What is it about Shah Rukh Khan that brings out the comic accent in Deepika Padukone? She did a very funny broad South Indian accent in Mr Khan’s inspired company in the maddeningly mundane Chennai Express. She repeats the farcical feat, this time doing abravura Maharashtrian accent, with the relish of bar dancer grooving to ‘kaanta laga‘ in her own free time.
Dancing Deepika dreams -God bless her sole– of running her own dance school where little girls will learn to dance not for drooling men. But just for the heck of it.
Heck she’s nailed it! That’s what this film is all about!It’s been made with no loftier intention than to provide lowbrow entertainment.
Happy New Year (HNY) is the cinematic equivalent of freshly-plucked guavas from a roadside tree. Juicy, tempting but of indeterminate origin. Eat and enjoy at your own risk.
Some of the stuff passing off as humor in this tall of tale of a bunch of losers who dance their way into a billion-rupee heist, is pretty…. ummm…. ugh. Abhishek Bachchan, who plays another interesting character, just vomits-yes you heard right– on unsuspecting victims to get his way. Jee haan yeh bilkul pukey baat hai. And wealso get to see theliquid stuff emanating from Abhishek’s mouth.
A spot of realism in times of unmitigated masti? Also on the icky side is a very rude take-off on super-choreographer Saroj Khan by comedian Kiku Sharda (of ‘Comedy Nights With Kapil’) coming as it does in a film directed by a junior choreographer a little more grace and a little less petulance would have gone a long way.
HNY is the kind of film that doesn’t allow us to dwell on the crimes of excesses, of which, there is plenty in this stretched-out plot. The carnival-like flavor of presentation is not quite the aesthetic experience that one expects from a film with such a classy line-up of actors and technicians.
Instead, what we get in abundance are in-house jokes where Shah Rukh Khan does dialogue take-offs with his co-stars from his own famous films.
Speaking of take-offs, there is an excess of shirtless scenes featuring Mr. Khan and Sonu Sood, who seem to enjoy dropping their shirtsfor no other reason, but to become instant eye-candy for the ladies in the audience. For most of the playing time, the main actors play graceless dancers masquerading as wannabe winners at an international dance contestwhose owner Jackie Shroff (scowling constantly)has a strange aversion to all things Indian.
Of course, that gives our5 heroes(and I am including Deepika in the list) a chance to dance with the Indian flag being waved defiantly at all the unpatriotic spoilsports.
Manoj Kumar, who was spoofed in Farah Khan’s Om Shanti Om couldn’t have hoped for a more redemptive homage.
The formula is fearsomely in-your-face. You can’t miss the broadness of the humor and the patriotic spirit. Every emotion is like a message writtenon a tee-shirt. Every actor seems to have been given the brief to beas loud as possible. No wonder Sonu Sood plays a partially deafcharacter. It offsets the plot’s ditsy celebration of dumbness.
Deepika is one of the more interesting characters in Farah’s new 3-hour dance-heist marathon. She sparkles in the dance and the talkie portions. Abhishek Bachchan’s tapori act is written with over-the-top intentions. He manages to play the character with a certain inbuilt cool that perhaps was notthere in plot.But then, who knows what was and wasn’t there? Even Farah would be flummoxed if asked.
Sonu Sood, Boman Irani and young Vivaan Shah suffer because of sketchily written parts but still succeed in making their presence felt, especiallySood, who as per character sketch, playsa ‘bad’ dancer which he is not by any stretch of the imagination.
But it’s the King Khan’s show all the way, make no mistake of that. The director misses no chance to make Shah Rukh’s ‘loser’ character Charlie appear emerge a winner.Shah Rukh even has a longrooftop fight sequence with Korean dancer which has no bearing on anything but the hero’s 8-pack midriff. May be the director’s shout ‘Action’ was misconstrued by her over-zealous crew.
Somewhere in the scramble to engage our attention, the plot comes up with filmmaker Anurag Kashyap and musician Vishal Dadlani playing closet-gay reality-show judges who are blackmailed by Charlie into eligibility.
Heroes,in case we forget, can do no wrong; even when they are caught doing wrongfor all its sins of excesses. HNY is a full-on paisa-vasool experience. It is a rollicking rumbustious ode to the spirit of whopping howling shrieking and bantering camaraderie. Filled with tongue-in-cheek episodes of hip-swaying audacitythe all-pervasive madness is infectious.
Most importantly the entire cast gets into the swing of things…and how!