Varun Dhawan and Sara Ali Khan in Coolie No 1.

Review: ‘Coolie No 1’ Doesn’t Score on Humour, Story or Acting

The film stars Varun Dhawan and Sara Ali Khan in the lead.

Movie Reviews
2 min read

Coolie No. 1

Review: ‘Coolie No 1’ Doesn’t Score on Humour, Story or Acting

Coolie No 1 vs 'Coolie' with the son ? The former had an irresistible charm, Kader Khan’s dialogues and impeccable comic timing and the feel-good vibe Govinda so effortlessly brought on screen made it a fun watch. The latter has released well past its 'best before' date. Varun Dhawan is no Govinda, Sara Ali Khan is no Karisma. Paresh Rawal is no Kader Khan and David Dhawan has forgotten he is making a film for a completely different audience and with completely different sensibilities. So Coolie No 1 (2020) is just burdensome !

Simple question - why would anyone sit through something as frustratingly flat as this new Coolie, played by David Dhawan’s son, (and streaming on Amazon Prime Video) when the original is so delightfully entertaining? Why? If you are from the Dhawan khandaan, you may take a chance because to see David Dhawan's son step into Govinda‘s shoes is sure to have made the 'papa' proud. But for us who have no filial love for Dhawan Jr there is nothing new on offer. The same poor guy-rich girl trope, an angry and arrogant ladki ka baap, and except for some Modi-Ambani- Adnani-Trump references inserted half heartedly, nobody cared to update anything.

Varun Dhawan romances Sara Ali Khan in '<i>Mirchi Lagi Toh</i>' from <i>Coolie No 1</i>.
Varun Dhawan romances Sara Ali Khan in 'Mirchi Lagi Toh' from Coolie No 1.
(Photo courtesy: YouTube screengrab)

Most of the songs are remixed, the slapstick humour so outdated and cringeworthy that we can’t help but stare in disbelief at the crap that is being dished out as entertainment and at Varun Dhawan's meticulously 'tanned' face to give him what the makers feel an appropriate “coolie” look. Someone is stammering, someone is lisping, body-shaming jokes are cracked - if Coolie No 1 doesn’t make you sad it definitely will make you angry because laughing or even a weak smile is almost impossible to achieve because of how tedious it is.

Varun Dhawan isn’t a bad performer at all but he has to realise he can’t pretend to be a Salman or Govinda just because they were in films made by his father and he grew up watching them.

A copy will always be a copy. Sara is so visibly uncomfortable and out of place that it was a pain watching her. The world has changed and Dhawan senior did not get the memo, is it? An advice to both Govinda and Varun Dhawan fans - avoid the film.

Our rating: Half Quints Out of Five

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