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Since 1st March, 1999
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Taming of the shrew

There are a few ground rules to watching a Swapan Saha comedy — expect little originality and even less of what you see on those colourful posters.

Going by the ceetees and taalis showered at the Friday matinee show in Bijoli, you know the Swapan Saha formula did work this time though the storyline is a rip-off of the Anil Kapoor-Sridevi-starrer Laadla.

You can’t call it a cut-and-paste job either as Saha adds a few new things and weaves a tale which, for a change, is quite easy on your nerves.

Jamai Raja is the story of the rich and ambitious Anjali (Anu) who does a Sridevi by throwing her weight around in her office. She follows it up with some jiving at discos to songs with wrong syntax, like Let’s have enjoy...!

Trouble strikes Anjali’s paradise when the family lawyer reveals her father’s will, which needs Miss Hoity-toity to quit her reckless ways, settle down in holy matrimony and remain wed for at least a year in order to claim the family fortune.

Enter Prosenjit (Raja) with his Anil Kapoor hangover. He is the garage mechanic in dungarees who lives with his mother and a few orphans including Kajal (Paoli) in a dilapidated house where a flute-playing goon stalks them for money.

As Saha would have it, Raja arrives in the nick of time to save Anjali from some goons and bag a plum one-year marriage contract for Rs 25 lakh with her. But the holier-than-thou mechanic would rather sing and dance with Kajal in his garage. Well, till Kajal slips and lands up in a hospital. So, go-gooder Raja signs the contract to arrange for his sweetheart’s kidney transplant.

Back at his in-laws, the man goes through a complete transition — from garage mechanic to husband to washerman, at the hands of his scowling, screaming wife.

You get to see Prosenjit in a golden trench coat shaking his golden boots with Paoli and Anu — all a part of Anjali’s nightmare, who’s going green with envy.

The tamed shrew now slaps some sindoor on her forehead and goes whimpering back to Jamai Raja, who after much flirting with Kajal is only too happy to dump her.

Paoli and Anu look pleasing in their chiffons and cottons. You would want to thank them for not resorting to excess drama, Swapan Saha’s signature style. Prosenjit is a relief with his restrained act, swinging between funny man and angry not-so-young man.

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