Look what just surfaced on Disney+ Hotstar: a relic from the age when Priyadarshan was considered one of Hindi cinema’s most reliable comedy directors.

Hungama 2 stars Ashutosh Rana as the patriarch of a brood that includes son Aakash (Meezaan Jaffri), Paresh Rawal as Tiwari, a deeply suspicious husband, and Shilpa Shetty as Anjali, his svelte, younger wife. Tiwari’s belief that Anjali is cheating on him is eclipsed by the arrival of Aakash’s old girlfriend Vaani (Pranitha Subhash). She has a baby girl with her, and she claims that Aakash is the father.

That’s it, really. Over two hours and 36 minutes, Yunus Sajawal’s screenplay and the dialogue, by Manisha Korde and Anukalp Goswami, work hard on drawing out laughs. Various denizens from Priyadarshan’s comedy universe turn up, including Johnny Lever, Rajpal Yadav, Manoj Joshi and Tiku Talsania. A cameo by one of the actors in the first Hungama is among the new film’s very few high points.

“Filmed by Priyadarshan”, the credits claim, but it’s yet another one of his movies that looks like a sitcom in which characters line up in front of the camera and declaim loudly. Meezaan Jaffri’s attempt to repackage himself as a comic hero after playing a romantic lead in his debut Malaal isn’t backed by the script.

In an indication of just how out of touch the movie, the threat of rape is used as a ploy to expose a deception. If there’s a point to the exercise, it remains an unsolved mystery.

Hungama 2 (2021).