STORY: The infamous con couple Bunty and Babli decide to be back in the business to thwart the attempts of a young couple and bring them to justice, as they are swindling people in their name. But will the originals be able to outsmart the new scamsters on the block?
REVIEW: It’s been over 15 years since their last con and Rakesh (Saif Ali Khan) and Vimmi Trivedi (Rani Mukerji), once known as Bunty aur Babli are now living a regular small-town life in Phursatganj Uttar Pradesh. Rakesh is a railway ticket collector and Vimmi is a screechy middle-class housewife. Performing in loud and colourful clothes during festivities and occasions in their railway colony, is the only excitement in their otherwise routine life. But all of it is about to change as Kunal (Siddhant Chaturvedi) and Sonia (Sharvari Wagh) – two young engineering pass outs are now scamming people, using the all too familiar calling card of ‘B&B’ that represents Bunty aur Babli. For inspector Jatayu Singh (Pankaj Tripathi), the now ‘retired’ Bunty and Babli are the key to accomplishing his mission of nabbing the new fraudsters.
It’s a plot that is tailor-made for a sequel to cash in on the popularity of its original and take the story forward. However, debutant director and screenplay writer Varun V. Sharma struggles to seamlessly bring it all together. The film’s narrative focuses way too hard on force-fitting the references from the original that should have come organically. There are a couple of innovative cons and unrecognisable disguises, but the overall execution is far too juvenile to be able to take anything or anyone seriously. The first half is spent mostly in setting up the stage for the ultimate conflict and the story doesn’t really move at a solid pace. In the second half, the plot thickens but the lack of logic and conviction in the story and its telling doesn’t make us feel strongly for any of the characters.
A stellar cast of some seasoned artists and promising newcomers is let down by weak and sloppy writing. Still, it’s a delight to watch Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukerji together, who go over-the-top with their acts but it is fun. The two actors show crackling chemistry despite playing a middle-aged couple dealing with regular domestic issues. Saif is quite adorable as the goofy and obedient Rakesh Trivedi while Rani’s comic timing is a saving grace even when she is saddled with a stereotypical loud character and very few genuinely funny lines or scenes. In fact, for a comedy this one’s very low on organic humour with just a handful of gags that actually land. Siddhant Chaturvedi plays his part well and Sharvari Wagh is very confident for her first film. They look good together. However, their characters have no backstory or a convincing build-up to make the audience connect with them. Pankaj Tripathi’s act of infusing humour in a rural accent is nice but we have seen it way too many times to find any novelty in it. The soundtrack doesn’t have any memorable songs like the original but thankfully there are only a few of them in the film.
All in all, ‘Bunty aur Babli 2’ had an exciting premise to revive the two iconic characters, but this sequel feels like quite a con-job in comparison with its original.