There is no doubt Sajid Khan has talent. Did you ever watch him call out numbers on a local cable television Housie show? Wow. When he wasn’t saying “two-fat-ladies 88”, he was funny. It’s been mostly downhill after that. First he works with Ramu and makes a forgettable comi…, sorry, horror short that landed up in Darna Zaroori Hai; followed by the intensely original (not!) Heyy Babyy. Still, Heyy Babyy was quite the masterpiece compared to his latest let’s-spend-Nadiadwala’s-money-and-go-have-a-vacation-around-the-world piece: Housefull.
The real star of Housefull is the costume design. The producers must be patting themselves on the back with the coup they pulled off: Deepika Padukone, Lara Dutta, and Jiah Khan in bikinis throughout the first half will certainly have the audiences glued. And when they get tired of the skin show (ably aided by some monkey-slapping, tiger roaring, and parrot killing: PETA should be all over them) in the second half they turn to homophobic humor and the next best thing to canned laughter to induce audiences out of their stupor: laughing gas. Stopping short of releasing Nitrous Oxide in theaters via the AC system (note to producer/director Sajids: please do not consider this as an actual idea for subsequent films), they do the next best thing: pull off an entire climax devoid of a single IQ point with the characters laughing their way through it.
There is nothing right with the film despite it having not one original idea. You’d think that you could take the funny bits out of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s films, DDLJ, Kal Ho Naa Ho, and a host of other Hindi and Hollywood films and string them together to make a rip-roaring comedy that is high on slapstick and some genuinely funny tracks. But you’d think they think of a semblance of plot, a sliver of logic, an inkling of counterbalancing seriousness. Not so. The only redeeming factor to a certain extent are the scenes where Akshay plays the comedy straight-faced.
The title, Akshay Kumar, the laughing gas, the brain dead humor, bikinis – these are all not-so-subliminal attempts at driving audiences to fill seats. Myriad audiences find their own reasons, it’s gotta be somewhere in the movie. The problem only begins when theaters playing films like these also run empty.
Hindi, Comedy, Color