Movie Review 2: Happy New Year
Here is City 1016 RJ Lokesh Dharmani's review of Happy New Year
Star cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Farah Khan, Boman Irani, Sonu Sood, Vivaan Shah
Director: Farah Khan
Rating: 2.5 stars
Shah Rukh Khan called me up the other day. I kid you not, he really did; one of those recorded calls to which you keep saying hello, hello but it doesn’t stop. The phone buzzed and his voice boomed- “Hi this is Shah Rukh Khan, watch Happy New Year this Diwali, blah blah blah…blah blah blah…” which also means that Farah Khan has broken up with Akshay-Tees-Maar-Khan-Joker-Kumar and we raise a toast to that with an opulent film that has hired so many actors that it couldn’t afford any writers.
The film was so heavily marketed that it made Hrithik’ Roshan’s Bang Bang dares look like Sandhi Sudha ads on TV in the wee hours. Don’t mistake Happy New Year for art or cinema or anything remotely close. It might look like a film but it’s much more than that:
a) It is a pension plan for many actors lost in the deep recesses of our minds; a Jackie Shroff, a Dino Morea, a Sarah Jane Dias, a Mohan Kapoor and a Malaika Arora Khan are surprisingly unleashed on you in every 15 minutes of the movie.
b) It’s a collection of lame jokes that were left unused in Humshakals.
c) It’s also a brilliant brands placement opportunity the collective presence of which can make HNY a 100-crore grosser even before its release. You can’t miss Lux Cozi, The Atlantis, Duster, Atlantis The Palm, Nokia phones, Atlantis The Palm, Nokia phones in every color and did I forget- Atlantis The Palm?! I can now write a full blown essay on the property with a ‘did you know’ fact that the hotel has 1539 rooms! WOAH!
d) Most of all it’s SRK’s annual gym membership that’s finally being used. I want to give him a brotherly chest bump on his muscular achievements but alas I can’t. In HNY Shah Rukh doesn’t have a chest. His face and legs are joined by a pack of 80 million abs that roll in mud and then glisten in a splash of water in slow mo.
It’s understandable that Farah Khan films are fun, kitschy and devoid of any logic. I can deal with an inane plot, banal situations and loud, obnoxious characters. The film makes ruthless racist remarks on Koreans and Chinese and we let it go. The film comments on how a bar dancer is cheap and uncouth and the audience reels in laughter. It offends but you let it pass as it’s all meant in harmless humor.
The first half gave me a sliver of hope especially in a funny scene where Deepika inspires her dancers which is a spoof on SRK’s famous sattar minute-scene from Chak De! India. Hope shot itself in the face in the second half when SRK goes a hamtard as he gives long boring lectures on patriotism, love and self-respect, pulling a full blown NaMo on us. Dear SRK it’s not a Chak! De India, not even a Pardes, it’s Happy New Year. Hash Tag Just Reminding!
Deepika-Vineet-Jain-didn’t-invite-me-to-his-Diwali-party-Padukone looks gorgeous, has a few funny lines and delivers them all well. After her Gujju (Ram Leela), Tamil (Chennai Express) and Goan accent (Finding Fanny) she is your poster child of ‘diverse’ India as she mouths Gheun Tak in a typical Marathi accent in HNY. She has grown extremely confident and comfortable as an actor.
Abhishek-I-have-borrowed-Uday’s-Dhoom-role-Bachchan is too posh to be a tapori yet surprises you with his comic timing. Sonu-chalti-phirti-protein-shake-ki-dukaan-Sood adds to SRK’s wholesale market of abs like a Diwali bonanza- SRK ke saath Sonu ki muscles free, free, free! Boman Irani is at home territory as a Parsi bawa. Jackie Shroff lends his son’s body to SRK and ends up getting this role. He wears designer suits, looks serious like how all businessmen should and gets a tad longer role than his last release Dhoom 3.
So if a drunkard puking all over, a Parsi bawa having fits and a naked Abhishek Bachchan define your idea of ‘fun’ and ‘humor’, the film will work for you. I watched it with my 9-year-old niece who absolutely loved it. She said the same thing when she watched Entertainment. So there! Go figure!