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Happy Ending review: Pretentious and shallow!

Happy Ending review: Pretentious and shallow!

Source: Sify

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 17/5

Friday 21 November 2014

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Movie Title

Happy Ending

Director

Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K.

Star Cast

Saif Ali Khan, Kalki Koechlin, Govinda, Ileana D'Cruz, Ranvir Shorey

Here's the thing. Everyone loves a good spoof, and our industry's unchanging ways could use a good-natured spanking in the form of a biting satire. It's great to be irreverent and poke fun at cliches, but not if you're going to cop-out and give us the same worn-out stuff!

The film, for example makes fun of an ageing movie actor (Govinda) trying to hold on to plum roles (the irony hasn't even begun yet), while also casting an actor (Saif) who looks too mature for a character that still wears cartoon character T-shirts and runs away from hard work and commitment.

Second, for a film making fun of cliches, it's quite odd to cast Saif in a role he has played TOO many times already. The NRI boy-man, the urbane "dude" (he calls himself that in the movie), who replies to people in English when they're conversing in Hindi, who is a heartbreaker and commitment-phobic, till he changes over a new leaf when he meets 'the' girl. You get the drift. This film ridiculing cliches is pretty unoriginal itself!

And this also filters into the dialogue. While several lines (especially those of Govinda and Ranvir Shorey) are funny, there are also those annoying literal translations of jokes from American sitcoms that just don't work in Hindi. For humour you have several industry inside jokes that are intermittently funny. And an alter-ego of Saif's character that's supposed to be funny, but is as one-dimensional as the other characters. You see an audience will forgive an openly trivial movie, but it's not nice to get all pretentious while handing over the same shallow story. I'd salute the film if it had been bold and cheeky enough to cast Saif as that super-funny, ageing film-star (played by Govinda) who casually remarks that the heroine is "too old for him". THAT would have been something.

Talking about Govinda, he's the best part about the movie. Playing an impossibly narcissistic superstar, he dumps Hollywood movies in front of the scriptwriter Yudi (Saif) for copying. When Yudi objects, he casually tells him, "thoda idhar udhar kar lena". His sole purpose is to bring out the laughs, and Govinda performs the role sportingly. He gives Yudi's scriptwriter character a lot of grief, while claiming he doesn't like interfering, much like it happens in the film industry.

Yudi's character is pretty constricted and it always seems like Saif playing himself, rather than the character. Saif is dependably good in the movie, but it's about time the talented actor drops playing characters that are a decade his junior, and picks up solid roles that exploit his talent!

Ileana Dcruz too has a straitjacketed role. In fact, the film wants us to believe her character, a celebrated author, is so dumb that she walks on the road talking loudly over the phone about the "romantic bakwaas" she writes, while also saying she'd be in trouble if anyone heard her talk like that. (And guess who's overhearing her!)

There are some bright spots in the movie when Saif and Ileana's characters get drawn to each other, and enjoy a no-strings-attached romance. The two actors share an effortless chemistry, that's eventually diluted when the romance turns towards the predictable path.

Other characters are just as limited in scope. Kalki Koechlin plays a pestering overbearing girlfriend (again) who downloads an app called "No Space" to keep a track on Yudi. She has absolutely no other character layering except reaffirming how overbearing she is.

Ranvir Shorey, the best thing in the film after Govinda, plays Yudi's friend Montu. As is the case in Bollywood, 'The Friend' is just an appendage to make the hero look good. And Shorey does a damn good job of it, while also displaying superb comic-timing. He walks away with the best lines. It is then up to Govinda and Ranvir Shorey to liven up the proceedings somewhat.

It's disappointing that director duo Krishna DK and Raj Nidimoru (Go Goa Gone) have come with as film that is pretentious and hollow, embracing the very cliches it makes fun of. After all, it's unfair when a pot calls the kettle black.

Rating: 2 stars

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