Satish Kaushik's BADHAAI HO BADHAAI makes an attempt to come across as a feel-good entertainer, but disappoints.
BADHAAI HO BADHAAI is the story of Chaddha family (Amrish Puri, Farida Jalal) and D'Souza family (K. Vishwanath, Rohini Hattangady) who love to hate each other and who cannot see eye to eye.
One fine day, both the families receive letters from Raja (Anil Kapoor), saying he is their grandchild and is coming to live with them. On arrival, only rejection is in store for Raja, who then finds a shelter with Ghooman Singh (Kader Khan), a raucous singer.
Never to accept defeat easily, Raja wins over the love of the grandparents, who are constantly pressurising him to marry. To save himself from the tangles of marriage, he lies to them saying that he is already married to a girl called Banto Betty, who, in reality, doesn't exist.
Raja, who has avowed to unite both the families after years of feud, is shocked when he suddenly sees Banto Betty (Shilpa Shetty) emerging on the scene and posing as his wife.
Who is Banto Betty? Do both the families unite?
BADHAAI HO BADHAAI is a mishmash of several films. The feud between the neighbours is reminiscent of EK DUUJE KE LIYE, Anil Kapoor's obese look bears a striking resemblance to THE NUTTY PROFESSOR and portions of the film seem inspired by the Telugu film SHUBHAKANKSHALU and Tamil film POOVAE UNAKKAGA.
The first few reels of the flick are indeed engaging. Director Satish Kaushik succeeds in presenting several interesting moments at the very start. The sequences between Anil Kapoor and his friend, Suresh Menon, are uproariously funny. Ditto for their scenes with Kader Khan.
The narrative gathers momentum with Shilpa Shetty emerging on the scene and the interval point raises hopes for a dramatic second half.
Alas! The post-interval portions belie the gargantuan expectations. And that's mainly because screenplay writer Kavita Chaudhry has tried to incorporate too many tracks in the plot.
Post-interval, you see the Anil Kapoor ï¿½ Keerti Reddy one-sided romance, then the Keerti Reddy ï¿½ Vinay Jain love story, then Shilpa Shetty's one-sided feelings for Anil Kapoor, then the clash in the name of religion towards the climax (with heavy dose of sermonising!). Too complicated!
On the script level, there are two glaring slip-ups ï¿½
* Why doesn't Shilpa Shetty, who is actually the granddaughter of the Chaddhas and D'Souzas, expose Anil who's pretending to be their grandson?
* Similarly, why doesn't Kader Khan, the only one to be aware of the grandchild (Shilpa Shetty), confront Anil in the beginning itself when Anil fakes that he's the grandchild?
The saving grace in the latter half is Anil Kapoor's experimentation with his looks ï¿½ his attempt to portray a good-hearted overweight guy ï¿½ but too many sub-plots take the essence away from this innovative aspect.
Director Satish Kaushik deserves marks for making an effort to come up with something different, but he is handicapped by a weak screenplay. Even the climax is an absolute letdown and seems incomplete.
Anu Maliik's music is ear-pleasing and easy on the lips. The pick of the lot are the title track and 'Mere Dil Bata'. Cinematography (Rajeev Jain) is routine. Dialogues are just about okay, although the ones delivered by Anil and Suresh Menon are witty. The background music (Naresh Sharma) is excellent.
Anil Kapoor is efficient, as always. Experimenting yet again with his looks, the actor proves once again that he is amongst the best in the business. Shilpa Shetty seems to have a massive Sridevi hang-up and she messes up her role entirely. Keerti Reddy still needs to hone her acting skills.
Suresh Menon, as Anil's friend, is a surprise packet. He brings the house down with his witty one-liners and right expressions. Govind Namdev hams to the hilt. Kader Khan and Amrish Puri are passable. K. Vishwanath does not impress. Vinay Jain leaves a mark in a small but significant role.
On the whole, BADHAAI HO BADHAAI is saddled by a weak script and despite publicising the 'different' look of Anil in its promotion, will not find many takers. Watch it only if you're a die-hard Anil Kapoor fan!