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Housefull is a romantic comedy entertainer which narrates the story of Aarush - the world's unluckiest man. Being jinxed, he believes his bad luck can vanish if he finds true love. In this quest for true love how one lie leads to another and how different people from different walks of life come together adding even more confusion to this hilarious comedy of errors resulting in total chaos and mayhem forms the crux of the story. The line which Deepika tells Akshay in the film "Jis jhooth se kissi ka ghar basta ho, voh jhooth jhooth nahin hota", pretty much sums up the essence of the film. Written by
Why do I never learn? Why do I keep going to Akshay Kumar films, when they disappoint so consistently?
My latest Akshay Kumar mistake is an unfunny comic caper named "Housefull". After the debacles that were "Blue", "Kambakht Ishq", "Chandni Chowk to China", now comes this new atrocity from Sajid Khan, who earlier had made the rotten-only-in-patches film "Heyy Babyy" (what's with the atrocious spelling?), a genial Indian take on "Three Men and a Baby". Somehow I evaded "Singh is Kingg" (there we go with the spelling again). Even I could tell that Akshay plus the blandly beautiful and seriously wooden Katrina Kaif would be an industrial-strength double whammy to be avoided at any cost.
I have a soft spot for Sajid Khan, because his sister Farah Khan makes the most awesome Hindi entertainers ("Main Hoon Na" and "Om Shanti Om") and is possibly one of the smartest, funniest, wackiest people in India. In short, I adore Farah Khan, and feel I must support any cinematic endeavor by her or her many family members. Her husband Sirish Kunder, a topnotch editor, made the passable "Jaan-E-Man" with Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan, and Preity Zinta, and Akshay was actually kind of endearing in it. Her cousins Zoya and Farhan Akhtar have made some excellent films: the flawless "Luck By Chance" and the clever and charming "Dil Chahta Hai"; as an actor, Farhan hit the bullseye in "Luck By Chance", "Rock On!!", and the psychological thriller "Kartik calling Kartik".
So, I'm not a total loser for going to watch Akshay Kumar movies. It's just that he appears to have absolutely no instinct for choosing good films, and sometimes, inspite of this, he ends up in a competent masala Hindi entertainer ("Dil To Pagal Hai", "Aitraaz" was a guilty pleasure...tacky, but Priyanka Chopra was fascinating. Akshay was very good in "Dhadkan", co-starring Shilpa Shetty after her first nose job and Suneil Shetty.), but mostly he works in simply dreadful movies. At the wrap of each awful flick, he probably drawls, "I'll have my check now, thank you very much!" and toddles off to the next excruciatingly bad film, gummy grin and all.
Arjun Rampal, Riteish Desmukh, and the ever reliable Boman Irani (playing a Gujarati businessman, this time) are the other men in this movie with a frat boy sensibility. And for the frat boys, we must have bodacious babes, so the polished and professional Deepika Padukone, the usually smart and sensuous Lara Dutta, and the sexy, but frankly terrible Jiah Khan, a fully clothed Malaika Arora (hello!), and Lilette Dubey are roped in to do the needful. Except Arjun plays Malaika and Deepika's brother...he must be still wondering how that bit of injustice came about.
To be fair, there is about 10 minutes of delightful nonsense, when practically the entire cast lands up under various pretexts at a house to make it the titular "Housefull" and I did laugh out aloud once, but that meant sitting through 1.5 hours to arrive at the funny bit, and then another 45 or so minutes when things went back to being unamusing.
Randhir Kapoor, looking porcine and hollering all the time, makes one of his periodic comebacks, playing Jiah Khan's father. These days he is more famous for being Karisma and Kareena Kapoor's father. Randhir Kapoor, you will remember, had quite the busy career in the 70s and 80s. Even as a romantic leading man, he was fat, cheerful, laid-back, wickedly funny in print, and on screen, as well. He had the Kapoor weakness for plenty of fine food and drink, never ever worked out, and was best buds with Rekha. Together they gave many politically incorrect, hilarious interviews in various film periodicals, poking fun at career-minded, goody-goody colleagues like Hema Malini and anyone who made the mistake of crossing them. They worked together non-stop in a few A, but mostly B-grade potboilers, and were like truant school kids having the time of their lives.
Then Amitabh Bachchan happened to Rekha: she shed many kilos (including Randhir Kapoor), her screeching laughter and her irresponsible teenager ways, learnt Urdu, how to conduct herself like a lady, and took to giving those ambiguous, mystical New Age interviews which were all about the mysterious "He", "Him", "the One" in her life. I wish she would return to being the hugely fun person she was, and do a riotous comedy. Her "Khoobsurat" days are over, but surely someone can do an "Auntie Mame" or "Travels with my Aunt" with her, and she would be an absolute hoot in it.
Randhir Kapoor could only have had a career during that period of Hindi cinema. In these times of buff bodies, six-pack abs, and bulging biceps, he would never have landed a gig. It's a shame, too, because now it appears to be all about the toned body and not quite as much as the performance or personality.
Arjun Rampal is an anachronism: he has the looks, body, dignity, plenty of screen presence and talent of a matinée idol of old. He did very well in this idiotic movie, giving much more than it deserved.
I don't know if these observations have anything at all to do with "Housefull", but I felt like letting off some steam after being gypped yet again by an Akshay Kumar movie.
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