Coolie No. 1 Cast:
Lead Roles: Varun Dhawan, Paresh Rawal, Sara Ali Khan
Supporting Roles: Sahil Vaid, Shikha Talsania, Jaaved Jaaferi, Johny Lever, Manoj Joshi, Anil Dhawan, Bharti Achrekar, Rajpal Yadav.
Director: David Dhawan
The movie is a remake of 1995’s Coolie No. 1 starring Govinda and Karishma Kapoor, which was itself a remake of a 1993’s Tamil film Chinna Mipallai, starring Prabhu and Sukanya in lead roles. Both the original and remake films have been directed by David Dhawan. In the first film, we didn’t get any backstory but in the 2020 iteration, we get to see an animated story in which Raju has separated from his mother when he stepped out from the train and couldn’t go back and how he was raised on the railway station and became a coolie.
The screenplay and dialogues have been written by Rumi Jaffrey and Fahad Samji respectively, as expected, the story is the same as the original one.
Coolie No. 1 (2020) is all about how a pandit gets his revenge on a greedy father by making his daughter marry a Coolie. The Govinda starrer had a degree of innocence which has been missing in the new one which makes this film like a pale shadow. Govinda’s acting and his effortless clowning helped viewers to ignore the problematic plot, which benefited the film and it becomes a hit.
Although, everything is enhanced, except the story, in the new Coolie No 1. The Coolie played by Varun Dhawan, now works in a Mumbai railway station, which is again copied by Amitabh Bacchan starrer film Coolie (1983). The actress’s father isn’t a Hoshiarchand from a village but now has changed with Jeffrey Rozario played by Paresh Raval from Goa. Although, he still has an annoying brother-in-law, played by Rajpal Yadav.
The coolie Raju falls in love with the daughter of the greedy father, Rozario. The pandit makes Raju a fake-prince who tries to impresses Rozario for becoming his son-in-law. For this, coolie claims to be the son of the “King of Singapore” posing not as a mere millionaire, but a billionaire.
Although, he is a tough guy who beats an uncouth passenger to help an older coolie. But the poor guy’s attempts to find a wife yield no results because of his coolie life. Raju Coolie’s car mechanic-friend Deepak (Sahil Vaid) takes a liking to Jeffrey’s other daughter Anjali (Shikha Talsania) like the original film. But Rozario wants to marry his daughter with Raju’s twin brother, and the funny part is that there is no twin in the whole film. Lastly, a climax scene of the hospital with some fun and an action sequence.
Moreover, the songs are not as dull as the storyline is, such as Varun Dhawan and Sara Ali dancing to popular songs such as Husan Hai Suhana, Mirchi Lagi To Main Kya Karu, and song, Teri Bhabhi Khadi Hai and more.
Let’s talk about the technical aspects, the main obstacle to the success of this film was its 25-year’s old concept, which is not liked by current generations in the world of OTT platforms, which has been provided new and epic notions. Though, the cinematography is a pretty good, huge set and beautiful camera work by Ravi K Chandra.
Furthermore, the acting part, particularly for Varun Dhawan and Sarah Ali Khan, is not as good as their previous films such as Badlapur and Kedarnath. Moreover, it has many action and romance scenes that have not been required, though, are there just to build a Bollywood hero image. The same thing happened with supporting actors such as Sahil Vaid, Shikha Talsania, Jaaved Jaaferi, Johny Lever, Manoj Joshi, Anil Dhawan, Bharti Achrekar, Rajpal Yadav, who have not given their best.
The most irritating part was mimicking many Bollywood stars – Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Nana Patekar, and even Dilip Kumar. It has also a glance of stereotypical things, for instance, a coolie cannot be fair, and body shaming jokes.
In the end, Varun Dhawan is trying to perform everything in the film such as romance, action, dance, but he ends up with nothing.
This film is available on Amazon Prime Video.
In my opinion, before making this, the filmmakers have forgotten that the world has changed now, there is no scope for a reboot version of any old films.