Star cast: Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh, Ram Kapoor, Tamannaah Bhatia, Bipasha Basu and Esha Gupta
Director: Sajid Khan
What’s Good: Riteish Deshmukh & Ram Kapoor.
What’s Bad: Saif Ali Khan, the film’s corny humor and infuriatingly stretched gags.
Loo break: Too many to count.
Watch or Not?: If Himmatwala was terrible, I have no clue how to rate Humshakals. Sans a scintilla of intelligence, the film begins with a note from Sajid Khan about what a wise man had once said. It seems that Sajid never paid heed to the value of experience, which quite justifies the level of his films. Bereft of wit, the film banks on a convoluted narrative and one mess of a storyline. At 2 hours and 40 minutes, the film is an endurance test which I failed in. If you suck out Ram & Riteish, Humshakals is pretty much the worst film I have ever seen!
Ashok (Saif) is a rich business tycoon based in London, who might be the owner of a rich empire, but harbors the desire to become a stand up comedian. Ashok’s friend Kumar (Riteish) is his only confidant, but their hunky dory life is disrupted when Ashok’s Mama KANS (Ram) uses a medicine and pushes Ashok & Kumar into a mentally challenged state of mind.
While they can’t recuperate, the same mental asylum shelters another set of Ashok and Kumar who are the humshakals of the original pair. That’s not all, when KANS frames them to inherit the business empire, Ashok and Kumar find KANS’ humshakal too.
The story moves forward and another set of humshakals is revealed. So will the original Ashok and Kumar win over the original Mamaji is the story!
Humshakals Review: Script Analysis
For a change I can’t write ‘analyse what script?’ because the muddle I was compelled to watch cannot be written off so easily. Flimsily written, the film is a story about 3 sets of similar looking people. It’s plain mucky, if I put it politely. But Sajid Khan’s story has offended me beyond wits and I have no intention of being kind here. I understand the guy has no respect for cinema, and his idea of loving films is delivering crud! I am disappointed at the lack of subtlety. It turns out I am asking for too much, but when Saif, Riteish, Ram & Satish Shah slap and punch each other to emphasize on the film being a ‘slapstick’, one can easily gauge what we are thrown into. Stretching gags are a pain and when a Prince Charles impostor comments that the film is more confusing than his marriage to Lady Diana, I was peeved enough to silently hope someone sues Sajid for making terrible films.
The movie has enough moments to prove that Sajid is aware of his drawbacks. In a scene where mentally challenged patients are made to watch Himmatwala as a torture mechanism, I would like to believe that Khan understands filmmaking isn’t making the best use of skills. Filled with claptraps and puerile humor, the film gave no immensely engrossing bit. The only part which I enjoyed to the hilt was Riteish and Saif trying to escape the mental asylum. In a crisp and genuinely funny scene, Riteish’s facial expressions was ultimate show stealer.
The low brow variety of fun is not something I can pass off as entertainment. In fact, cloning Saif & Riteish by tracking facial expression points and adding a voice modulator chip to get theirs voices correct was the most horrifyingly ridiculous thing I have heard since Joey’s Brain Transplant episode in FRIENDS. The only difference was Sajid expects to be taken seriously. If you haven’t died of shock yet, the film’s climax is a ‘signing of power of attorney papers’ held in the House Of Commons. Also a Grade 3, kept in isolation, mentally handicapped man has a logical working brain and hence fathoms the nuances of humshakal characters and the master plan better than us. If the sludge wasn’t enough, the dialogues will kill you. If that doesn’t, the film’s length will. But if you enter the hall to watch Humshakals, Sajid won’t let you out alive.
Humshakals Review: Star Performances
Saif Ali Khan hasn’t delivered this lusterless performance in a while. I haven’t been a fan of his latest releases but the guy hams, overacts and is darn terrible at it. Pitted against better actors like Ram and Riteish doesn’t help him as they make him look worse.
Ram Kapoor is fantastic. Especially where the male Ram romances the female Ram, one witnesses the immense versatile potential in the man. I wish Bollywood doesn’t allow him to return to television ever. Actors like him are such a rare find.
Toppling even Ram is Riteish who is genuinely the best thing in this otherwise pathetic movie. He brightens the screen with his quirkiness and the punctual comic timing. I can’t wait for Ek Villain even more now since the actor isn’t scared to unleash an absolutely different side of his!
The ladies, Esha Gupta, Tamannaah Bhatia & Bipasha Basu lack the comic bone altogether. In terms of screen presence Bipasha is slightly better but as a pack they all disappoint.
Humshakals Review: Direction, Editing and Screenplay
Sajid Khan is slowly emerging as the king of disastrous films. Compared to his TV shows, his films are not only mere failures but shows a dip in his sense of comedy. Lacking genuine-ity and filled with stupidity, my problem isn’t with the slapstick humor. His film lacks consistency this time. His actors barring Ram & Riteish is below average. And mostly the film isn’t the least likeable. I will be lying if I claim, I didn’t laugh at all. I did but mostly I was at the film and not with the film. The film was absolutely flat in its first half and though post interval Sajid manages to emerge out of the self created chaos for a bit but the tapestry of litter is so elaborate, that Khan doesn’t quite navigate an easy way out.
Humshakals Review: The Last Word
Humshakals is the lowest form of buffoonery I have seen this year. It would have been way more harsh if Ram & Riteish were missing from the film. Loaded with indecipherable dim wit, the film is an odd mishmash of pathos and drudgery. Unfunny and strictly for juvenile, I am gonna take the day off to decide whether Himmatwala was better than this. Meanwhile, stick to FIFA and stay away from the cinemas. Going with a very lenient 1.5/5, I am on the brink of lunacy after watching some glop like this.
Humshakals releases on 20th June, 2014.
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