Happy Ending: Happy it ended

(Right to left) Bollywood actors Govinda, Ileana D'Cruz, Kalki Koechlin and Saif Ali Khan during the music launch of Happy Ending.   | Photo Credit: PTI

From the makers of India’s first ever zombie-comedy comes Happy Ending. Filled with lifeless characters and every cliché in the rom-com handbook, the film soon becomes a wait for Govinda -- the film’s only saving grace -- to reappear. And of course the film’s (happy) ending.

So we have a commitment-phobic writer Yudi Jaitley (Saif Ali Khan in an avatar we’ve seen in  Salaam Namaste, Hum Tum, Love Aaj Kal, Cocktail….), his annoying girl friend Vishaka (Kalki Koechlin), the henpecked best friend who hates being married (Ranvir Shorey), the gay agent and Aanchal Reddy (Ileana D’ Cruz), another writer who is just as anti-romantic as he is. All characters we've seen far too many times.

Happy Ending

Genre: Romantic Comedy
Directors: Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K.
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Ileana D’Cruz, Govinda, Kalki Koechlin, Ranvir Shorey
Bottomline: A commitment-phobic man writes a screenplay for a romantic comedy film.

As the film struggles to make up its mind if it wants to be a romantic-comedy or a spoof of one, we’re dragged through one formulaic scene after another to the point where we want to ask the directors, Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K., if the app they used to write the film is available on Android. Imagine a scene where both the leads break into a spontaneous water fight in a restaurant. Or the one where both of them have to  unfortunately share the same hotel room. There is even an ironic airport chase scene.

Spoofs are hardly as shocking as they once were and it isn’t just about turning every predictable scene on its head anymore.  I Hate Luv Storys worked to an extent because of the irony of an assistant director working in Hindi cinema despite his hatred for love stories. But the more recent Amy Poehler-Paul Rudd-starrer They Came Together failed because it never became anything more than just a parody.

So when Yudi is asked to write a class-meets-mass romantic comedy by single screen superstar Armaan  Ji (Govinda in a hilarious Gulshan Kumar-esque role) we wonder if that is what the writers were attempting with this film too. It’s as though Yudi’s story was supposed to work as a mundane rom-com for the masses and as a clever spoof for the classes.

Of course, one can’t deny the odd laugh or two, thanks to Govinda (the scene where he waits at a cosmetic surgeon’s office to get his six packs and new face ‘measured’ is funny), Ranvir Shorey and Yudy’s Pritam-ised alter ego Yogi.

The promos -- with its kitschy  Paaji Tussi Such a Pussycat song -- promised a quirky entertainer from the makers of the poignant Shor in the City and the fun  Go Goa Gone. But what it becomes, at the end of it, is the kind of film it thinks it’s making fun of.  

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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 5:23:51 PM |

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