Cirkus: This Rohit Shetty Directorial Is More A ‘Golmaal’ Than ‘Comedy Of Errors’

A massive letdown from Rohit Shetty!

Cirkus (Hindi)

  • Cast: Ranveer Singh, Varun Sharma, Pooja Hedge, Jacqueline Fernandez, Murali Sharma, Sanjay Mishra, Mukesh Tiwari, Siddarth Jadhav, Johnny Lever, and Deepika Padukone (special appearance)
  • Director: Rohit Shetty
  • Producers: Rohit Shetty and T series
  • Music: Devi Sri Prasad, Badshah, and Lijo George-DJ Chetas
  • Runtime: 2 hours and 18 minutes

William Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors is a play that naturally lends itself to a delicious comedy. The play has seen several movie adaptions in different languages.

For example, in 1982, Gulzar made Angoor with Sanjeev Kumar and Devan Verma. It was much appreciated for its subtlety and clever humour. The performances, led by Sanjeev Kumar, were the icing on the cake.

There is also the Kannada film Ulta Palta which was remade in Telugu by the same name.

Cirkus, directed by Rohit Shetty, is the latest addition to the movies inspired by Comedy of Errors. But the sensibilities of Rohit are vastly different from that of a filmmaker like Gulzar.

Rohit primarily specialises in two kinds of films: First is the Golmaal franchise which runs on slapstick comedy, and the other is the macho cops seen in Singham and Simbaa, among others.

Although slapstick in nature, the Golmaal films were fun to watch because there was a method to the madness. However, Rohit Shetty’s Cirkus comes across as a hurried project where the director took the audience for granted.

Here, Rohit Shetty tries to incorporate a social message: How a person’s nurturing is more important than his bloodline. It is a noble idea. However, it is something which comes across as more of an afterthought.

An experiment with twins

The film begins with the introduction of Dr Roy (Murali Sharma) who is hell-bent on proving that nurture always trumps nature.

To prove that he is right, Dr Roy separates two sets of identical twins who have been set up for adoption. The first pair of boys are adopted by a circus owner and are named Roy and Joy. Strangely, the other couple also names the twins with the same names!

The first Roy (Ranveer Singh) and Joy (Varun Sharma) run the circus of their late father. Roy’s wife Mala (Pooja Hedge) writes thrillers under a mysterious pen name.

The second Roy (Ranveer Singh) and Joy (Varun Sharma) are raised in Bangalore by a rich businessman. The second Roy has a girlfriend Bindu (Jacqueline Fernandez) whose father Rai Sahab (Sanjay Mishra) and his secretary Prem (Anil Charanjeet) are always spying on them.

There is a unique connection that both the Roys share. The first Roy, who lives in Ooty, can handle live electricity without getting harmed. Whenever current flows through him, the other Roy who lives in Bangalore, feels the shock.

Murali Sharma acts as a doctor-cum-narrator who monitors both sets of twins while not letting the secret out.

Things take a comic turn when the second Roy and Joy have to go to Ooty. From here on, we move to mistaken identities and deliberately over-the-top situations.

The rest of the story is about how all the mess is cleared up and what happens at the end.

The positives

Before getting into the negatives, it is necessary to get done with the few positives.

Cirkus is majorly set in the 1960s and, to give credit where it is due, the retro music has been smartly integrated.

Particular mention has to be made of the situations where the characters mimic signature steps of that era while they are under electric shock. It becomes repetitive after a point. But still, it brings in some laughs.

The movie has a huge ensemble but the actor who stands out is Sanjay Mishra.

The senior actor embraces the overtop tone and somehow manages to make his lines funny. His interactions with both the Ranveers are fun to watch.

Anil Charanjeet as the secretary is also pitch-perfect in his portrayal.

Ranveer gives it his all to the double role. He is more effective than the first Roy. It is refreshing to see the actor playing a family man. There is also some physical comedy which Ranveer pulls off convincingly.

Out of the two heroines, Pooja Hedge fares better, although her being a writer could have been better explored.

The negatives

The biggest issue with Rohit Shetty’s Cirkus is the lack of connective tissue. Many of the jokes feel recycled from the Golmaal films and this becomes bothersome pretty fast.

Also, the angle of nature versus nurture gets buried under the slapstick humour. It resurfaces towards the end but it is too late by then.

Rohit Shetty handled multiple characters with success in the past. But here, the characterisations are mostly sketchy.

The sketchiness becomes even more glaring with how Varun Sharma has been portrayed. The actor becomes more of a sidekick. As a result, neither of the Joys leaves an impact.

Further, the much-needed comic camaraderie between Ranveer and Varun Sharma is sorely missing.

In keeping with Rohit Shetty’s previous films, Cirkus is also colourful to look at. However, the colours feel too statured after a point.

The music composed by Devi Sri Prasad, Badshah and Lijo-George DJ Chetas is pleasant to hear.

Sun Zara” sung by Shreya Ghosal and Papon is soothing. On the other hand, “Current Laga Re” has an energetic beat. Ranveer’s dance with his real-life partner adds some masti.

Verdict

Cirkus is a massive letdown from a director who has been successful in entertaining the masses. It is time for Rohit Shetty to rethink his strategy!

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