27 July 2019 | boblipton
The Way Movie Comedies Are Made
Can you make a farce about a police force that accepts bribes, misuses its authority to break contracts to promote girl friends for its members and ultimately promotes criminals to kill each other in public? Well, you can make a farce about anything. Depending on how you handle it, it can actually be funny. This movie pulls out the stops in terms of reducing the war on crime to a sports-season elimination match and individual gunfights to video-game notation as one way of dehumanizing criminals, making their deaths funnier to an audience predisposed to dislike them anyway. Why it makes all the criminals Sikhs is not something that is clear to me, unless it's simply because its set in the Punjab.
It starts out with a screenwriter trying to talk a movie producer into buying his script. On hearing it has lots of heroes, criminals, jokes, a beautiful girl or six, and several dance numbers, the producer announces he has never read a script in his career and accepts. the writer insists on reading the script to him anyway.
Diljit Dosanjh wins a judo competition, which means he is hired to be a police captain at a small station. He has no training for the job, and he accepts the station door that falls off, the cow kept on the grounds, and is baffled by the computer on his desk. His first order of business is to acquire a girl friend, and he soon settles on statuesque newscaster Sunny Leone. His second order of business is to please his superior by wiping out crime in his precinct. His means of attaining this is to figure out who the criminals in his district are, then set them against each other. He and his staff keep charts like a elimination tournament while the bad guys eliminate each other, then claim that 'the police are always late' Miss Leone begins to catch on, and she disapproves of the unnecessary deaths.
It's clear me that there are many efforts made to dehumanize the characters in the movie, to make it easier to laugh at their bloody deaths. The movie makes it clear that it is a fiction. When the criminals are fighting, little eight-bit video game scores appear next to them as they get shot, knifed or hit by a brick. Just at the point where matters grow serious, there is a musical number.
These efforts are partially successful. It's not clear to me that someone involved in the production wasn't intent on satirically deconstructing the way things work, both in the corrupt real world and in movies. If so, it remains stuck deep in the subtext of the film.
Some of the jokes worked. Some didn't.