Farah Khan’s movies are never about logic, great loophole free storylines or even thought generating grounded cinema. They are the definition of the word ‘Bollywood’. Entertaining, cheeky and pompous. At least they are supposed to be.
One of the biggest and most anticipated movies of the year, ‘Happy New Year’ sees best friends- turned enemies-turned best friends again – SRK and Farah – coming back together after a hiatus of seven long years. It is bound to draw in the masses with a long weekend release, plus the movie has been dubbed in a few regional languages as well to attract the crowd from across the country. It also boasts of a very strong star cast. Shah Rukh Khan paired with Deepika Padukone – the hit making duo; added to them are Abhishek Bachchan, Boman Irani, Sonu Sood and Vivaan Shah. It also stars Jackie Shroff as the typical Bollywood villain – complete with a bad accent and hairstyle.
The biggest flaw and the biggest strength of ‘Happy New Year’ is Shah Rukh Khan. The film is riding too heavily on his shoulders, rather you could say on his signature arms-wide-open pose. So much so, that Farah made all the other leads do it in one of her sequences. Deepika and Shah Rukh’s romance is so forced that a beautiful melodious number ‘Manwa Lage’ has not been able to save it. He ends up insulting her for the best part of the movie, but the reason she likes him is because he speaks in English. Talk about SRK idolatry.
The cast looks bored for the most part, including Khan, who reiterates his own famed dialogues from his older movies with a dead pan expression. He even lacks his usual charm, and Dippy seems to have just rehearsed for a mad mix of ‘Om Shanti Om’ and ‘Chennai Express’.
But ultimately it was expected to be a heist movie and it fails miserably there too and if you are expecting excitement and a decently edited movie, you will be left crestfallen. It fails to be a thrilling heist movie and does not stand too tall as an out and out revenge drama as the baddie doesn’t even have enough lines plus the back story is flimsy and despite the leads shedding a few tears, it hardly builds up any sentimental value. The build up for the main part of the movie is way too long, and the buffooning around takes a lot of more screen time than is required. The main plot line too leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Everything about the movie is totally predictable and has not been backed by a single memorable dialogues – since Farah has resorted to rehashing than paying script writers to come up with something original . Even as a team that is out to for the biggest robbery of their time, ‘Charlie’s Angels’, as they call themselves, look like they are incapable of even pickpocketing.
The humour surely gets you for a few minutes here and there, but it lacks the usual cheek that Farah is known for. Abhishek and Boman are a small treat with their banter managing some moments of laughter; but apart from that redeeming qualities of the movie are few.
To top it all there is misplaced nationalism in the movie, which seems to just justify the final sequence of the dance extravaganza, and has no other purpose.
Speaking of dance, the other side of the movie is the World Dance Championship. One would fail to believe that Farah was a choreographer once upon a time after watching how she portrays that international championship would not only be such a farce, but could also be rigged in such a bad way.
The plus sides – SRK’s well oiled (non-photoshopped) abs, a little bit of the humour, some great visuals of Dubai and the extravagance of it all. The end credits has the superstar play with AbRam, who is angelic – and the audience sure seemed to love that.
One sure hopes that Farah had spent a little more time on the movie itself than on the promotions, because even though it is sure that the movie will ride the wave of a Diwali weekend and Shah Rukh’s popularity, therefore do good business, this is her flimsiest movie yet. The spectacular entertainment that is expected out of her is all but a fizz. It may be entertaining in parts, but at best it is a one time watch. Watch the movie if you are a Shah Rukh Khan fan – but the movie has nothing more than his fabulous body to offer.