bright visuals. Most of these seem too problematic and tone-deaf to be digested in contemporary times, leave alone find funny. In fact, the reboot, going by the trailer, also lacks the simplistic humour of the original Govinda-Karisma Kapoor starrer and goes for fomulaic punchelines instead. With Sara Ali Khan having all of two dialogues to her credit and Shikha Talsania having none, it’s futile to elaborate upon the female representation in the trailer.
Nevertheless, Varun Dhawan owns his street-smart character, which he has mastered already in Judwaa 2. The trailer also provides a glimpse into some appreciable comedy on the part of seasoned comedy actors like Paresh Rawal, Rajkumar Yadav, and Johny Lever. Even so, the trailer makes one wonder who far are we as audience members willing to stretch the seams of logic for a few laughs? The same remains to be seen come Christmas, when “David Dhawan’s 45th film” will stream on Amazon Prime Video.
Watch the trailer here:
Picture Credits: Free Press Journal
Tarini Gandhiok is an intern with SheThePeople.TV