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No one quite expects a Sajid Khan film to win a National Award but what one can look forward to is loads of laughter and the typical 'leave behind your brains' entertainment. Over the years Sajid has had several critics who fume at this brand of filmmaking but the irrepressible director continues to make his kind of cinema regardless of what people say. So despite the failure of Himmatwala last year (which was a huge flop critically as well as commercially), Sajid is back with another mind-numbing comedy about three pairs of lookalikes – Humshakals.
However, if the banter and the fun that Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh, Ram Kapoor and the girls Tamannaah Bhatia and Esha Gupta appeared to be having at the press meet held at Grand Hyatt in Dubai, is anything to go by, it can be safe to assume that Humshakals will have quite a few moments of laughter whatever be your definition of comedy.
"Please keep it fun and casual, we want you to have fun," was Sajid Khan's plea and that's how exactly their Dubai visit turned out to be. Not many unpleasant questions were asked especially about the absence of leading lady Bipasha Basu who appears to have given the promotions a miss so far.
The stars were about an hour and a half behind schedule but they made up for it with their warmth and jokes. Needless to say, the uppermost question in everyone's mind was: how good (or bad) would be comedy be especially given the drubbing that Sajid's movies receive at the hands of critics. Even the visuals of Saif, Riteish and Ram Kapoor in drag had drawn criticism from high-brow cine lovers.
It was Saif Ali Khan who sprung up to the defence of his choice of film. "I don't know what most intelligent critics would say but I want people to enjoy the film," said the Chotte Nawab when asked if his urbane sensibilities matched that of the film. Sajid too seemed extremely happy with his hero. "I was surprised by Saif's comic timing, he has very set image but this movie will break that myth about him. He is very good at mimicry." As if to prove his claim, guests were treated to a clip where Saif was shown mimicking his father-in-law Randhir Kapoor. Wonder what biwi Kareena had to say to it!
Saif may have been good at mimicry but if an award for the best mimic in Bollywood is constituted, it would be won hands down by Riteish Deshmukh. The actor brought the house down with his perfect imitation of Aamir Khan as he proceeded to show how Aamir would talk about the success of Humshakals! "Riteish is comparable to Govinda in comedy and that's a huge compliment," said his gushing director Sajid.
Ram Kapoor, the third angle in the triangle was more sedate though he chipped into say that his wife (actress Gautami Kapoor) and his kids loved his look in drag. But will his fans love it remains to be seen.
The girls, Tamannaah and Esha made a pretty picture though they were rather quiet as the men took over. Perhaps that's their role in the film as well. After all with multiple Saifs, Riteishs and Ram Kapoors, we doubt if there can be a role for anyone else!
Humshakals releases in the UAE on June 19, 2014.