In the current scenario, SAB TV channel somehow manages to find its place amidst juggernauts like Star Plus, Colors and Zee TV. And that happens due to the unprecedented success of its flagship show, 'Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah'.
However, the channel has witnessed happier times when shows like 'Sajan Re Jhoot Mat Bolo' and 'F.I.R' supported the channel's success too.
In an ode to regain its lost spark, the channel has been planning a revamp of sorts and the first attempt to do so happened with the launch of 'Sajan Re Phir Jhoot Mat Bolo', the sequel to 'Sajan Re Jhooth..'
A few episodes down, I analyze whether the show manages to live up to its predecessor and if it has the potential to hold the fort.
It's the last day of college life when we are introduced to Jaiveer Chopra aka Jay (Hussain Kuwajerwala), a simple, ethical and thoughtful boy (or so you think) who has topped his exams. And immediately a moment later, we are introduced to Jaya (Parvati Vaze), a beautiful and kind girl who has also topped her exams. The duo keep complimenting each other on how it is because of each other's support that they managed to ace the examinations.
It's more than obvious about what follows and that is blossoming love, where Jay uses his first trick to know that if Jaya also feels the same for him the way he does. With assistance from his 'funny' friend, Deepak Tijori (Gaurav Dubey) and a 'funny' act, he establishes the confirmation of Jaya also having hots for him. This is the first instance where we know the ride of lies has officially begun.
Thus begins a love story where we are soon enlightened by Jaya that none of this will matter if her strict and 'I-hate-rich-people' father doesn't approve of them.
And thus we are introduced to Mr. Lalit Lokhande, a self-made man who believes that a person should learn things the hard way instead of being born with a silver spoon. He also believes that a person should eat, drink and live only as much as the basic need is. This also becomes rather evident when he slams a family with a prospective groom who comes at his place. The family keeps talking about how post marriage his daughter will lead a luxurious life and relaxed life as money is not a problem for them.
Did I tell you about how Jay and Jaya have already reached at Lokhande's house by then? Oh! I did not. So, this is a reality check for Jay, who has LIED about his identity to Jaya and now will be doing the same with his father.
Parallely, we are introduced to Mr. Paramveer Chopra (Tiku Talsania), a filthy rich and loving individual who loves his son, Jay to death and can do anything for him. After several instances of planning a welcome for him and that getting backfired after knowing about Jay's 'change-of-plans'; he infact agrees to be a part of Jay's lie understanding his dilemma only so that he can get married to Jaya.
Amidst some instances that make you remind about being the quintessential 'Sajan Re..', we learn how difficult is it going to be for Jay to manage and tackle this situation as he keeps churning out lies one after the other.
Mr. Chopra assures his son, Jay that Jaya will be his wife and that he should confess to her at least taking her in confidence. However, just when we think that Jay is going to confess about it and he almost does; he is interrupted by Mr. Lokhande.
Will Jay be able to tackle the situation smoothly? How will he distinguish the idea of being rich and poor both to Mr. Lokhande all the time? Only time will tell...
At times, we come across how a family is shown to be rich but the visual element doesn't really justify that. However, in this show, you do realise how filthy reach Jay actually is with some amazing sequences of the bungalow from the interior and exterior.
The camaraderie between Hussain and Tiku is absolute bliss. Tiku not only plays a supportive but also a 'cool' father too while he loves his son a lot. They totally justify being the perfect father-son duo.
We do not usually pick a scene in this category, but this one deserves an exception. The scene where a fake wall with a fake door is being created to hide the humongous bungalow when Mr. Lokhande, Jaya and Jay arrive surprisingly falls literally at the eleventh hour when they leave after Jay fools them. With humour that was a great thrill too.
Some jokes and situational comic acts are actually funny and many of them belong to comic legend, Tiku himself. The part where his friend Bhatia and others keep getting up again and again when Jay tells that everything is over is rib tickling.
Rating - *** (3/5)
The whole look and feel of the show is not impressive. You immediately start missing the original show as not only did it have an ensemble cast at its disposal but also some hilarious situations supporting it too. None of that happens in the sequel and that makes it bland and boring.
You have got to miss Rajiv Thakur aka Pitaji and the epic Pravachans from the original. They became a rage back then. Of course, it would be unfair to expect the same in this show but they could have come up with a novel idea to introduce some pattern or slapstick comedy to retain that flavor.
Hussain quite literally holds the show by himself with perfect conviction. He has taken over the mantle from Sumeet Raghavan and has lived up to playing the lead role. Infact, with Hussain there is a certain sense of innocence that he has and probably no one else does. That is amazing and he becomes the first reason to watch the show.
Parvati Vaze is the perfect eye candy to the show, however, she really needs to buck up with her acting skills here. At times her enunciation is so dismal that the emotion and feeling of that line falls flat. She is completely unimpressive so far but there are hopes of getting better soon.
Sharad Ponkshe as Mr. Lalit Lokhande certainly has a screen presence. He looks impactful when exercises his principles on people. However, the way Tiku played the receiver of lies in the first season was epic in a way as there was a touch of comedy to his principled approach. That is being missed here and after a point, it becomes too much to endure.
Tiku Talsania is at the other end this time and the legend that he is, he manages to pull this part with complete conviction. Apart from Hussain, he is also the reason to watch the show as his comic timing is impeccable.
Rakhi Vijan plays the neighbor who has a huge crush on Tiku's character and also is a bit ditzy. While I loved the idea of her playing a ditzy character, courtesy her prowess of playing one as Sweety in 'Hum Paanch'; she is too loud here at times and unfunny too. Hopefully, it gets better when she plays the fake mother to Hussain in upcoming episodes.
The supporting cast which includes, Jay's friend, Deepak Tijori and the servant at Lokhande's home add a good touch of comedy to the show.
Rating - *** (3/5)
Being a sequel is like a double-edged sword where it would enjoy the guaranteed viewership of the predecessor in the initial stages but is also pounded with the responsibility of living up to the legacy. 'Sajan Re Phir Jhooth Mat Bolo' could have been so much better had it been thought through with a better plotline. An amalgamation of some Bollywood plots and a predictable future track makes the show uninteresting after a point. Even with some genuinely funny moments and Hussain and Tiku's amazing performances, the show doesn't impress and will have to work really hard to retain the viewership.