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Rediff.com  » Movies » Review: Happy New Year will make you feel good BUT...

Review: Happy New Year will make you feel good BUT...

Last updated on: October 24, 2014 19:39 IST

... The feeling won't last too long, says Paloma Sharma.

Five minutes after you have exited the theatre, Happy New Year’s most popular song Indiawale will still be echoing in your ears. It is almost addictive, what Farah Khan dishes out, because it make you feel so good -- and yet, you know you can’t ignore the side effects.

Happy New Year is an extremely difficult film to pass judgement on.

You want to like it -- you honestly do -- because it is what we call in this country paisa vasool entertainment. But the film’s uneven moral standard for its characters makes the rational human being in you guilty for enjoying the other parts of a grossly sexist movie, which has such glaring loopholes in the plot.

Happy New Year is an Indianised adaptation of several movies and the foundation that the slightly shaky plot stands on borrows heavily from films like After The SunsetOcean’s 13 and Henry’s Crime. While I’d like to dismiss these as coincidences, I don’t think I can.

Chandermohan Manohar Sharma (Shah Rukh Khan), who goes by the oh, so cool nickname of Charlie, brings together a gang of apparent losers to form a team of winners who are going to steal diamonds from professional self-loathing Indian, Charan Grover (Jackie Shroff, because Gulshan Grover would have been too obvious), in order to avenge Charlie’s father.

The diamonds are locked in a safe so safe that no one but Grover’s own son, Vicky (Abhishek Bachchan) can open it with his finger prints. The safe, called Shalimar, was co-designed by one of Charlie’s recruits, Tammy (Boman Irani), and lies 150 feet below Grover’s luxury hotel, Atlantis, in Dubai.

Shalimar is protected by a web of lasers that could fry your brains faster than a Yo Yo song and once opened, it closes automatically in five minutes. To disable the lasers and basically handle all things tech, Charlie ropes in Rohan (Vivaan Shah). If everything else is handled correctly, Vicky’s finger prints might be a way in.

But Charlie needs to figure out a way to get Vicky on board. Since that would be the only thing that he can’t manage -- aside from speaking Korean, saving children and lecturing people on what a bazaru aurat is -- Charlie does the next best thing and finds Nandu Bhide: Dimaage mein keede (also played by Abhishek Bachchan).

I’m having such a Gunda déjà vu.

Bhide, needless to say, is Vicky’slook alike. But that’s all that they have in common. While Vicky is some twisted version of a classy playboy, Nandu is a drunk who grew up in a chawl and needs money to pay for his mother’s operation.

Speaking of mothers, that’s exactly the word that you don’t want to use around Jack (Sonu Sood) because his shirt will fly off and he will beat you to a pulp. Both Nandu and Jack love their mothers, although they and their fellows spend most of the film insulting everyone else’smothers with slyly placed double entendre.

The diamonds will be brought to the hotel on the same day that the elimination round of the World Dance Championship is held and so the team decides that the only logical way to ever get close to the diamonds is to enter a dance competition and place their perfectly laid out plan in the hands of fate.

The trouble is that none of them can dance and after trying out a number of dance teachers, which leads to a hilarious sequence of events, Bhide introduces Charlie to Mohini (Deepika Padukone), a bar dancer with the best moves in town.

While Shah Rukh Khan is busy playing Shah Rukh Khan (or is it Rahul? I cannot tell anymore), Deepika Padukone, Vivaan Shah, Abhishek Bachchan, Boman Irani and Sonu Sood steal the show from under his nose.

Although Deepika does not turn out to be the remarkable dancer that she’s supposed to be in the film, she is a solid, bankable actor who manages to even make Rakhi Sawant cool.

Boman Irani is yet against cast in a role so stereotypically Parsi that it makes you want to introduce the writers to some real Parsi people before they attempt to have another character belonging to the community ever again. Yet, Irani executes the task flawlessly, retaining his immensely likeable screen presence.

Vivaan Shah acts as an excellent support system, managing to play a teenager without either being dumb or rebellious while Sood seriously pulls up his socks and displays some commendable comic timing.

Farah Khan could have obviously done better than this. But then again, she could have done worse.

What I appreciate most about Khan’s directorial style is the self-depreciating humour that she employs. However, much work needs to be done on the storyline which goes off into so many offshoots that it is hard to keep track. Plot points don’t always end up meeting. But hey, if it helps at all, the grand sets and blazing lights will blind you so bad that you won’t have to worry your pretty little head about all that technical talk.

Happy New Year has some foot-tapping music, Nonsense ki Night being the best of them all, and more than its fair share of laughs.

Exotic locations and funny subtitles only add to its merits.

But the film is far too long. It was as if Khan thought that her audience only has three hours to live and tried to push in every single emotion available. The melodrama eventually starts making your head hurt.

The film relies more on the two-minute noodle brand of patriotism than it does on common sense in order to further the plot. Featuring some adorable cameos from Anurag Kashyap and Vishal Dadlani and (yes, you’re reading this right) Sajid Khan.

This could have been a much better film if only it had dared to move out of its comfort zone. Happy New Year is a film that’s bound to make you feel good, but trust me, the feeling won’t last.

Rediff Rating: 

Paloma Sharma/ Rediff.com in Mumbai