Rating : 4/10
Release Date : 24th October, 2014
Time : A mammoth 185 minutes
Director: Farah Khan; Writers: Farah Khan, Althea Kaushal; Music : Vishal-Shekhar
Starring : Shahrukh Khan, Boman Irani, Abhishek Bachchan, Sonu Sood, Deepika Padukone, Vivaan Shah, Jackie Shroff
This is a few distinct notches below Farah’s first two films, Main Hoon Na and Om Shanti Om. Happy New Year (HNY) has a bloated storyline, packed with unnecessary melodrama, redundant sub-plots and silly slapstick versus the zany humour that characterized her earlier two movies. I still start cackling when I remember the scene where Zayed steps into the library for the first time in Main Hoon Na. Here, you get men in tutus learning to dance. And compared to the delightful violins that play everytime Shahrukh sees a sensuous sari-clad Sushmita, here you get a little ball of fire, each time Deepika touches Shahrukh. And don’t even get me started on Abhishek’s vomit.
Shahrukh thirsts for revenge against Jackie Shroff, the man who ruined his father, both business and reputation wise. He spots the perfect opportunity when some priceless diamonds are to be stored in the vault (designed by his father), now managed by Jackie. The plan is to steal those diamonds, the only catch being that to do this involves participating in a World Dance Championship. And a team is needed that includes two of his father’s associates, Boman (a Parsi chick magnet and safecracker) and Sonu Sood (the brawny explosives expert). Also joining the team are Vivaan (a whiz-kid hacker), Abhishek (a tapori who happens to be the lookalike for Jackie Shroff’s son) and Deepika (a bar dancer, roped in to teach them how to dance – because the tutu stuff didn’t really work out).
There is a smattering of heist films here – Italian Job, Ocean's Eleven. But packed with giant sized dollops of tears, emotion and ordinary songs. And its not just that there are emotional moments – each such moment has to be accompanied by shots of everyone in the team shedding a few tears, their bloodshot eyes and group hugs. Just as a back-up, if the weeping doesn’t tug your heartstrings, they invoke the India angle in the dance championship, with loads of shots of the tricolor, national pride etc. I also feel nothing highlights bankruptcy of ideas, a desperation for cheap laughs as much as showing men in drag and here even that stone isn’t left unturned.
There was an interesting film hidden somewhere here – with a little bit more work, some funnier moments and massive pruning from its inflated 185 minutes run time – this could’ve actually been a really good film. Instead of choosing between a comedy, musical, heist or revenge drama, Farah chose to combine the four in an inelegant potpourri, giving us a product placement riddled mish-mash. Deepika has little to do other than feature in a couple of songs, display her dimples and washboard abs. Abhishek demonstrates that he is now officially scraping the bottom of the barrel with his brand of slapstick and vomit. Boman, Sonu and Vivaan come out relatively unscathed. Instead this one will hinge on how you react to its main lead.
If You Love Shahrukh (most women)
You will love watching his near patented gestures including standing with his arms outstretched, the wipe across the face
You will love his exaggerated, over the top acting
You will love his muscular abs, rippled body
When he sheds a tear or two, you will feel like reaching out, ruffling his Navratan tel soaked, thanda thanda – cool cool hair and telling him things will be alright
If You Dislike Shahrukh (most men)
You will cringe, wonder how someone can make a living as an actor in todays day and age by doing the same thing for the nth time
You will beg for mercy killing when he does his hammy, excessive moves
You will find his muscles look odd on his wiry frame and increasingly gaunt looking face
When he does his cheesy emoting, you will feel like giving him a tight one across his Emami Fair and Handsome enlightened face.
The choice, as always, is yours