"Comedic Family Chaos"
What You Need To Know:
Relatively free of explicit content, the strength of MUBARAKAN lies in its charming cast, enjoyable musical numbers, and lighthearted tone, even if it feels forced and over the top throughout the movie. If you can get over the movie’s boisterous sound effects and loud tone, there are numerous laughs to enjoy. Also, the musical numbers are good, stylistic fun. However, the energetic fun loses steam towards the end, and there aren’t enough laughs to keep viewers interested. Also, MUBARAKAN is full of family members constantly deceiving each other and mostly getting away with it. In addition, strong Hindu pagan messages are included, and there’s moral relativism throughout. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises that MUBARAKAN is excessive.
(PaPaPa, FRFR, B, Ho, L, V, S, AA, DD, MM) Very strong paganism, with Hinduism throughout, including multiple scenes of temple worship and some references to “god’s” work, and one character and his family are Muslim, plus some moral elements and a homosexual joke; several mild profanities; mild scenes depicting a car crash, a man falls out of a window for comedic effect; brief joke involving a character wondering if another character is homosexual; no nudity, but a few dance numbers involve women dancing with midriff showing; multiple instances of characters in bars, getting drinks, having wine with dinner, and a main character is often drunk; a main element of the plot involves the protagonist pretending to have a drug addiction with various comedic scenes with characters being suspicious of this; and, a depiction of a dysfunctional family that lies to one another.
MUBARAKAN is a wacky, feel-good Bollywood comedy about the tangled web of arranged marriages in a dysfunctional family in India. From mistaken identities to misunderstandings to hidden secrets, nothing is off the table in this lengthy comedy. Relatively free of explicit content, the charming cast of MUBARAKAN delivers enough laughs to entertain a wide range of audience members, but ultimately suffers due to its almost three-hour runtime. While the content may seem appropriate, the movie is full of family members constantly deceiving each other and (mostly) getting away with it, so the entertainment should be taken with a moral grain of salt.
Karan and Charan are twin brothers who couldn’t be more different. Karan is living life to the fullest, enjoying parties and life in London, while Charan follows the rules with his family in Punjabi. Both men have serious girlfriends, but each is afraid to introduce them to their parents. Karan’s mother hates his girlfriend, Sweety, and Charan’s father would never approve of him dating a Muslim girl in their Hindu family.
When the family tries to arrange a marriage between Karan and a young woman named Binkle, he and his uncle Kartar hatch a plan to pretend that Charan is a drug addict so Binkle’s family will reject him, and he’ll be able to be with his Muslim girlfriend, Nafisa, instead. The plan goes well, and Binkle’s family refuses to accept a marriage between their daughter and a drug addict.
Unfortunately for Charan, his father is so offended at Binkle’s rejection that he swears to have Charan married to another woman within the month. As luck would have it, Charan’s father picks Sweety, Karan’s girlfriend. Meanwhile, in order to make amends to Binkle’s family, Karan’s mother promises him to Binkle instead. Too afraid to tell their family about their secret affairs, both brothers have somehow found themselves engaged to each other’s girlfriends.
The strength of MUBARAKAN lies in its charming cast, enjoyable musical numbers, and lighthearted tone, even if it feels forced and over the top throughout most of the movie. If you can get over the movie’s boisterous sound effects and loud tone, there are actually numerous laughs to enjoy, and the musical numbers are good, stylistic fun.
However, it’s all just not enough to merit a 156-minute runtime. The plot alone is exhausting as the audience tries to keep up with the twists and turns. The story’s structure is all over the place and gets more and more complicated as Charan and Karan scheme with their uncle to get out of their lie. Even the energetic fun loses steam towards the end, and there aren’t enough laughs to keep viewers interested.
Being Hindi cinema out of India, practically all the characters are practicing Hindus with multiple scenes taking place with the family worshipping in the temple. “God” is brought up in numerous conversations, especially when talking about the romantic fate of Karan and Charan. As one character puts it, “Fate is in god’s hands. Whatever he decides, he makes matches in heaven.” Another character is impressed by Charan’s religious fervor.
The movie is particularly troublesome from a behavioral standpoint. All of the conflict stems from Charan and Karan refusing to tell their families the truth about their girlfriends. Throughout the movie they are forced to include more and more people in their ruse, but they never reach a moment of coming clean. Ultimately, the problem works itself out, with their girlfriends being the ones to tell the truth. Most the blame falls on the family for being so insistent on the marriages that they forced Charan and Karan to lie in the first place. The movie takes a very “All’s well that ends well” attitude, which perhaps is fitting for a movie that plays out like a goofy Shakespearean comedy of errors.
If moviegoers are looking for a few silly laughs, MUBARAKAN will deliver as they sit back and let themselves be entertained by the spectacle. Sadly, the laughs run out halfway through the lengthy runtime of the movie. In addition, the strong Hindu messages and some moral relativism are excessive, especially for media-wise moviegoers.