Nikamma is lazy version of masala entertainment

Shilpa Shetty and Abhimanyu Dassani play bhabhi and devar in Nikamma. Photo: Universal Communications

Let us see what makes this 2.28 hours ordeal that is Nikamma. Never mind if the film is based on a reportedly average Telugu film, Middle-Class Abbayi, in an era when remakes are fast becoming passé, as it is the time of bi- and tri-linguals and the originals are available on streaming platforms.

Never mind also that the film shares the title of a 1983 Randhir Kapoor-Neetu Singh flop and that the video of Neetu dancing to the re-creation of the hit Himesh Reshammiya song from Kya Dil Ne Kahaa that forms this film’s title-track has gone viral!

The story weakly (as it turns out) tries to explore the devar-bhabhi relationship. Aditya (Abhimanyu Dassani) is sent by his brother Raman (Samir Soni) to stay with his wife Anvi (Shilpa Shetty) to a town where she is an RTO (Regional Transport Office) officer. No, the couple has not split but their jobs have kept them apart, as Raman is posted in Bangalore.

The reason for this is that Aditya is a nikamma (useless and aimless drifter) and the couple feels that he will soon outgrow that phase when he stays there. But Aditya seems a tough nut to crack and he begins to dislike his sister-in-law who makes him look after the household chores as she is busy in her work. He now plans to run away, but Natasha (Shirley Setia) then enters his life and she instantly wants to marry him!

Meanwhile, Avni gets into an ongoing long spat with Vikramjit Bisht (Abhimanyu Shekhar Singh), who runs a taxi service named Super and is ruthless and in cahoots with Avni’s boss (Sanjeev Bhatia) to expand his business illegally.

As Vikramjit decides to kill Avni who is relentlessly after him, Aditya comes to know the truth about Avni’s love and concern for him and decides to fight Vikramjit and protect her.

Shilpa Shetty impresses despite an ill-etched role, and Shirley Setia is an interesting new find for the movies. Abhimanyu Dassani, who has had two hyped duds in Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota and Meenakshi Sundareshwar, is okay at action but otherwise needs to work a lot harder at everything else if he has to have a lasting career. Abhimanyu Shekhar Singh is alright as the villain. The rest of the cast go about the motions, with Sachin Khedekar and Vikram Gokhale being wasted.

Everything important about the film—the screenplay, direction and music—are way below average, and the length could have been curtailed by a good 20 minutes at least.

If at all, this film had to be made. Formulae, cliches, stereotypes, tropes, templates—everything that works in larger-than-life masala movies today does so because of some ingenious novel nuances that lead to contemporary appeal. All of them are absent in this lazily concocted and contrived drama.

Rating: ** (Almost)

Sony Pictures , Himesh & Sabbir Khan Films’ Nikamma  Produced & Directed by: Sabbir Khan Written by: Venu Sriram, Sabbir Khan & Sanamjit Singh Talwar  Music: Himesh Reshammiya, Amaal Mallik, Javed Mohsin, Vipin Patwa & Gourav Dasgupta Starring: Shilpa Shetty, Abhimanyu Dassani, Shirley Setia, Abhimanyu Singh, Sachin Khedekar, Sanjeev Bhatia, Aarti Kulkarni, Samir Soni, Anjuman Saxena, Rajesh Balwani, Vikram Gokhale & others





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