Producer: Sajid Nadiadwala
Director: Sajid Khan
Cast: Mithun Chakraborty, Rishi Kapoor, Randhir Kapoor, Boman Irani, Akshay Kumar, Asin Thottumkal, John Abraham, Jacqueline Fernandez, Riteish Deshmukh, Zarine Khan, Shreyas Talpade, Shazahn Padamsee
When you have everything already in place – cast, location, a franchise that’s already a brand and a storyline that’s begging to be taken forward – the rest is easy. Or so one assumes. The problem with Housefull 2 is its script. The writers and the director have done nothing to enhance the subject, with the result that this much-anticipated film is only a mediocre comedy. From beginning to end, you wonder why the writers failed to take a potential winner, add the right punches and gags, and make this film an out-and-out entertainer.
The premise is so good that ‘masala entertainer’ is written all over it, at least figuratively. You have two step-brothers, who hate each other, and their respective wives and daughters too can’t stand each other. Both of them decide to get their respective daughters married to the son of the richest Indian in London.
Instead, they end up inviting trouble by allowing two thugs into their home and they force their respective daughters to fall in love with them. Later, the entire star cast shifts to a mansion that belongs to the rich Indian. Now, for a title like Housefull 2 (a mad, mad comedy, first version) this was the perfect premise for a hit comedy. But Housefull 2 fails to deliver.
The film had as many as five writers including the producer, who provided the story idea. The writers did set up the comic situations but forgot to pepper them with one-liners and punches that would have made the film a winner all the way. Result: the said scenes fall flat. For instance, the two couples land up on a ‘deserted’ island that has a resort. Now with all the protagonists on the island, it could have been hilarious. But that does not happen.
Also, the beginning of the film doesn’t offer anything. The writer and director spend too much time introducing the characters – first fight between two cousins followed by their mothers, followed by their respective fathers, followed by parents visiting Rishi Kapoor’s house as they want their son to marry the latter’s daughter. What follows between the two parents and later the introduction of all four protagonists, one after another. If merely following this is exhausting, imagine watching it unfold on screen! No wonder you’re too fed up to be intrigued.
Since the film boasts many big names, too many sub-plots have been woven in to justify the presence of each actor. Result: the proceedings drag further. Like Mithun Chakraborty’s secret, that he was once a bandit. It’s a good idea but the way it has been written and presented is disappointing.
Now the highlight of every comedy is its pre-climax and climax. And the original version, Housefull, did not disappoint. The sequel, however, drags and is not in the least funny.
Having said that, the film does have its moments. Whenever Akshay Kumar appears on screen, his mannerisms which ape Ranjeet make you smile. Even though he’s doing exactly what he’s done in comedies before, he’s still funny. Also, the crocodile and python scene will entertain the children in the audience.
Songs have always been a trump card in Sajid Khan’s previous film (Heyy Babyy and Housefull). But, this time, the music is a major letdown. Khan tries to use all the ingredients he can to make the film entertaining, but its soul, the music, is missing. With the punches falling flat and the action scenes failing to impress, the film seems to go haywire. Many comedies have taken the audience for granted but not as much as Housefull 2.
Directorially, Sajid Khan, this time, fails to impress even though he handles a few scenes with aplomb. Also, after watching Housefull, you expect the sequel to be even more hilarious. Since it isn’t it’s an even bigger letdown. Cinematography is all right. Editing could have been tighter.
Performance-wise, though Akshay Kumar appears on screen more than 30 minutes after the film rolls, he carries the film on his shoulders. Despite his poorly sketched character, he’s very good. John Abraham is terrific though he looks a little uncomfortable in some comic scenes. Riteish Deshmukh is all right and so is Shreyas Talpade. Four actresses – Asin, Jacqueline Fernandez, Shazahn Padamsee and Zarine Khan – have nothing much to do in the film. All of them are fine in their respective roles.
Asin still needs to work on her make-up as she looks weird in a few scenes. Vindoo Dara Singh’s part looks forced and he thus fails to leave any impact. Rishi Kapoor and Randhir Kapoor are forced to make faces and ham. Mithun Chakraborty is passable. Boman Irani is loud. Chunky Pandey irritates but a section of the audience may find him funny. Johny Lever is good. Ranjeet leaves a mark in a cameo.
Verdict: Despite the ongoing IPL matches, Housefull 2 managed to take a fantastic start at the ticket counter. But a not-so-cohesive script may play spoilsport. After a good weekend, the lack of entertainment may dampen its prospects though the film might eventually prove to be a safe bet for its investors.