Rating: 3.5/5 Stars (Three and half stars)
Star Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Ileana D’Cruz, Govinda, Preity Zinta, Ranvir Shorey, Kalki Koechlin, Andrew Kneebone
Director: Krishna DK, Raj Nidimoru
What’s Good: The light and breezy feel good milieu, glossy gorgeous frames, the fantastic cinematography, the killer dialogues, the straight faced Saif and ‘above all’ the Kickass Mr. G.
What’s Bad: A semi tenuous second half which falls into the pitfalls and loopholes peculiar to the genre of romantic comedies.
Loo break: Not many.
Watch or Not?: Disguised as a spoof on romantic comedies, Happy Ending does it all – from boy meets girl, to boy-girl fall in love, boy-girl break up and boy-girl re-unite; but the usual drill is peppered with some wit, tonnes of wicked humor, piquant dialogues and infused in an enticing gorgeous set up. Don’t judge me if I have ogled at the shots of a BMW cruising its way through the Pacific Bay Coast, that’s what romantic comedies do! And I am happy to inform you that Happy Ending does the floss and the formula with utter brilliance. I won’t call it a perfect film but I laughed at multiple cues, didn’t get all sappy at their breakup and came out smiling. I am not someone who will buy into the maudlin world of ‘Aashiqui’ brand of romance and for me Happy Ending just fits well – live one day at a time, why do you need to know where you are headed and yet, being in love while you walk through the tunnel whose end is dark. I strongly recommend you watch it, because it’s dollops of happy whoopee.
Yudi (Saif Ali Khan) lives in a plush apartment in California. His last book was 6 years ago and he hasn’t worked ever since. Stuck in a creative limbo, he begins a manuscript and can never pull through writing the ending – the most perfect, Happy Ending. Bankrupt and penniless, he finds himself at a sticky situation where he has to write a staple rom-com for a Bollywood Superstar (Govinda). He bumps into his muse, the new bestselling novelist of his publication and the woman he falls for. She is as cheeky as him, writes romantic novels and doesn’t believe in the hanky panky of love. As the drill goes, Yudi must win over the girl and sort out his life but the success of this film is not in its climax but the narrative which breezes you through the life of two commitment phobic people and makes you realize that ‘Opposites attract’ stands for magnets mostly, with people you are looking for someone ‘whose soul is made of same thing’ as yours.
Happy Ending Review: Script Analysis
I had begun to believe that romantic comedies cannot be made with a difference. And I am also right but they can still be made pretty darn good. There is nothing unusual in the film’s story. You can almost predict things and therein lies the fun because Raj and DK too are predicting it with us. Yudi’s alter ego Yogi and me announced the arrival of the big airport scene together and that just assured me, that the film incorporates everything I like watching and does so by poking a little fun of it all. The film starts with Saif and ex lover (real life wife) Kareena watching ‘Love Aaj Kal’. She tells him she loves him, he says erm cool. She says I know you have depth. And he says no, I think this is all I have. Breakup. Eight and a half relationships later, Saif is living in California. An erstwhile bestselling writer who has gone broke and lost his car due to failing his installment payments, he is royally, if I may say, screwed! Amidst all the confusion, he bumps into Aanchal Reddy – a writer who has replaced him at his publication, writes romantic novels for a living and doesn’t believe in love.
As the story progresses, Saif squabbles over how to breakup with his present girlfriend Bishakha – a girl who despite 7 and a half break up attempts doesn’t get it. She averts one attempt by showing Yudi a naked video of him performing a bathroom jig. She doesn’t need a reply to I love you, she already knows he loves her. Get the drift? Career wise, Yudi meets Superstar Armaan-jee and he is indeed the film’s best part. Taking potshots at what works in Bollywood, Armaan is invariably hilarious. I laughed the hardest when he announces that people don’t pay 300 bucks to get a gyaan-seesion about life. As much as I believe in good cinema (which is often equated to dark and serious films), I do agree that paying for understanding life is never the purpose of cinema. If it manages that, fair enough! ‘Hero Heroine Gaana Gatey Hai Toh Gaaney Do, Puppy(Kiss) Lete Hai Toh Lene Do’ is where he functions from.
