Exactly ten years ago, the famous choreographer Farah Khan made her directorial debut with MAIN HOON NA, a Shah Rukh Khan starrer film that gave a major career boost to many names associated with it. She followed it up with yet another mega blockbuster OM SHANTI OM, again with Shah Rukh Khan. Circa 2014: Farah Khan teams up back again with Shah Rukh Khan, with yet another multi-starrer HAPPY NEW YEAR. In a nutshell, HAPPY NEW YEAR is a film about the underdogs (referred to as 'losers') and their quest to pull off the biggest diamond theft ever. With a runtime of almost 3 hours, does the film manage to live upto the hype and expectations, let's analyze.
The film starts off with a world dance championship finale, wherein 'Team India' goes missing. Team India is led by the 'Boston University topper' Chandramohan Manohar aka Charlie (Shah Rukh Khan), whose 'entry' is shown in a illegal kick boxing match, wherein SRK mouths the rehash of all his famous one liner dialogues from his previous movies. Charlie is out on a mission to take revenge for his father, Manohar (Anupam Kher), who is conned by the evil mind Charan Grover (Jackie Shroff) and imprisoned for 12 years. Charlie's plan is to steal Rs. 300 crore worth diamonds that are under Charan's security in Dubai. His partners in crime are: A partially deaf Jagmohan Prasad aka Jaggu aka Jag (Sonu Sood) who is an ex-army bomb squad member, a self confessed Parsi 'stud' Tammy Irani (Boman Irani) who is an expert at opening sophisticated lockers and who carries a mini supermarket in his bag, a young hacker Rohan Singh (Vivaan Shah) who is a 'loser in real world, Nandu Bhide (Abhishek Bachchan) whose 'USP' is that he can puke anytime, anywhere, and then there's Mohini (Deepika Padukone), who is a bar dancer with a dream of opening a dance school for young girls. Mohini has a huge weakness for English speaking people! She is someone who lives by the saying 'Haaro toh haaro, Ijjat mat utaaro', which means for her 'ijjat' is everything. The plan is to not just steal expensive diamonds from Charan, but also to restore the lost glory of Charlie's innocent father, by putting Charan in jail. To execute this plan however, the team needs to participate in the 'World Dance Championship' which takes place in the Atlantis hotel, exactly where Charan will be keep the diamonds for a one day display in Dubai. Charlie and his team enroll in this competition and despite all the boys being non-dancers, they use their antics to survive amongst the best dancers in the world.
True to the saying 'When the going gets tough, the tough gets going', Charlie and his team go all out to successfully execute the plan, even if that means to win the dance championship, despite being non-dancers. Will Charlie and his 'Team India' be able to steal the diamonds from Charan's sophisticated locker, will they be able to win the dance championship despite being non-dancers and will Charlie ever be able to restore the lost glory of his father forms the rest of the story.
With mega blockbusters like MAIN HOON NA and OM SHANTI OM behind her, director Farah Khan (who also doubles up as the film's writer along with Mayur Puri and Althea Delmas Kaushal), by now, seems to know audience's taste when it comes to masala movies. And maybe that's why she makes absolute no mistake while serving the dish called HAPPY NEW YEAR. While the soul and the story of the film remains truly Indian with Bollywood masala, comedy et all... Farah has managed to make a glossy film with stunning visuals. The film is a bit stretched with its run time going to almost 3 hours, the comic moments, dance and music keeps you engaged.
As far as the acting department is concerned, no prizes for guessing as to who the captain of the team is. It is Shah Rukh Khan, who leads the film on his able shoulders right from the word go. Be it his quintessential romance with his lady love Deepika Padukone or the fight sequences, or his acting performance as Charlie, Shah Rukh Khan excels in every department. In this film, he has been portrayed more as an action hero who can sing and dance, which again, the King Khan has done full justice to. If he sported a 6 pack abs in OM SHANTI OM, he moves 'two steps ahead' to flaunt a whopping '8-pack abs', which looks undeniably good on him! Deepika Padukone, on the other hand, does full justice to her character Marathi bar dancer. After CHENNAI EXPRESS, this is yet another quirky character that the actress has played in one more SRK film. Deepika has definitely evolved a lot as an actress and she proves that yet again with her comic role in this film. Do not miss the scenes when even her silent love for Shah Rukh Khan speaks volumes. Sonu Sood excels in his role and looks convincingly funny. Abhishek Bachchan is back to doing loud comedy in this film after BOL BACHCHAN. In this film, be ready for a double dose of Abhishek as he is seen in a double role. Do not miss his take on his father Amitabh Bachchan's iconic dialogue 'I can talk in English and walk in English'. The ever-versatile Boman Irani, yet again proves that he is a bankable actor and such roles are tailor made for him. Full marks to him for proving right the saying, 'Age is just a number for real performers'. Vivaan Shah also performs well with so many experienced actors around him. After his 'fatherly act' in DHOOM 3, Jackie excels in this film as well, but, in a villainous role. He seems to be on a mission to redefine 'villain'.
Like her previous films, this film too includes many cameos, including Sajid Khan, Prabhu Dheva, Malaika Arora Khan, Sarah Jane Dias, Dino Morea (as a host), Anurag Kashyap and Vishal Dadlani. Do not miss the camaraderie between Anurag and Vishal, who are romantically inclined in this movie. Anupam Kher is convincing in his 'emotional appearance', despite having a brief role.
The music of the film (Vishal-Shekhar) is indeed one of the film's major highlights. Most of the songs (a couple of them notwithstanding) seem to be apt for the film's situations and helps in moving the story forward. The choreographers (Farah Khan and Geeta Kapoor) do total justice to this extravagant dance movie. The film's background music (John Stewart) is quite good. The film's editing (Anand Subaya, Tushar Parekh) is crisp. Manush Nandan does full justice in the cinematography department, so does writer Mayur Puri, who doubles up as the screenplay writer and the dialogue writer for this movie. The action sequences (Suniel Rodrigues and Dave Judge) are choreographed really well. Also, as committed by Shah Rukh Khan, this film too sees the name of Deepika Padukone (heroine) appear before his name in the opening credits. The makers have spared nothing to make the film look extravagant and visually stunning. Red Chillies VFX team requires a special mention for the same.
All in all, HAPPY NEW YEAR is definitely a smash hit film, which has blockbuster written all over it. The film will set new records in the days to come. Go for it!