Film: Happy New Year
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Boman Irani Abhishek Bachchan
Directed by: Farah Khan
Duration: 3 hrs
Rating: * * *
Farah Khan’s films usually don’t have a great story or plot, it is mostly a bits and pieces job but more than once she has managed to pull it off with films like Main Hoon Na and Om Shanti Om.
You don’t expect some Bergman or Tarkovsky like magic in a Farah Khan film, her approach is to entertain the audience and glad to report that Happy New Year succeeds in what it sets out to do. Even though the length of 3 hours is a deterrent, constantly there are some tongue in cheek gags thrown in before you get too restless. In fact, the light hearted approach helps a great deal and the film for most parts doesn’t take itself too seriously. This is a good old fashioned Bollywood blockbuster, there are popular stars, action, emotion, drama, comedy, songs, dances, lavish sets and a bit of patriotism sprinkled on it. All in all, there enough ingredients to help the film sail through.
Shah Rukh Khan plays Charlie, a not so young man who is very angry with the rich businessman (Jackie Shroff) responsible for falsely implicating his father in a theft several eons ago. Charlie has been meticulously planning his revenge, never mind if it sounds a bit far fetched, just go with flow.
To execute his plan he needs a team, la Oceans Eleven and several other heist films. So we have Tammy (Boman Irani) an expert at cracking safes, Jag (Sonu Sood) is an explosive expert and considering that technology is important these days, he also recruits a hacker (Vivaan Shah). Now considering that their plan is rather convoluted where they are supposed to participate in the World Dance Championship in Dubai and pull off the heist at the same time, they need a dance teacher to coach them. Enter Mohini (Deepika Padukone) the bar dancer who considers dance as the greatest art form. Abhishek Bachchan plays Nandu, a tapori, who is a look alike of the business man’s son.
While the plot maybe lame, it is not particularly lazy, there is an attempt to plug the holes some instead of just bypassing some sub plots. But being a standard Bollywood film, at times there is too much explanation, especially towards the end.
While there are references to films of yore, jokes are made about India’s Oscar entries and even the Prime Minister’s look alike appears mentioning achche din. When ever the film slips in the serious-mode you want to hit the fast forward button but when it doesn’t take itself seriously, it is fun. Take the scene where Abhishek’s character has to remove a screw but falls short by a few inches and then has to resort to an ingenious technique. Anurag Kashyap and Vishal Dadlani are also seen in a cameo, as a ‘friendly pair’.
Of the cast, Deepika brims with confidence and continues to impress with every outing. Boman Irani is reliable as always and Abhishek Bachchan fits the bill. Shah Rukh Khan plays himself rather the character and we the same act that we have been watching for the last couple of decades.
The post credits are always fun in a Farah Khan film, after all, the behind the scenes crew never gets their due.
On the whole, if you are looking for laughs, Happy New Year has a handful to offer.
Published in The Navhind Times on 26th Oct 2014