d45c79d40cff03e3ac231fb03a2aa5e8-2DEEWANE HUYE PAAGAL. Players: Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal, Sunil Shetty, Shahid Kapoor, Rimi Sen. Music: Anu Malik. DVD (EROS).

In the same zany tradition of several recent comedies that have roped together Kumar, Shetty, and Rawal (Hera Pheri, Awara Paagal Deewana, Phir Hera Pheri), Deewane Huye Paagal is actually a well thought-out extended joke. Banking mostly on the interplay between Kumar playing the sexy hunk and Rawal as a cantankerous older fool, Deewane Huye Paagal comes across as a benign, surefooted laugh-fest that succeeds on Kumar and Rawal’s comic timing.

Based on the Ben Stiller comedy There’s Something About Mary, Deewane Huye Paagal finds one woman (Sen, who was featured as Abhishek Bachchan’s onscreen wife in Dhoom) fending off lecherous moves by several potential male suitors (Kumar, Shetty, Kapur, and even Rawal) who all invent various schemes to entice her. She relocates to Dubai where, much to her chagrin, the men and their attendant shenanigans follow.

Unlike other recent successful comedies (Bunty Aur Babli, Bluffmaster), however, where Deewane Huye Paagal fails is coming up with a likable musical score. Malik—perhaps spread too thin across the several scores he is working on simultaneously—delivers music that seldom rises above mediocrity. Also, the narration (provided by none other than Vivek Oberoi) is flat, and the use of physical handicap for comic value is downright wince-inducing.

Then again, where Deewane Huye Paagal redeems itself, is in the use of a gorgeous Dubai backdrop. Bhatt’s direction is free of serious flaws and the major players (especially Kumar, Rawal, and Sen) genuinely appear to be having fun. On EROS’s DVD the sound is decent and the colors are evenly saturated, especially during the climax in the sand dunes. For a tongue-in-cheek comedy, Deewane Huye Paagal may just leave the viewer smiling.

—Aniruddh Chawda

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