Second Hand Husband (2015)

As my knowledge of popular Indian cinema is still in its infancy, my understanding from commentary I found on the internet is that this film is a Bollywood (i.e. Hindi language) debut from Punjabi director Smeep Kang, but otherwise bears the stylistic imprint of films from that part of the world (the north-west of the country and Pakistan). It stars Punjabi singer Gippy Grewal as dashing divorcee Rajbir looking to remarry the sensible lawyer Gurpreet, though the actor playing her (Tina Ahuja) almost fades into the background, since most of the comedic to-do is given over to Rajbir’s philandering boss Ajit (Dharmendra, a stalwart of both Hindi and Punjabi cinema) and his ex-wife Neha (Geeta Basra), a colourful figure who is set on Rajbir’s alimony payments. There’s little point in me trying to recount the plot, which involves all kinds of slapstick endeavours by Rajbir to set up Neha with a new husband (not to mention playing match-maker and breaker with Ajit, Ajit’s wife, the local police sergeant, and others). Even the film seems to whizz through the various possible pairings with undue haste and little attention to believability, stopping entirely at one point, as is customary, to fit in what amounts to a music video. It’s probably a stretch to have set up the almost 80-year-old Dharmendra as a charming lothario, much though he’s looking good for his age, and too many of the slapstick setpieces are a stretch even for a script this slapdash. Added to this the comedy musical cues start to get wearing over the length of the film. That said, it coasts through on the photogenic charm of its leads, making it difficult to take against it too strongly.

Second Hand Husband film poster CREDITS
Director Smeep Kang ਸਮੀਪ ਕੰਗ; Writers Kang, Shreya Srivastava ਸ਼ਰੇਆ ਸ੍ਰੀਵਾਸਤਵ and Vaibhav Suman ਵੈਭਵ ਸੁਮਨ; Cinematographer Manoj Shaw [aka Manoj Gupta मनोज गुप्ता]; Starring Gippy Grewal ਗਿੱਪੀ ਗਰੇਵਾਲ, Geeta Basra ਗੀਤਾ ਬਸਰਾ, Dharmendra धर्मेन्द्र; Length 105 minutes.
Seen at Cineworld Ilford, London, Thursday 16 July 2015.