Happy New Year

Movie Review by Meena Yeggina
Happy New Year

Directed by: Farah Khan
Produced by: Shah Rukh Khan, Gauri Khan
Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan, Sonu Sood, Boman Irani, Jackie Shroff, Vivan Shah
Music by: Vishal-Sekhar
IPM Rating:****

When a 60-year-old couple, a six - year-old child and a 16-year-old teenager comes out of the theatre chuckling and upon reflection chuckling more, then the movie is definitely worth watching. Yes it’s frivolous, yes it’s not thought-provoking. But in a Shah Rukh-Farah Khan movie you dont expect a revelation of sorts. You go to the theatres for mindless fun.

HNY is a clean entertainer with a couple of good messages emotionally thrown in.

A little bit even more: a complete family entertainer where you dont have to think twice to take your impressionimpressionable and vulnerable kids. The humor is not filled with double entendres nor is it targetting a woman’s body, eunuchs, obesity, physically challenged and intellectually disabled.

Though there are a couple of comments on Asians (all of them look the same in reference to Koreans), it elicits a laugh as it comes out of uneducated Nandu and is frowned upon by others in the movie itself.

But the best part of the movie is the hidden yet strong message that comes out of the retro thinking of the hero Charlie: in a couple of scenes Shah rukh Khan (Charlie) is shown putting down Deepika’s character Mohini, as she is a bar dancer wearing revealing clothes. Automatically, her character is derailed and her personality judged. Charlie slowly understands his double standards and even begins to admire and adore Mohini’s inner strength. He realizes how prejudiced and judgemental he is (not in so many words but he does). This is a very strong message coming out of the Badshah! Farah Khan brings this out well and subtly.

All movies need not be serious, thought-provoking and introspective. During a holiday we want a movie we can watch with our kids and parents, a movie that is clean yet entertaining, foot-tapping the Bollywood way with good disposition. And Happy New Year is all that and more. It also squeezes a patriotic tear from your eyes, and an emotional lump in your throat, in spite of its impossibility!

The story is simple and timetested.: A father-son revenge plot. Shahrukh, a US educated graduate, finds his father, who is a security builder, cheated and jailed by Jackie Shroff, a diamond merchant. Wanting to avenge, he plans and plots for eight years after which he gets a chance through a world dance competition happening in Dubai. He puts together five member team, who are all in it for emotional reasons: either for mother, father or loyalty. They are each losers but with a heart and a special ability. Into this plot enters Mohini, a bar dancer (and an orphan I think) with a dream of having her own dance school someday. She joins the team with the intention of teaching the group some killer dance moves for the dance competition and is innocently unaware of the real plot.

There are so many hilarious situations in the movie that you cannot stop tittering. You just forget the absurdity of the plot and get into the moment unabashedly. A heist with so much humor that you can enjoy and not actually cringe is rare to Indian films.

In addition, Abhishek’s timing, Sonu’s abs, Boman’s eccentricities and above all Deepika’s innocence/english accent and Shah Rukh’s subtle suaveness and their fireworks romance are worth a watch.

A couple of songs are good too and catchy. The finale is powerful. Abhishek’s resourcefulness in the locker room, the patriotic song in the end, Shah Rukh’s rescue of the little boy in the opposition team, the fight between the korean dance team leader and Shah Rukh, Deepika’s ‘Lovely’ song, the gay kinky romance between the judges of the selection committee in India (Vishal and Anurag Kashyap) will remain with you and elicit a smile on your face whenever you think of them.

Though you can debate away many impossible situations of the heist including the double role of Abhishek Bachchan, you cannot comprehend the reality of a supremely clever hacker who can absolutely hack into anything and manipulate everything. It is a little bit too much to handle. But I forgive. I enjoyed the movie too much with my family to complain.

Farah Khan achieved the impossible in Bollywood’s man-dominating world: she became the first Indian director (man or woman) to direct a film that earned almost 46 crore rupees on the FIRST DAY, according to the Chilies Production house. She achieved something that no other director could so far and kudos to Shah Rukh for his big support. Women need not direct films that are solely women oriented. They can be fully commercial and choreographer Farah Khan, mother of three 6- year-olds, and an unapologetic fan of commercial movies, believes in comedy and entertainment. “It’s very difficult to direct a clean comedy, a comedy that can entertain both kids and adults equally,” she is said to have quoted in a national Indian daily. With Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone in tow, and funny bone steady in her body, she pulled off another hit and how!

One thing you can’t help noticing is that as producer Shahrukh looked confident in just stepping back a little and controlled. He lets others shine with much confidence and this very act makes the audience want to see and get more of him. He looks fab in his abs, though I am not much of a fan of so much muscle on a man.

I felt that the spoof on senior choreographer Saroj Khan is not required and could have been avoided. She is a senior citizen, an excellent choreographer and cannot defend herself much so she could have been left alone.

A definite watch for the entire family this Diwali time as it is a kid-friendly movie: no sex scenes, no vulgar jokes, no violence and no woman bashing in any way. Yes and yet, you will enjoy it thoroughly.