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MOVIE REVIEW
Chal Mera Putt 3 (2021)

“Chal Mera Putt 3” bears more resemblance to an entry in a blockbuster franchise than to the 2019 Punjabi sleeper hit that spawned it. The latest sequel is a blast, but it feels for the most part like a feature-length epilogue to the previous two films. Every plot in it is tangential.

It begins and concludes with its lovable ragtag of undocumented Punjabis in Birmingham, Britain, all in their dotage. Gray-haired Jinder (Amrinder Gill) is seen riding around in a Rolls-Royce. He’s realized his British dream. But how? Surprisingly, the rest of the film offers not a whiff of explanation.

Instead, it picks up where “Chal Mera Putt 2” leaves off. Jinder and Savy (Simi Chahal) are in the midst of making their wedding arrangements. She envisions it to be a lavish affair, while he is having to borrow her credit card to buy coffee. Tabrez (Nasir Chinyoti) and Buta (Akram Udas), last seen getting deported, receive invitations in the mail and resolve to scheme their way from Pakistan back to Britain. Then there’s a throwaway plot involving Mr. Chana (Sajan Abbas), a young Punjabi perpetually dressed in a designer tracksuit, who is married to a 60-year-old British sugar mama (Faith Tarby) and living in a castle. She soon catches him cheating and kicks him to the curb, so he tries to scam Jinder’s associates, who are unaware of his fall from grace and still angling for his generous tips.

Screenwriter Rakesh Dhawan, who also wrote the previous two films, tries the winning formula once more. “Chal Mera Putt 3” definitely has its moments, especially when Savy’s overwork takes a serious toll on her health. The rest is mostly played for laughs, and that’s fine. But the flash-forward scenes hint at the present-day events leading up something more significant, and the film ultimately fails to deliver on that premise. Perhaps it isn’t entirely Mr. Dhawan’s fault that it comes off as unfinished. The entire production has the feel of a rush job, thrown together to meet the release date. There are sound effects that are completely out of sync with the action on screen. Parminder Virdi’s editing also isn’t as slick and dexterous as Sadik Ali Shaikh’s work on the previous two installments. It’s a jolly good time, but lacking in what makes its predecessors so special.

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