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Happy New Year review: Razzle-dazzle and all that!

Happy New Year review: Razzle-dazzle and all that!

Source: Sonia Chopra

Wednesday 22 October 2014

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Movie Title

Happy New Year

Director

Farah Khan

Star Cast

Shahrukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan, Boman Irani, Sonu Sood, Vivaan Shah

You may have seen movie criminals doing weird things for the big heist - getting into disguise, making big plans complete with intricate maps, getting teams together and so on. But here, our guys do something far more daring.

To get to the 300-crore diamonds, our protagonists participate in the "world's biggest dance competition".

So Charlie's character (Shah Rukh Khan) is as curious as the lone blonde streak he sports in his hair. In a very '80s style twist, he wants "badla" (revenge) for injustice done to his father. So he plans and plans over years and finally gets a team together- a team of losers as he puts it, each with some form of expertise.

By the way, Khan's intro scene is quite something, covered as he is in mud while wrestling, and sprayed on by water to show off his worked-out body. Khan plays a role that barely challenges him as an actor. But he knows how to work the role. Fans of the actor will rejoice.

His character goes on to narrate the story. We are introduced to the characters as Charlie puts together his team. There is the expert safe opener (Boman Irani) who is an over-the-hill bachelor, quite a hit with the ladies, and terrified of his domineering mother. He carries everything in his bag except money, we're told, even as he pulls out a pineapple cake from his satchel in a hilarious scene. Then there's Sonu Sood playing the tough ex-army guy who works on Sajid Khan's film set (some laughs there). There's the clich? of a genius hacker kid (Vivaan Shah) that also joins in. And then there's the look-alike of the villain (Abhishek Bachchan), a complete antithesis to his "colour Xerox".

Meanwhile, the plot demands that the team win a dance competition to get to the diamonds. In a hilarious sequence, the burly men are made to wear tutus and learn ballet; next, they're in dupattas trying to master kathak and so on. It's a spectacularly dumb portion that makes you laugh despite yourself because of the sporting actors.

And finally, they bring in a club dancer (Deepika Padukone) to teach them the moves. Many jokes in the movie are around her lack of English speaking skills, but Padukone carries off this over-the-top role with elan and charm. The scene where she recreates a famous film dialogue is priceless.

Indeed, director Farah Khan goes all out with the humour. The portion where the team recreates the entire plan as it is in their head is superb. It's a piece of cake for them, literally. Of course the problem with the film is fundamental. It's making you laud crime and side with criminals. The film shows Charlie and his team lie, cheat, and coerce their way to their goal, which is based on the concept of revenge. So the violent concept of revenge, mixed with crime is nicely sugar-coated with emotional muck ("I'm doing it for my father." "I am doing it for my mother's operation.") That, and some heavy-duty patriotic flavour, which never rings true.

But I suspect the audience may not care for such details. Most will be there to take in the star-studded cast, the visual splendor and laugh on the silly jokes. And Farah Khan delivers on all three counts. Ignore the fundamentals, and watch it for the fun.

Rating: 3 stars

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