Happy New Year is two distinct films rolled in one. While the first hour is breezy, fun and pretty watchable, the second hour is a convoluted mess with a heist angle that doesn’t work, a romantic track that seems forced, the vivaciousness lacking from the camaraderie of the characters and the sappyness of a dukhbhari daastan of a backstory. It is a half baked film that uses all the regular formulaic heist tools and naturally offers nothing unseen or unexpected. The predictability of the climax was the most fatal blow for the film. It isn’t unwatchable but horridly disappointing. Farah Khan has better mettle I believe and her funda of keeping it simple, garbed in floss doesn’t work this time.
Charlie (Shah Rukh Khan) is looking to avenge the humiliation of his father who was put in a wrong spot by Grover (Jackie Shroff). Following him and tracking him for 8 years led him to the momentous day when Grover will keep protected a handful of rare diamonds.
Charlie builds a team of people whom he calls Charlie’s Angels to participate in World Dance Championship which will lead them to the diamonds they want to steal. Nandu Bhide (Abhishek Bachchan), Jags (Sonu Sood), Tammy (Boman Irani) and Rohan (Vivaan Shah) along with their dance teacher Mohini (Deepika Padukone) train for the championship.
How a bunch of losers manage to sneak out the diamonds from the world’s safest locker is what the film entails. A series of events and a tight climax leads to the downfall of Grover that Charlie had plotted for 8 years.
Shah Rukh Khan looks droolworthy. I am not a fan of the Superstar but the actor’s caliber despite remaining unused in the films he takes up, he easily is one of the things in the film that keeps you latched. The role doesn’t do justice to his caliber but the SRK swagger helps in an underwhelming film like this.
Deepika Padukone is earnest and doesn’t have merely an arm candy role. Though her screen space isn’t a lot, the actress has done a terrific job.
Abhishek Bachchan is effortless and hams well. But then again, despite a lot of screen presence his character is not well invested in the film.
Boman Irani brings in his wicked humor and is immensely endearing in his role. Though a lot of the antics, Farah made him do were weird, Irani pulled it all off smartly.
Sonu Sood goes almost unnoticed and wasted. I think he shouldn’t accept such thankless roles where all he is required to do is flaunt his body.
Vivaan Shah wasn’t as much a misfit as one would have thought. He is good and blends in smoothly with the rest of the cast.
Jackie Shroff goes wasted despite his menacing demeanor. Farah doesn’t build his character into anything meaty and anyone could have easily filled in for him. Shroff doesn’t get his usual quirk because the role barely allows him anything.
It lacks Farah Khan’s witty streak. The heist track just doesn’t work and the film’s second hour is plain unconvincing. Low on the needful IQ that could have made the robbery believable, the film’s thrill tapestry was on the weaker side.
Happy New Year is a muddled mess which has its own warm moments but as a package fails to work. Three hours of Shah Rukh flaunting his abs and swagger gets too much to take minus a strong storyline. Farah Khan has redeemed Tees Maar Khan but Happy New Year is her most mediocre work. It’s a magnum opus which is pretty much hollow from within and remains an all frills, no thrills show.
Rating - 2.5/5