'Happy New Year'
U/A; Action-comedy drama
Director: Farah Khan
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan, Boman Irani, Sonu Sood, Vivaan Shah, Farah Khan
When there is talk of diamonds in a Bollywood film, can top security vaults, thumb impression of one person only entry and dare devilry daylight robbery be far behind? Throw in an ailing Maa, another Maa obsessed son, yet another son-out-to-take-his-father’s-badlaa and a poor girl’s izzat in and you have a Bollywood potboiler bubbling and ready. Director Farah Khan offers a fully masaledaar entertainer yet again and as is her style, serves it with a side dish of dollops of delightful self-deprecating humour.
'Happy New Year'
Farah takes a jibe at a lot of things in Bollywood, which includes SRK’s own films including his revered 'Chak De! India', with such light hearted glee that it is impossible not to break into a smile more often than not, that is, if you like that brand of humour.
Charlie (Shah Rukh Khan), with a blonde streak and speaking impeccable English, is a man with a mission. His father (Anupam Kher) was wronged by the wily villain Charan Grover (Jackie Shroff), an obscenely rich man with a penchant for diamonds and of course, high security vaults. Supporting him are Nandu Bhide (Abhishek Bachchan), a naag dance and dahi handi breaking enthusiast, Temton (Boman Irani), a stud in his locality, Jagmohan (Sonu Sood), an ex-army man who’s deaf or not deaf according to convenience, Rohan (Vivaan Shah), a computer hacker and of course Mohini (Deepika Padukone), a gorgeous bar dancer. The mission is to steal nine sparkling diamonds worth 300 crore dollars from right under Grover’s nose and for that they have to take part in a world dance championship competition. Well, there is a logical story behind why. But then there is also total absence of logic in some other parts of the film.
Farah’s movies do not really allow you to look for logic because after all, everything can be attributed to it being just the extension of the spoof that she makes of illogical films. But even then some in your face bloopers like the sharp Charan Grover missing seeing his own son’s lookalike just because he is hiding behind dark glasses, (Abhishek’s double role) and some others are still difficult to digest.
The entire cast, including Daisy Irani who plays Boman’s eccentric Parsi mother, was clearly enjoying being part of this movie. While SRK is at his charming best and Sonu, Boman and Vivaan have given sincere performance, Deepika Padukone and Abhishek Bachchan stand out among others. Deepika’s graceful dance act in the climax is enough to show why this girl is where she is. While Abhishek’s role as Charan’s son is rather insipid, he manages to touch a chord with his other role as the uneducated, innocent boy .
Just before the climax, when the confused SRK is thinking hard for the password to get to the diamonds as he is running against time, the young audience sitting around me for the first day first show had already figured it out and were loudly prompting him. That sure is a sign of an audience friendly film. And of course, a smart move.
Those who love Bollywood for its quirks and idiosyncrasies, will like this film. If you tend to take life and films more seriously than that, watch something else.