By Arun Sajnani
COOLIE NO.#1 “Heaven on the Docks…Whiskey on the Rock…” is the only new dialogue added to the remake script and movie for David Dhawan’s 45th film – “COOLIE#1”. This time you have the directors son, Varun Dhawan & Sara Ali Khan in the new remake version of the 90’s comedy hit.
Some of the songs are still intact for the 90’s nostalgia, but feels very bland in comparison to the original, It was an over the top film earlier, where you felt Govinda, Kader Khan and Karisma Kapoor were ad-libbing, and there was this raw natural flair that came out of it. In the new version the performances by all, especially by Varun Dhawan, Sara Ali Khan with limited scope, and Paresh rawal as the father-in-law, appear mechanical and dry.
The story is again about the simple “Coolie” -Porter who lifts peoples luggage at the railways station for money is his meager job. He dreams of marrying a beautiful rich girl played by sara Ali Khan. He has no money, but has big dreams. These dreams are achieved by a pundit played by Javed Jafri. He plans a whole facade to get revenge on Hoshiyar Chand, played by Paresh Rawal. He is rich and is very possessive of his 2 daughters. So the pundit comes up with Raja being a fave billionaire, and gets the marriage to take place. Only later she finds out that he has been thrown out by his rich father out of his inheritance. Now this is all fake and made up so that he can be his true self for the time being. She still stays on with “Coolie No.1” – Raja, for they are very much in love.
This is where all the comedy of errors begin. I personally felt the original and the new one were flat, so the end result is same. Plus Varun Dhawan in the lead tries too hard to be over the top, that it becomes annoying at times. He should have been more natural and diverse. The film gets a 2 star recommendation for this Christmas bonanza, now streaming on Amazon Prime.