STARRING: SHAHRUKH KHAN, DEEPIKA PADUKONE, ABHISHEK BACHCHAN, SONU SOOD, BOMAN IRANI, JACKIE SHROFF, VIVAAN SHAH.
DIRECTOR: FARAH KHAN
Only King Khan can come up with a Happy New Year to wish you a prosperous Diwali. The fans were apprehensive when one of the season’s biggest films was going to be directed by Farah Khan and on top of that it being a heist film. The result is a film that by far is not perfect but makes you experience a wide range of emotions and most importantly keeps you entertained throughout its run time.
There were comparisons being made between Ocean’s 11 and Happy New Year and thankfully both the films are as different as chalk and cheese and there is not even an attempt to ape the Hollywood film. In fact, it would be utterly wrong to just call the film a heist film because even though the heist is an important part of the story, it is also smartly infused with a touching underdog story and a compelling revenge drama. As far as heist films go, Happy New Year is not even half as intelligent or suave as a film of the genre should be and the makers don’t even pretend that for even a second. The hest is a simple one and executed in such a stylish and entertaining way that you do not mind suspending your beliefs (which you really need to) for the proceedings.
The film starts on a scary note as the first odd fifteen minutes do remind you of the Tees Maar Khan fiasco and the introduction of each of the characters has been stretched far too much. But thankfully the film picks up once the dance competition is under way and there are several enjoyable moments which keep your interest retained in the film for the second half. The second half is a true roller coaster ride. There are several laugh out loud moments as well as moments which instantly form an emotional connect. This half packs the needed punch and the climax of the film takes you to an incredible high.
Fortunately, you get back the director you saw in Mai Hoon Na. Farah Khan does immensely well in laying out her story and her minute detailing and creativity and sense of humor shows on screen. Her story and screenplay are riddled with flaws but she makes sure that the journey is absolutely entertaining that the audiences will not mind accepting the flaws in the logic. Farah is a true Bollywood lover and this film also is made for Bollywood lovers who do not mind the flaws as long as the proceedings are entertaining and fun. Technically also the film excels in all departments and Dubai although used so many times by Bollywood has never looked so picturesque and magnificent.
The film largely works because of the characters and the performances. It will be unjust to call it just a SRK film and it belongs to the whole team. Shahrukh obviously gets to use all his charm and comes up with a supreme performance as usual. He gets one of the best intro scenes of his career and he has had some phenomenal introductions. He has worked hard on his physique and that pays off every bit on screen. Deepika is just brilliant. The infectious energy which she brings to the film alone justifies her presence. She looks smoldering in her introduction song and brings the house down on various occasions with her English accent especially in her “Chak De India” speech sequence.
Abhishek Bachchan, Boman Irani and Sonu Sood are perfect in their roles and are immensely enjoyable. Vivaan Shah registers an impact amongst the seasoned performers. Jackie Shroff is as usual in the negative character.
The music by Vishal-Shekhar is good but should have been much better since the film revolves around a dance competition.
A stronger first half, shorter length (over three hours) and better music would have taken the film to another level but still Happy New Year is a true Bollywood entertainer which has its heart at the right place. I don’t know how happy the coming new years eve is going to be but TEAM HAPPY NEW YEAR has made sure that you have an extremely enjoyable Diwali.