Govinda Naam Mera (2022) Review!!

Synopsis – The very charming Govinda Waghmare juggles his time and love between his wife Mrs. Waghmare and his girlfriend in this dose of chaos, confusion, and laughter.

My Take – Back in 90s and 2000s, slapstick comedies populated with colorful characters used to be highly favored among Hindi cinema-goers, for they used to deliver on the entertainment factor despite containing zero to no logic plot wise and twists wise.

Today, the scenario is different, as sans director Rohit Shetty, who is gearing up for the release of his next titled Cirkus this weekend, and director Anees Bazmee, who is still reeling in the success of this year’s rare blockbuster Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, the genius behind comedy of errors rarely get accepted.

Taking a page out of these former vibe, writer-director Shashank Khaitan for his latest, after mounting three endearing romantic films, aims to deliver an entertaining mix of comedy and mystery, seasoning it with the familiar masala. An attempt at which he fairly succeeds at.

Backed by a bunch of colorful characters and a lighthearted premise with just the right amount of humor and twists, this is one of those films that doesn’t take itself seriously till the last absurd ten minutes where it finally decides to unfold all its cards divulging all details behind its quirky murder mystery.

Yes, the song and dance sequences interrupt, but the lead trio look appealing on the screen with each actor holding on to their eccentric characteristics, delivering the right amount of fun, drama and romance to make for a decent weekend watch.

The story follows Govind A Waghmare, aka Govinda (Vicky Kaushal), a background dancer who aspires to become a choreographer, while being wedged between his marriage to Gauri (Bhumi Pednekar), who dominates and insults him at every opportunity, and his love for his dancer girlfriend, Suku (Kiara Advani).

When not juggling the two women, Govinda spends his time caring for his wheelchair-bound mother, Asha Waghmare (Renuka Shahane), who is anxious to reclaim her late husband’s property worth several crores, or scheming with his lawyer friend, Kaustubh Godbole (Amey Wagh) against his step brother, Vishnu (Akshay Gunawat), who is determined to take control over their late father’s property that is located at the center of Mumbai. However, when Gauri is found dead and Govinda is named the major suspect, his issues escalate and his life becomes a roller coaster.

Following the mixed response to Dhadak (2018) and his segment ‘Majnu’ in Ajeeb Daastaans (2021), here, writer-director Khaitan seems back in his element. For the most part, the film’s breezy vibe and back-to-back hilarious lines keep you entertained. He creates situational humor and believes in the power of his performers. He builds Govinda out of so much trouble that even his maid has more authority in his house than him. Everything he puts his hands on turns against him and now he has to save himself. So when comes a time he succeeds, you are bound to laugh.

The film could be making you laugh at silly things but is smart to put the correct silly things in the right order. At one point, Gauri lounges on a sofa while Govinda dances for her with the soundtrack is provided by her boyfriend, Baldev Chaddha (Viraj Ghelani), who sings tunelessly. She collapses with laughter at the sight of Govinda doing Hrithik Roshan’s dance moves because it’s supposed to be hilarious that Govinda thinks he can mimic that icon of masculinity. Leaving us torn between feeling bad for Govinda and wanting to laugh with Gauri.

But while the first half is filled with laugh-out-loud moments and more about the development of the characters, it is the second half when the film gets interesting as things start to unravel one by one. The twists are showcased fairly, making an impact, and one could not see them coming. That is until is falters completely with its absurd climax, which ruins the potential of the film to be counted as a good crime thriller.

The writing in the last forty minutes was superior, but it faltered in other places. Despite having a good potential to turn the film into a good crime thriller, the makers didn’t develop an exciting screenplay. The film thus takes a middling route to reach the climax, and hence the viewers won’t get engaged completely. Thankfully the cast keep us hooked throughout.

With an impressive lineup of patriotic and intense roles behind him, Vicky Kaushal has time and again proved that he is custom-made for high-octane serious dramas and periodic films but with this Disney+ Hotstar latest release, he proves that he is a versatile actor and his comic timing is as good as his serious performances. Here, Kaushal imbues Govinda with the right amount of energy and effortlessly blends into the setup. Kiara Advani plays her role admirably and with the zeal that her character demands. Kiara continues to impresses in whatever she is given and you are invested in the part she has in the story.

Despite a comparatively smaller role, Bhumi Pednekar manages to leave a mark for herself as the dominant, sadistic wife who derives pleasure in torturing her husband. Her scenes with Vicky in the first half are a major highlight. In supporting roles, Renuka Shahane, Amey Wagh, Trupti Khamkar, Dayanand Shetty, Viraj Ghelani, Sayyaji Shinde, Jeeva Ranjeet, Akshay Gunawat and Veenah Naair are a riot. On the whole, ‘Govinda Naam Mera’ is a harmless absurd comedy thriller that is peppered with quirks, thrills and suspense.

Directed –

Starring – Vicky Kaushal, Kiara Advani, Bhumi Pednekar

Rated – PG13

Run Time – 131 minutes

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