“Kanjoos Makhichoos” is a story about Jamna Prasad Pandey, played by Kunal Kemmu, who is popular for his reputation as a miser man of a small part of Lucknow. Even though he is famous for being a penny pincher, he respects and loves his parents a lot. He has been saving money to fulfill his parents’ long cherished dream of wanting to visit the ‘chaar dhham’. Jamna Prasad is a Brahmin, an upper-middle-class person living in Lucknow with his wife, played by Shweta Tripathi Sharma, his parents, played by Piyush Mishra and Alka Amin, and his son. Jamna Prasad’s family is fed up with his attitude.
‘Kanjoos Makhichoos’ Story
The film starts with Jamna leaving the house in the middle of the night, and when his family inspects the reason for his midnight trips, they get to know how he had been saving money for his parents’ chaar dhham yatra pilgrimage. He sends his parents a grand package for the ‘yatra,’ but their luck runs out as they get caught in a fierce downpour while they are in Kedarnath. The family drama is set in the backdrop of flood and social commentary on bureaucracy; the film follows its own pace in setting up the mood for the audience. It is the quintessential Hindi film that includes song and dance numbers, even though it is a family film and these sequences are not necessary at all. The ensemble cast could not save the predictable and boring screenplay, and the direction of the film became undefined.
The film starts with the parents leaving for pilgrimage, but very soon, all hell breaks loose when cloud bursts and landslides start to wreck various places, one of them being Kedarnath. When Jamna’s parents were missing for over three weeks, the government declared them dead as there had been no contact with them. Jamna Prasad was given a compensation of 14 lakhs. Even though Jamna hesitated to take the money initially, his relatives and neighbors suggested him to accept the money and fulfill the rest of the desires of his parents with that money. The money seemed to solve a lot of problems that they had but became the cause of other problems, especially when Jamna Prasad’s parents turned up. The film fails to be realistic in its approach as it is not set properly with the demography that it tries to portray. The language and accent of the characters felt forced and inadequate, and most importantly, the dialogue felt hollow.
In the scene where the government officials come to Jamna’s house to pay compensation, we could feel that his parents were alive, and thus the death seemed unrealistic for the narrative. In the story, when there had been no contact with the parents, Jamna went to look for them at the places where they had gone themselves, but he could not find them; later on, we get to know that they were in the same region yet failed to come across each other. The film soon turns its course, and we see how the government officers are scamming the people out of their compensation amounts, as Jamna Prasad was given 10 lakhs instead of 14 lakhs.
The parents turn up alive soon enough, and it becomes problematic for Jamna now with the compensation and not knowing what to do with their parents as they had been declared dead. Jamna wanted to return the money, but the government official refused to accept it back because it would mean that his research was insufficient in declaring Jamna’s parents had died, and that would cost him his own job. However, the officer offered 50 lakhs to Jamna when he associated himself with the press to make his parents alive in the government book; and then another character comes in which wakes up the humanitarian present inside Jamna, and he fights for all people that were wronged in this whole scenario.
Did The Ending Feel Just For Us? What Purpose Did The Narrative Serve By Taking A Different Course, Like A Social Commentary?
The story gets confusing towards the end as we don’t get to understand Jamna’s fight with the government officials as he wants to make his parents alive officially. The film’s sudden turn of events did not make sense, and in the end, it was shown that his parents became officially alive, and the families were given their rightful compensation. The fight made Jamna a hero, but his purpose in fighting remained unclear for the audiences as the narrative took an unexpected turn, and the events did not feel right with the narrative. The family drama became a social commentary that felt unnecessary and forced, like a lot of elements in the narrative. It’s a story of showing love to the parents and fulfilling their wishes and dreams, but in the end, it became giving birth to parents, which had a comical moment in the film as well. The performances of the ensemble cast fell short because of the laidback, haphazard screenplay, and the ending did not seem to be just for us. But overall, the film stood out as a feel-good drama, which it somehow manages to pull off.