Like the start in Farah Khan’s ‘Happy New Year’ (HNY) where Shah Rukh Khan sets of by saying that there are two kinds of people in this world, winners and losers, I believe that there are two kinds of films in the world. Films that are made with a script and films of Farah Khan, who successfully manages to become the leader after HNY to make commercial potboilers!
Going by the recent failures of deadpan films without a script, HNY is a much better film as compared to its peers. However, it isn’t as great as Farah’s own ‘Om Shanti Om’ but yet promises abundance of entertainment in three hours.
Thankfully, unlike her previous outing ‘Tees Maar Khan’ which was a bore and sleepy affair, HNY is on the go right from the opening sequence where Charlie aka Chandramohan Manohar (Shah Rukh Khan) unveils his dashing eight-pack abs and mouths dialogues of all his previous hit films. It is followed up by his ‘keep it simple’ plan to avenge his father’s death and plan a robbery of diamonds worth crores of rupees from Charan Grover (Jackie Shroff). He then sets out on his mission ‘Happy New Year’ and manages to build a team of ‘losers’ (including him) who scale to great heights when they decide to take the route to participate in a reality-dance contest in an attempt to rob the diamonds.
Farah Khan sticks to what she has done in her last two films, ‘Main Hoon Naa’ and ‘Om Shanti Om’ respectively, that is use the prowess of her characters. This, itself, makes up for an entertaining and a supreme first half where characters are introduced even as Charlie plans his heist. From Abhishek Bachchan’s ‘desi’ entry to Deepika Padukone’s ‘eazy’ Mohini dance, every character manages to entertain and surprise you as the film progresses to a not-so-riveting climax.
The director excellently blends Bollywood humour, her regular dose of spoofs on her industry colleagues and her cameo specialist actors. But where she scores brownie points is when the bunch of losers suddenly realise that their motive to win the contest is far superior and this is what makes ‘Happy New Year’ entertaining and patriotic at the same time. For once robbery takes a backseat and the troupe comes together to enthral Dubai. Taking a cue from late Manmohan Desai, whom Farah Khan has always regarded as her guru, the director manages to pull off HNY like a supremely executed film with minor glitches, a feat that many commercial directors haven’t managed to achieve.
Music by Vishal-Shekhar is good to hear on the big screen and is peppy. Even Vishal’s act with Anurag Kashyap in a scene would keep all in splits. From Manwa Laage to Indiawaale, each song carries the story forward and keeps pumping up the entertainment level.
At three hours, the film is stretched at places but the performances keep you glued. I must say that HNY isn’t Shah Rukh Khan’s film alone. While he does get maximum screen time, he is excellently complimented by a talented bunch of actors who lend him good support. My clear favourite remain Boman Irani and Abhishek Bachchan who pull of their acts in such wonderful fashion. Deepika Padukone, as Mohini, also compliments with her dancing skills and adds the glam quotient. Sonu Sood and Vivaan Shah are apt in their roles.
With ‘Happy New Year’ being a single Diwali release, it is only fair to say that the film has success written over it and the powerhouse star cast just makes it easy. I went with zero expectations and enjoyed my time at the theatre. Probably you do the same and you won’t be disappointed.