Home / Mint-lounge / Features /  Film Review | Mere Dad Ki Maruti

It’s the wedding of Chandigarh businessman Tej Khullar’s daughter, and he wants to gift his prospective son-in-law a Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. Why not a Duster or a Land Cruiser? Khullar (Ram Kapoor) declares his long-lasting love for the vehicle—cue a plug for the car manufacturer. Besides, “Mere Dad Ki Duster" or “Mere Dad Ki Grand Vitara" doesn’t quite have the same ring. But the cheeky joke about Khullar’s brand loyalty is that he is a skinflint who wants to save money at every possible opportunity.

Khullar’s new purchase is taken for a spin by his irresponsible son Sameer (Saqib Saleem), also known as Smeer, who badly wants to impress college pin-up Jasleen (Rhea Chakraborty). We can close our eyes and tell that she is “hot" since every time she comes into view, the Punjabi music-inflected soundtrack pauses to include an orgasmic “Aaaaah" sound. However, Sameer, who probably watched Dude, Where’s My Car? very recently, loses the vehicle and goes on a hectic hunt through Chandigarh along with his BFF Gattu (Prabal Panjabi).

The new release from Y-Films, the youth division of Yash Raj Films, is also its most accomplished. Deftly directed by Ashima Chibber, and written by her, Pooja Desai and Neeraj Udhwani, the 141-minute narrative moves smoothly and snappily from one incident to the next. Ishita Moitra’s hilarious and well-observed dialogue perfectly captures the vocabulary and speech patterns of the adolescent leads. One of the movie’s running jokes is that Gattu can’t understand a word being uttered by Ravi Kishen’s Pathani gangster, who is one of many potential Ertiga suppliers to an increasingly manic Sameer.

Chibber also handles her cast admirably. Debutant Saleem syncs perfectly with Panjabi, Kapoor is suitably cracked as Sameer’s father, while Chakraborty amply fulfils her job description, which is to look “hot" in children-sized clothing.

Mere Dad Ki Maruti released in theatres on Friday.

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