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Happy Ending Movie Quick Review

Cast : Saif Ali Khan, Ileana D’Cruz, Kalki Koechlin, Govinda, Ranvir Shorey

Direction : Raj Nidimoru, Krishna D.K.

Rating: **

Why would you call the film a spoof (the filmmakers went hoarse telling us that ‘Happy Ending’ is a spoof on romantic comedies) if it is going to follow every predictable turn and twist of a typical Bollywood rom-com, the very format you are attempting to parody? And that’s a problem with most Hindi films. They assume that if they can insert a few inside jokes where they are basically taking a dig at themselves then they are successfully spoofing the genre. What they are essentially doing is doling out a product that has all the essentials of a tried and tested formula.

Saif making a joke about the age difference with his heroine or Govinda talking about how he was once the king of single-screen theatres or, elsewhere, where he identifies the ingredients to quickly dispense a love story with a Hollywoodish touch are definitely funny moments but they don’t make the film entertaining. There is not a single moment of originality in ‘Happy Ending’ and the instances of genuine humour are rare and far between.

A lot of us were looking forward to Govinda’s comeback. We loved his school of humour – slightly crass but never cringe-worthy. And after a completely wasted opportunity in ‘Kill Dil’, he is back in his element in this film. He is undoubtedly the highpoint; his unrefined humour, his brazen show of flabs and Govinda, being Govinda on the dance floor. We would have loved to see more of him and, in fact, I felt cheated that he was as good as a special appearance. It’s a shame that he is completely underutilized, since he is the only amusing element in this tepid tale.

Farhan Akhtar (with ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ in 2001) had once resurrected Saif Ali Khan’s career when he realized how good the actor's comic timing was. Saif has tried a lot of characters and shades since then but in the past few years (since ‘Love Aajkal’ in 2009) things have consistently gone downhill. Every once in a while Saif taps into the comic side hoping to score with a memorable role but ‘Happy Ending’ can bring about no such revival. His ‘men are dogs’ jokes are banal and repetitive, we heard it recently in his earlier release ‘Humshakals’. He looks jaded and uninspired and it doesn’t help that he has zero chemistry with his leading lady Ileana D’Cruz.

Our filmmakers have for sometime now given up on an engaging storyline, investing instead on stars to bail them out. However, this strategy no longer seems to be working. Shoddy writing makes even the most well-cast film insufferable. ‘Happy Ending’ which aspires to be a romantic comedy has an insipid romantic track and a very, very flimsy humour track as well.

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