The ‘chacha-bhatija’ (uncle and cousin) formula is often seen in Hindi films. The ‘jodi’, who are typically partners in crime, confidently embark on bizarre plans that often have disastrous results. Guggu Gill and Ammy Virk play the sassy duo of Shinda and Makhna, respectively, who are like father and son, but with a difference. The two are drinking buddies, covering each other’s jokes and enjoying each other’s company. Makhna is footless and free of fantasy and his uncle also gets free rein when his wife leaves the country.
Oye Makhna marks the sixth collaboration between director Simerjit Singh and Virk, who previously collaborated on Angrez (2015), Nikka Zaildar (2016), Nikka Zaildar 2 (2017), Nikka Zaildar 3 (2019) and Muklawa (2019). The film marks a new collaboration and is being produced under the banner of Yoodlee Films, the film arm of Saregama India, which last year announced it will venture into Punjabi cinema after making its foray into Tamil and Marathi. -film industries.
The romantic comedy is related to Makhna’s search for a girl he sees at a traffic light and is completely in love. However, he has only been able to see her eyes and is determined to find her. With a wrong identity, he thinks she is the daughter of the irascible neighbor. But the problem is, she’s already engaged to someone else.
The uncle-cousin team hatches a plan to have the engagement broken by a hook or by a crook, to clear a path for Makhna to court her. This leads to hilarious situations, as the duo makes a circle-face on their bewildered neighbor (Hardeep Gill) and finds themselves making up stories to achieve their goal.
However, Makhna realizes (a little too late) that the girl of his dreams Rimple (Tania) is not the neighbour’s daughter. As the situation becomes more complex, relationships and emotions get entangled and people get hurt. The uncle-nephew relationship is also under pressure.
The first half mainly establishes the bond between the ‘chacha-bhatija jodi’, which remains central to the film. Together, the duo take refuge in gallons of alcohol, while the uncle vows to see his nephew happy no matter what. There is a lot of drunken philosophizing and liquid courage is urgently needed as they set out to face their deeds. While this is funny at first, it gets done with a heavy hand and gets a bit tiresome. The film also lags behind in its pace, as there are too long scenes and squirm unnecessarily before the various strands get stuck on a rather predictable ending.
In his eagerness to over-pack, writer Rakesh Dhawan adds a kind of social message that tells us about the plight of orchestral dancers, who struggle to make a living. This happens in a rather cursory way and one wonders if the only reason for inclusion was the fact that several Punjabi movies have delved into this particular topic in the recent past.
Ammy Virk and Tania’s performances are competent, with Guggu Gill stealing much of the spotlight with his effortless charisma. Often cast as a stern, hard-to-please character, it’s refreshing to see him star in a light-hearted film, where he gets the comedic timing right. Supporting roles Sukhwinder Chahal and Hardeep Gill enhance the general hilarity that ensues.
On the music front, there are some notable songs, starting with the opening dance song “Chad gayi chad gayi” sung by Neha Kakkar; followed by the love ballad “Chann Sitarey”, sung by Virk, with a stylized dream sequence. A romantic courtship song, “Main Cheez ki Haan”, unfolds the love between Rimple and Makhna.
An enjoyable movie overall, Oye Makhna has its heart in the right place. Despite all the misunderstandings and dishonest conspiracy, the characters don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, least of all those of their relatives. As Tania emphatically says, “Family always comes first”, so much so that the lovers decide to take the high road and sacrifice their love for the greater good. But all’s well that ends well, especially in a comedy of errors.
Oye Makhna movie cast: Ammy Virk, Guggu Gill, Tania, Hardeep Gill
Oye Makhna film director: Simerjit Singh
Oye Makhna Movie Review: 3 stars