Saturday, 8 November 2014

Not A Feisty Heist

Image courtesy Wikipedia 
This year, New Year Eve came early. Two-months-and-a-week in advance. It came with the new SRK movie titled "Happy New Year". Ahaaa...! Now that title was surely misleading but more on it later. Farah Khan may not have hit the bull's eye with "Tees Maar Khan", but her husband surely took a hit from SRK. Ram Jaane what transpired after that but things between them were all well again - Om Shanti Om- and here was "Happy New Year".

In the movie, Shah Rukh Khan is "Charlie" aka Chandramohan Sharma, who cannot "earn an honest living in his city". Now as someone who went to Pardes to earn a degree, why should he not be able to earn honestly in Swades, pray? The question is answered in a flashback where his father Manohar Sharma (Anupam Kher in a cameo), a safe-maker, is defrauded by the Ra.One-esque Charan Grover (Jackie Shroff) by stealing diamonds and laying the blame on Manohar. Manohar is jailed and Charlie doesn't know how to say "My Name is Charlie and mera baap chor nahin hai". So Charlie hatches a plan to clear his father's name by stealing the Shalimar diamonds, which are being transported by Grover and his son Vicky (Abhishek Bachchan), and which will be stored in a safe in the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai on Christmas eve. To steal the diamonds, Charlie plans a One-Two Ka Four heist.

Now there are no Mohabbatein lost between Charlie and the Don, Charan Grover, and hence Charlie has planned the revenge and the heist quite Dil Se. So he picks up an Army, which needs a bit describing. Jag (Sonu Sood) is actually an ex-Army guy who is smoking hot and has all Maya Memsahebs salivating "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai". Tammy (Boman Irani) is a safemaker-cum-safecracker who is Manohar's friend. Rohan (Vivaan Shah) is a whizkid who can hack systems with Josh. Nandu Bhide (Abhishek Bachchan again) is Vicky Grover's Duplicate. He is quite a Chamatkar of a man who can throw-up (yes, i.e., vomit) at will. Hey Ram!

But wait! Isn't this a Farah Khan movie? So where is the dancing? At the time the heist is to be pulled off, the World Dancing Championship (WDC) is happening in the Atlantis Hotel. So, what better way to get to the venue of the heist than by representing India at the WDC? But, the Paheli is, how? How do five two-left-footed men get to the WDC? The English Babu Charlie finds a Desi Mem - a bar dancer - Mohini Joshi (Deepika Padukone) to teach them how to dance. The English is her the weakness and the Charlie manages to make her the Dil To Paagal Hai.

So, the team members get together. They rehearse their roles and practice dance. With lots of drama happening all around, the team manages to make a Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman of even Nandu Bhide (dimaag mein keede) and put together some sort of performance for the selection rounds. They get jeered and boo-ed at, but with Rohan's manipulation of the scoring system, they manage to reach Dubai. When they reach Dubai, like the Congress MLAs of the last Delhi Assembly, they are packed off into an Innova and delivered to the Atlantis. As team after team of stalwart dancers arrives on shining wheels,  the crowd sees Charlie and his team, and decry "Oh darling, YEH hai  India?!"

And so the story unfolds......There are "unexpected" twists like the diamonds not arriving on Christmas eve as scheduled. There are some fight sequences and some weird songs and dances. Ultimately, the diamonds arrive on New Year's eve, and Charlie is worried. Kal Ho Na Ho? Then, when it is time for Team India to perform, only Mohini is there. For her, what are diamonds but a form of Koyla? And she may be in Dubai, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani. She decides to dance alone till Jab Tak Hai Jaan. The climax has moments of Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, and Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. Ufff.....Kitna Konfusion! And it is not even an Ekta Kapoor movie. Then, finally, it is Chak De India! King Uncle Charan Grover suffers the Anjaam of his being a Baazigar, and Charlie celebrates the Happy New Year of his new life.

The film is quite below average. Faran Khan misses the bull's eye again. The music is absolutely mediocre and a huge let-down, especially as this is a dance movie. The only saving grace is "Indiawale". There are too many many that one gets confused whether Sarah Jane Dias had a role or a cameo on the dias. The safe with the diamonds has all kinds of security systems including a high energy invisible shield but no encrypted password?! Any Badshah, Guddu or Asoka could get it to sing "Hum tumhare hain sanam"! And btw, one wonders what were Anurag Kashyap and Vishal Dadlani doing in the film: playing "Veer-Zara"?!!

As far as performances go, well, a 50-yr-old man with eight-pack abs and facial wrinkles falling till his feet - how is it possible? Only SRK and his Dil Aashna Hai! It is a pity to see the actual man of action, the one time Yuva, having to strip to entertain. Mohini has got the moves but not the music to be a patch on the "Ek-Do-Teen" Mohini. Jackie Shroff looks in desperate need of the services of Billu Barber. Boman Irani, Sonu Sood and Vivaan Shah do a good job though.

Now for why the title is a misnomer. Happy New Year. First of all it was released on Diwali, not New Year's Eve. There was nothing "New" in the story. The heist was cut, copy, paste and rehash, from many Hollywood heist movies. "Year"? No, ear. The music was actually quite a strain on the ears. So, in the end, one does not end up "Happy" after watching the movie. Farah Khan could easily have titled it "Diwali Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge". It doesn't take Rohan's hacking skills to change the date of the heist from New Year's Eve to Diwali. The overpriced tickets sure made her and SRK have a special Diwali. And as for us, oh we are so used to taking out our diwala (bankruptcy) by putting fire to our money on Diwali, aren't we?!

But then, Karma has a way of working. Shayaad mere Karan-Arjun aayenge, zaroor aayenge..........