Selfiee review: Does a small-town traffic cop, Om Prakash Agarwal (Emraan Hashmi), taking on a megastar, Vijay Kumar (Akshay Kumar), over a driver’s licence seem like an overstretch? Maybe. But the punchlines and performances in the remake of 2019 Malayalam film, Driving Licence, may make you overlook the feeble premise. A nod to Akshay’s stardom, with a movie called Don’t Angry Me, references to the scores of projects he does each year, being called a producer’s actor, and even his ‘jabde wali smile’ are delightful to watch. But Emraan’s turn as a super fan-turned-nemesis is equally noteworthy. He has a tight grip on his role, as he firmly maintains the middle-class and humble man act even when doing heroic things. One downside, though, is his Bhopali accent dropping intermittently.
Director Raj Mehta, who reunites with Akshay after Good Newwz, handles the movie’s first half adeptly, keeps it entertaining and breezy, and peppers it with hilarious one-liners that the actor delivers effortlessly. However, the second half, which centers around the face-off between the two heroes, is not as high on humour. It’s watchable, nevertheless, even if the parts that revolve around the licence test are a bit stretched. The outing also takes a dig at the trial by media phenomenon and the #BoycottBollywood movement. But, depicting instances of loud electronic media coverages is becoming repetitive and stale in our movies.
While the main leads shine, Abhimanyu Singh as a fading superstar Suraj and Meghna Malik as the starstruck corporator, Kamla Tiwari, are more than impressive. Abhimanyu is hilarious as Vijay’s erstwhile roomie and someone now stuck spewing cringe-worthy lines for shady films and ads. After a couple of instances, though, his parts seem forced. Social media influencer Kusha Kapila, in a cameo as a tarot card reader, does a good job. But Meghna stands out, especially with her impeccable comic timing in scenes with Akshay. Diana Penty as Vijay’s , Naina, doesn’t have much of a role to play here but whatever capacity she can plays the classy and supportive wife does well. Nushratt Bharuccha, who is familiar with the comedy genre, manages to pull off the act of a young Bhopali woman and Om Prakash’s better half, Minty, well.
Anu Mailik and Tanishk Bagchi’s ‘Main Khiladi’ redux is dance-worthy, and Lijo George-DJ Chetas’s title track, as well as Vikram Montrose’s ‘Sher,’ are pumped up.
Overall, Selfiee is an easy-breezy watch, with some good performances and several laugh-out-loud moments. If you’re looking for a rib-tickling comedy over the weekend, this one could be a good pick.