It is intriguing to observe how mediocre writers create tertiary characters. Those with a singular trait to flaunt and sans too many scenes to be a part of. In Namaste England, which is set in 2018, we hear them mouth archaic dialogues on the lines of, “London ki high society ke saath party koi bhi enjoy karega!” (Anybody will enjoy rubbing shoulders with the London elite.) This Vipul Amrutlal Shah film stems from the school of cinema which would have sounded medieval even a decade back. It is not that the film’s predecessor (not the prequel) Namastey London bred different intents. However, the said film had devices in its screenplay which could pull off all the schmaltz and hype around a British city (London). Interestingly, the glitch lies in the fact that Namaste England at the outset is not about the country or the city of London. It baffles us when it suddenly chooses to be one.
The female protagonist Jasmeet (Parineeti Chopra) is a jewellery designer who would be more than happy if her folks had let her pursue a career in the modest city of Amritsar. She marries the love of her life Param (Arjun Kapoor) but her family takes a bizarre promise wherein she would not be allowed to work post marriage because a woman’s place remains within the four walls of her home (!!!). Smart, educated and ambitious, Jasmeet knows no way out but to move to London which requires a visa. How about New Delhi, Mumbai or any other Indian metro, I thought to myself? After all, the film preaches incessantly on how India is booming in every sector and how it has carved a definite identity for itself in less than a century. The scene in question is an obvious throwback to what Akshay Kumar had aced a decade ago in Namastey London. Now, neither does Arjun Kapoor match Kumar in terms of charisma nor does the film stay rooted in what it is trying to convey. The result is a monotonous, ineffective monologue which generates no emotion, let alone patriotism. The forced ‘Vande Mataram’ background piece does not affect us either.
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