Selfiee, directed by Raj Mehta, is a Hindi remake of the Malayalam film Driving Licence. The film stars Akshay Kumar, Emraan Hashmi, Nushrratt Bharuccha, and Diana Penty in lead roles. The film tells the story of fan (who is an inspector) and a superstar who clash over a permit, leading to a hilarious and entertaining series of events.
The film has received mixed reviews from critics, with some praising its engaging screenplay, entertaining comedy, and Akshay Kumar’s performance, while others criticize it for its weak storyline and dull performances by the lead actors.
Some critics have noted that the film fails to live up to the original Malayalam film’s nuanced storytelling, with Bollywood’s tendency to take a more formulaic approach being a major reason for this. The film’s simplistic and overstated discord between the two main characters is highlighted, which detracts from the human fallacies that the story is trying to capture.
Umesh Punwani for Koimoi.com writes, “The film shines when it doesn’t ‘try’ to copy and that’s why this needed a cosmetical makeover from not only outside but inside as well.”
Film Information writes, “There’s entertaining comedy, drama, melodrama and a fair dose of emotions too. On the whole, Selfiee is a very entertaining fare.”
On the other hand, other critics have appreciated the film’s entertaining first half, which establishes the conflict with the use of quirky one-liners and fast-paced narrative.
Director Raj Mehta and writer Risshabh Sharma have adapted the original film primarily by tweaking the dialogues, and the director succeeds in establishing the character of Emraan Hashmi as a passionate fan, leaving a considerable impact on the viewers.
Himesh Mankad for Pinkvilla writes, “Selfiee rides on an extremely entertaining first half, that establishes the conflict with the use of quirky one-liners and fast paced narrative.”
However, some critics have criticized the film for its lack of depth and character development. Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV writes, “With none of the characters allowed to evolve, Emraan Hashmi is compelled to struggle to create his space in the film.”
Kunal Kothari of indiaforums.com writes, “‘Selfiee’ relies on its humor & Emraan Hashmi to do the heavy lifting while its drama falters.”
SUKANYA VERMA of rediff.com writes, “Selfiee’s need to expand on an already overstated discord only highlights the slightness of the problem rather than give a glimpse into human fallacy.”
The performances of the actors have also been criticized by some critics. Deepesh Sharma for indiatvnews writes, “Akshay Kumar-Emraan Hashmi’s dull performances make it unbearable to watch.”
The self-depreciating humour around Akshay Kumar’s character is also hailed as hilarious, and the media trail portions are seen to work well in the initial hour of the film. Abhimanyu Singh’s character, who plays a contemporary to Vijay Kumar in the Hindi Film Industry, is seen to bring out laughter at every appearance and keeps the entertainment quotient intact.
As Bollywoodhungama writes, “Speaking of performances, Akshay Kumar is in his element and is quite natural. He uplifts several scenes with his comic timing and also shines in the emotional sequences. Emraan Hashmi is apt for the role of a fan-turned-enemy, and performs as per the character’s requirement.”
“Abhimanyu Singh (superstar Suraj) is a surprise in the film.”
In conclusion, ‘Selfiee’ has received mixed reviews from the critics. While some have praised its entertaining screenplay, others have criticized its lack of depth and character development. The performances of the actors have also been subject to mixed reviews. It remains to be seen how the film performs at the box office.