Varun Dhawan, Sara Ali Khan, Paresh Rawal, Shikha Talsania, Rahul Vaid, Rajpal Yadav, Johnny Lever, Javed Jafferi.
Let's get one thing out of the way, shall we? David Dhawan is the master of comedies. You may not agree with all the jokes from the 90s in 2020, but a lot of the moments in his films are usually funny. When I was a kid, Coolie No. 1 was the one movie I think I saw about 100 times. I was a huge fan of Kader Khan's work in the film and was skeptical about the new Coolie No. 1 which we've been told to not compare - but with the same storyline and same director, is it possible?
Coolie No. 1 begins with the undercurrents of revenge and motive - and that forms what happens in this comedy of errors from the start to the end, and every character serves a purpose in driving the story home (which isn't something that is common in Hindi cinema, so kudos to David Dhawan on that one right off the bat). Varun Dhawan is Raju Coolie and he falls in love with Sara Ali Khan's character at first sight (by photo). One thing leads to another and he falsifies his life to make her his wife but in order to hide his truth, he needs to come up with more lies...and that's the crux of it all.
Let's make one thing clear. Most of the dialogues are the same, the storyline is the same, the situations are the same - with some different settings, and new songs. The songs that have been revived are actually quite watchable and I enjoyed Varun and Sara's twist on them ("MIrchi Lagi Toh" and "Husn Hai Suhana"). The songs are well choreographed and the locales are stunning in the first half. Full credit to the team behind the camera for delivering a good looking product.
Does the comedy from the 90s work in 2020? Surprisingly, yes. Varun Dhawan is phenomenal on his own and I soon forget all about Govinda comparisons (a feat I did not think I could accomplish but I did - but that credit goes to him). Varun Dhawan owns his character(s) and I've always been a fan of his hard work, dedication, and conviction. Sara Ali Khan is good in the role she is given - there are times when her voice actually sounds like Karisma Kapoor's voice so it takes you back to the earlier Coolie No. 1. Interestingly, Paresh Rawal plays the role of her father - the role that had been played by the late Kader Khan. I have to be honest - if there is one person who could have made that character completely their own and bring a completely fresh take on the father's role in terms of accent, wear, but kept the soul of the character intact - it would be Paresh Rawal. He does a tremendous job. Smart move by the makers on this - to make that character very different in terms of body language and style.
Shikha Talsania and Sahil Vaid were such a nice, fun addition to this one. Finally, we get to see leads (I will call them a lead pair of the film because of the track they are given) who look glamourous in their own skin. Thank you, David Dhawan, for thinking out of the box and hiring two incredible artists for these characters. Rajpal Yadav made me smile, as he was up to his usual antics. He just makes me laugh. I wish I saw a bit more of Johnny Lever as he's always been a special part of comedies.
I'll be honest. I was weary but I was determined to watch this film with an open mind. And thank goodness I did - because I ended up smiling constantly throughout the watching of this film. David Dhawan has done it again - I quite enjoyed this one!