‘Cirkus’ Review: A Circus With Great Performers but No Attractions

Rohit Shetty's 'Cirkus' stars Ranveer Singh and Varun Sharma in double roles.

Movie Reviews
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Even beyond Ram Aur Shyam (1967) and Seeta Aur Geeta (1972), Bollywood’s tryst with twins and comedy of errors is a tale as old as time. Ranveer Singh-starrer Cirkus takes inspiration from yet another iconic film in the same vein – Angoor (1982).

Cirkus is the story of two sets of identical twins Roy and Joy (played by Singh and Varun Sharma respectively) separated at birth for a doctor’s “experiment”.

Jacqueline Fernandez, Ranveer Singh, and Varun Sharma in a still from Cirkus.

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

The ethics of such an experiment are brushed under the carpet under the garb of the ‘greater good’ and that’s just one of the film’s problems. 


The Rohit Shetty film is tackling an intriguing concept – the stigma surrounding adoption and the outdated idea of ‘lineage’ or apna khoon (one’s own blood) – but it’s relegated to few preachy dialogues spoken directly to the audience and then to the characters. 

Everything in Cirkus is hammed up, from music to performances, it’s less of a visual treat and more of an overload.

That’s a pity considering the film’s cast which consists of a score of comic actors. Mukesh Tiwari and Ashwini Kalsekar who are a laugh riot on screen together (as evidenced by Shetty’s Golmaal series) barely get their dues here. 

Ashwini Kalsekar in a still from Cirkus.

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

Even Johny Lever, Varun Sharma, Sanjay Mishra, Vrajesh Hirjee, and Sulbha Arya, to mention a few seem to be firing on all cylinders but their jetpacks, unfortunately, lack any fuel to support them.

Johny Lever in a still from Cirkus.

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

The script is predictable and that’s the least of the film’s concerns. A wonderful and able cast is woefully underutilised. 

Some jokes and gags do land but that is true only if your tolerance for dad jokes is as high as mine (and that is saying a lot). Ranveer Singh and Varun Sharma, for their part, do manage to distinguish their two roles in the film, but there's nothing else to write home about.

Jacqueline Fernandez and Pooja Hegde achieve what their roles ask of them (spoiler: they don’t ask for much).

The music, credited to DSP, Lijo George- DJ Chetas and Badshah, with lyrics by Kumaar & Badshah, is catchy and little else. To its credit, the track ‘Current Laga Re’ featuring a magnificent cameo by Deepika Padukone has definite earworm potential. 

A still from Cirkus' track 'Current Laga Re' featuring Deepika Padukone.

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

Cirkus could also have been a much shorter film if there wasn’t one slow motion shot followed by another. Despite all of this, maybe a restructuring of the genre or a rewriting of tropes could’ve helped the film.

But almost every part of the film has been done before – a rag tag trio of thieves with one character being the primary comic effect (Pappi bhai in Golmaal 3), a climax scene in a circus (Phir Hera Pheri), to bring forth a few instances. 

Mukesh Tiwari in a still from Cirkus.

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

Tropes or scenes repeating isn’t a cardinal sin, of course, but originality is essential in a film relying so heavily on physical comedy – especially for a director known for his comedy set pieces.

One entertaining thing about the film is the use of retro Bollywood music, especially when characters experiencing an electric shock seem to be mimicking signature steps from the songs. Cirkus is a film resting on the shoulders of its star cast without giving them much to work with.

And that’s why it fails as a comedy even though every person on screen struggles not to let it. 

Rating: 1.5 Quints of 5

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