Monday, April 23, 2018
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Bollywood goes to the dogs with Akshay Kumar's 'Entertainment'

Dog is not this man's best friend.

In the presumptuous yet unassumingly named slapstick comedy Entertainment, a man struggling to make ends meet finds out he's adopted, the lost biological son of a cheating diamond merchant in Bangkok. Except this wealthy daddy just died, willing everything to his dog, Entertainment, in lieu of an heir. As the movie's tagline puts it, "a dog lives a man's life and a man lives a dog's life" (it's not quite slapstick enough to do that Freaky Friday style), so the human done wrong sets out to kill and usurp the dog, only to be outwitted at every turn.

Playing the human dupe is Bollywood's slick-and-cool goofball supreme Akshay Kumar, beloved by fans but ridiculed by critics for his lowbrow comedy style. He's backed up by South Indian star Tamannaah, funnyman Johnny Lever, veteran multilingual actor Prakash Raj and hunk Sonu Sood, the latter two playing a villainous duo named Karan-Arjun after much-lampooned Hindi film brothers.

Aside from it also being the dog's name, the movie's title seems to be directly thumbing its nose at Kumar's critics, reminding them that this isn't art or fine cinema. It's Entertainment.

The movie, with subtitles, opens Friday at AMC Veterans 24.

Caitlin E. O'Conner, Times staff writer

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