Friday, October 24, 2014

Happy New Year

I went to see the movie Happy New Year with a near-zero expectation. I haven't really watched the movie trailers but then the promos on every TV channel including a news channel  piqued my curiosity.
Yet, that itself should have acted as a warning. You need not sell something so feverishly when you know there is something substantial to pull in the audience. Ra.One, all its marketing and its failure at box-office is still fresh in mind. According to Boman's admission, the team spent as much time marketing this film as they did shooting it.
Well, my heart sank when I saw that the movie was 180 minutes long! And, for the first one hour of the movie that the heroine doesn't appear, you are stuck watching a group of aging men acting like teenagers.
Shah Rukh Khan as the producer and Farah Khan as the director  have failed to create the magic they did in their last venture together, Om Shanti Om. Shah Rukh's last one, Chennai Express was, at least, entertaining and funny and had you engaged. But 180 minutes of  the movie of which about an hour is wasted in establishing the backgrounds of each character puts you to sleep.
Shah Rukh Khan, despite his ten-pack, is visibly aging. Deepika Padukone has not much to do except flaunt her hot body in the role of a dancer. Her role carries shades of Rakhi Sawant... "I spik Englis" , "Go slip" kind of English. Abhishekh Bachan is good at what he does best...the oafish character. Sonu Sood was funny and a surprise factor as I have only seen  him play villainish roles in Telugu. Boman looks positively bored.
Among all these, comes Vivaan Shah as a breath of fresh air. He is a kid, has abundant energy and carries all the naivety and freshness of a new-comer. If he carries even half the artistry in his parents' genes, he will make it.
The movie is about planning and pulling off a heist. Wait a minute! And that's all there is to it. Stretching this wafer-thin story to three hours makes it a thoroughly exhausting viewing.  The movie has none of the suspense expected of a heist. It only checks each element thought necessary for a successful movie: dance, check;  fights, check;  hero baring chest/abs, check;  comedy, check.
Fortunately for the audience, the last 45 minutes pick up pace and entertain. The comedy is good in bits and pieces. Like the team's attempts at learning dancing. Oh now don't ask me what dance has to do in a suspense movie? Logic goes for a toss with the plot's mulitiple contrivances. Some dialogs from earlier Shah Rukh Khan movies fail to make the intended impact.

The roles:
Shah Rukh: The leader who has to avenge for  'tera baap chor hai'
Jackie Shroff: The villian from whom the diamonds are to be wrested
Abhishekh Bacahan: Brought in as he resembles Jackie Shroff's son. Yes, a double role
Boman Irani: An expert safe-cracker
Sonu Sood: The strong man
Vivaan Shah: The computer hacker
Anupam Kher: Shah Rukh's father, wasted in a blink-and-miss role
Sajid Khan: Doing what, Farah?
Deepika Padukone: Dance teacher who helps the team learn dance so that they can successfully pull off the heist. Huh?
Brief comic appearances by Vishal Dadlani and Anurag Kashyap...not funny and end up as caricatures.

I will go with one and a half on five for Happy New Year.