In the good old days, Tun Tun’s large size raised the laughs. Then a film called Dum Laga Ke Haisha came along in 2015 and place was made on the mantle for a heroine with excess kilos on her. Her size ceased to be fodder for humour and something called body shaming became fashionable. So far so good. But when obesity due to sheer overindulgence is cause for medical alarm, here’s director Satram Ramani joining hands with writers Mudassar Aziz and Sasha Singh to toast overweight women, Saira Khanna (Sonakshi Sinha) and Huma Qureshi (Rajshri Trivedi).
They’re not quite hot on the marriage market but to make them contemporary chic, they’re given career passions. Rajshri can’t wait to get out of Meerut to become a primetime cricket commentator and Saira aims to get her designer label off the ground.
But wait. Rajshri dreams not of being the most feted sports host but of dancing in Shikhar Dhawan’s arms. And Saira’s disappointed that a male model has been hanging around her for reasons of his own. So much for breaking the glass ceiling.
Meanwhile, looking hot means an ornament between the nostrils and green streaks in her hair as Saira rips through another readymade garment. She stomps that they don’t make her size anywhere. I guess neither she nor the makers have heard of ‘aLL’ and other brands that’ve been in the ‘large, larger, largest’ market for years.
‘Gubbara’ and ‘healthy’ are substitutes used by families and colleagues aghast at their nonchalant chomping with ‘unmarried at 30’ their recurrent nightmare.
The two with shame-same problems meet in a ladies’ washroom and the chemistry’s instant. The incredulous factor dips further as Rajshri’s self-shot videos of her commentary bowl over Saira who hires her to direct her fashion shoot in London.
Add a few long-expired dialogues that mispronounce San Jose and Albuquerque, throw in cameraman Srikanth Sreevardhan (Mahat Raghavendra) with weed in his pocket and a south Indian accent, head to London and meet Zorawar Rehmani (Zaheer Iqbal) for the laboured inclusivity to be complete. There’s even a Sufi song sung in Tamil.
Everybody’s got a dream and four tracks merge with fairytale ease as Rajshri scoops an interview with Kapil Dev, Saira’s designs are a rage and the Double XL duo excel both on the fashion ramp and in the commentary box.
For all the painstaking attempts to make this a story about two hefty women who defy societal limitations to break new professional ground, Satram Ramani doesn’t strike a single novel shot. Saira’s fashions have no connection with originality and the journey can’t reach its destination before the weighty twosome gets a man each. What are Srikanth and Zorawar for?
Comedy is restricted to overordering double large helpings and double entendre that demands, how about if we asked a man about his size?
Veterans like Shobha Khote and Kanwaljeet Singh (as Rajshri’s supportive dadi and dad, two big Hindi cinema clichés) try to bring some warmth to the scenes. New find Mahat Raghavendra is quite a delight. But despite the friendly appearances by Shikhar Dhawan and Kapil Dev, this oversized ‘social comedy’ doesn’t bounce to the boundary.
Watch the trailer of Double XL:
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