Entertainment fails to live up to its name

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Directed by Sajid Samji and Farhad Samji. Starring Akshay Kumar and Tamannaah Bhatia. In Hindi with English subtitles. Rated PG. Now playing 

In their directorial debut, the writing duo known as Sajid-Farhad have created a jumbled film that defies genre placement and leaves the viewer with a lingering sense of bewilderment.

Akhil Lokhande (Akshay Kumar) is a hard worker whose plans to marry his girlfriend, Saakshi (Tamannaah Bhatia), are thwarted by her father (Mithun Chakraborty), who demands that he become wealthy first. Upon discovering that he is adopted and his real father is a recently deceased Bangkok-based diamond merchant, Akhil leaves for Thailand to find his fortune.

Here, he is foiled by his father’s will, in which the entire estate has been bequeathed to his pet dog, Entertainment. (The dog is given top billing in the film as Junior). Akhil and his friend Jugnu (Krishna Abhishek) scheme to defeat the dog. They are prevented by the cunning skills of the canine and the loyalty of the estate’s lawyer, Habibullah (Johnny Lever).

The equation is further complicated when two distant cousins enter the scene to steal the estate. They are played by Sonu Sood and Prakash Raj in roles that mock their turns as the famous villains in the Dabangg films.

This could have worked as a children’s movie. The film’s humour relies heavily on linguistic gags that are reminiscent of elementary-school word play. However, there is also an inordinate amount of references to Bollywood stars and film titles, an endless stream of industry in-jokes, and some very adult sexism. In an ultimate example of a bad idea, the Indian nursery rhyme “Johnny Johnny” is transformed into a song about the joys of being drunk.

Any film with anthropomorphic dogs in it will obviously require a certain suspension of disbelief. This movie fails because it is neither fully fanciful nor fully realistic. It is merely nonsensical and tedious.

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