Cast: Kirron Kher, Kanwaljit Singh, Jackie Shroff, Divya Dutta, Viraf Patel, Sachin Sharma, Simran
Directed by Pammi Somal
Rating: Bummer Punjabi
Unlike the wrapped remains of pre-historic Egyptians, the Punjabi mummy has a lot to offer. From hip-shaking jhatkas to jaw-chilling phatkas (slaps), this mother of melodrama, can give any K-serial bahu a run for her money. Cumulatively, 'Mummy Punjabi' compiles an eclectic collection of stereotypes from Hindi films, past, present and even those lost in time.
Set in the semi-metro of Punjab, Chandigarh, the film presents the life and times of Baby (Kirron Kher). Fondly called as Babyji, she is the mother of Simran (who has a misplaced calling for Bolywood) and two sons, Karan (Sachin Sharma) and Arjun (Viraf Patel). They're often seen squinting as Baby squeezes their cheeks while muttering, "Mere Karan-Arjun…". One is a smart-ass doctor and the other a timid club owner. When a mother is called 'Baby', her babies end up being rotten as hell. So when Baby says, "Maine bahut duniya dekhi hain," Karan adds, "40+ online chatrooms mein!" But what's even worse is that he's not even kidding.
Baby's life revolves around two comfortably round kitty party aunties, her stay-home investment guru husband (Kanwaljit Singh), the forever charmed neighbour Kanwal (Jackie Shroff) and her maid (Divya Dutta) who's a gossip queen who stores everything from her makeup kit to her gum in her blouse.
As the story is not even worth getting into, let's draw up a list of scenes that will make the back of your neck crawl. First, Baby is lounging in her garden when her son's prospective NRI in-laws' car pulls in. Baby shouts, "Kya aap log foreign se hain?" A mini-skirted item girl (probably rented from a discounted deal site) slides out of the car and responds, "United States of America!" Baby is all smiles. We are not. Second, Baby's big girl, Simran has her heart pounding for neighbourhood munda. But boy-next-door believes in all play and no love. He has two passions, playing the guitar and kicking the football. In one scene he tells Simran off, declaring his life's mission, "Main Arsenal ke liye khelna chahta hoon!" Now we know why there's a thin line between dreaming big and being on LSD. There are also a few scenes on moral policing against bahus opting for dark lipsticks or dancing freestyle in traditional attire which will leave you to picture the rest of the movie.
In an industry where it is remarkable to see a 'Shaitan' or a 'Do Dooni Char' actually see the light of day, 'Mummy Punjabi' mocks the potential of low-budget productions. Debutant director Pammi Somal was earnest in her vision to blend 'Baghban' (yes, Mummy and Daddy Punjabi are forsaken by their kids later) and 'Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot'. But the story, screenplay, dialogues, music, performances sort of blurred that vision.
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