The best bits in the film are between Yudi Saif and Yogi Saif. He indeed has a sexy alter ego who gulps down gallons of red wine and comes up with some quirky lines. Here’s one – ‘Raat Ke 12 se 4 ke beech mard ch****a jaata hai, dimaag ki jagah patloon se sochta hai.’ That entire dialogue rings true because every girl has sat through 2 am drunken ranting, love professing session of some man she was involved with and every guy has done that to some girl at one time or the other.
Post intermission, Raj and D.K go their Go Goa Gone way, the thick laughs were reducing, you shift a little more in your seats and the glossy frames demand a better story. But 15 minutes into the wobbly second half, you realize, it is impossible to retract from the predictability because Yudi despite being one of the jerks you probably know, is so real that he has bonded with you. It grows on you with its light hearted quick dialogues and luckily no character revels in pretentious cuteness which makes the film fun.
Happy Ending Review: Star Performances
Saif Ali Khan plays himself from Love Aaj Kal but the acting has obviously matured. Playing commitment phobic has been his thing in a lot of films and it’s his usual deadpan humor that gets you. I loved Yogi more than Yudi. To be able to deliver such distinct performances, in the same frame needs a sound sense of comic timing and Saif surpasses his best. What Humshakals? That never happened. Period!
Ileana Dcruz gives her most effortless performance since Barfi!. She isn’t Aanchal and is clearly playing herself but does so with a lot of believable earnestness.
Kalki Koechlin despite her small role is great. She gets her antics in to make you laugh and you do find the psycho stalker endearing!
In the same breath, I will mention Ranvir Shorey who is an outstanding actor with a knack for comedy but his frustrated situation will get you laughing. He checks out Bishaka’s lingerie and says ‘Tu Kya, Main Bhi Gauri (his wife) Ko Buri Nazar Se Nahin Dekhta’. His dominating wife, her oops pregnancy and her monotone underwears are the primary problems of his life.
Preity Zinta in a tiny cameo is sparkling.
And finally Govinda is in his words, ‘kickass’. Slipping into the kind of loud humor he knows the best, Raj and D.K contrast it with Saif’s and makes sure the stint gives you the film’s best times. Govinda has now re-arrived and hell, you’ll be irrevocably in love.
Happy Ending Review: Direction, Editing and Screenplay
Raj and D.K have already shown us their thinking space is from extraterrestrial and thank God for that. A scene where Govina’s assistant says Ek South Ki Film Bani and sab uske pichey lag gaye, it just sounded so true! Luckily they too are critical of the same! Their vocabulary is fresh, their writing might not be novel but atleast they were ballsy enough to attempt a half decent spoof on romances. I call it half decent for a reason. The tempo drops in the second hour, there are scenes that will be hard to buy, cues that might seem forced. Does that perturb me much? Not even close. In the end, I loved the film and a large part of the credit goes to Raj and D.K along with Saif who pack together so many right ingredients that you can’t help but invest in the film.
The editing was crisp and a special mention to Sachin Jigar’s music. Thank you for not giving us another lachrymose-ish break up song which will make us cringe. From Pussy Cat to Jaise Mera Tu To Mileya Mileya, there is enough good music to keep you glued.
Happy Ending Review: The Last Word
Happy Ending makes fun of all the films which have made it our bucket list of classic love films and does so without a hint disparaging malice. Yogi and Yudi played by Saif and their well-placed complimentary, smart-alecky camaraderie, along with the poker faced humor of Govinda makes this film a peachy yet relevant and essentially a droll, chucklesome watch. There aren’t many ‘fur and feathers’ films which go down well with me, this is one of the sparse few which qualify as exception. I am going with a judicious 3.5/5.
Happy Ending Trailer
Happy Ending releases on 21st November, 2014.
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