Having not liked Heyy Babyy one bit, I approached Housefull with skepticism and my doubts were seemingly coming true within the first hour of the movie! The goings on were so predictable and at times, so boring that I felt this was my second consecutive dud-movie-going (after Prince!). But director Sajid Khan salvages the movie majorly with the second half, as the goings on become much more hilarious and rib tickling. He blots his copybook a bit with a Priyadarsan-esque climax but overall, its a good watch.
Housefull revolves around bad-luck-struck Aarush (Akshay Kumar) who brings ill-luck upon himself and on others wherever he goes. So much so that he’s employed in a casino to repel the winning streaks of players! Fed up with the job and cast aside by his lover, he returns to London to his best friend Bob (Riteish Deshmukh) & his wife Hetal (Lara Dutta) but his bad luck follows him. In a bid to get rid of the ‘loser’ tag by finding true love, he marries Devika (Jiah Khan), gets jilted and then meets Soundarya a.k.a. Sandy (Deepika Padukone). Thrown into the mix then are Sandy’s possessive anna Major Krishna Rao (Arjun Rampal) and Hetal’s father Batuk Patel (Boman Irani) and the happenings just get crazy and crazier!
A ‘loser’ attracting more bad luck and compounding his situation further is nothing new and this stands out as a big deterrent in the first half, with some loud & awkward scenes not helping matters. Akshay’s and Jiah’s arranged marriage is without substance or background and that too stands out as a sore thumb. The movie picks up a bit with Chunkey Pandey’s irritating but comical Italian+Pathan character lending some relief. Deepika’s introduction is none too convincing either and by the time interval approaches, one wonders if its all going downhill. But the entry of Arjun Rampal and Boman Irani lend a huge boost and the ensuing mistaken identities and the confusions borne out of that are simply hilarious. An unnecessarily-included gay angle comes across as annoying but funny nonetheless. The fact that the movie All The Best had similar happenings kept on niggling at the back of my mind but I swatted it out anyway!
Inter Milan were down to ten men (we’ll come back to that later), fought manfully, defended for their lives with striker Samuel Et’oo even playing at left back and ended up losers on the night but they beat the current European Champions Barcelona over two legs to book their place in this year’s Champions League final, where they will take on Bayern Munich for the biggest prize in European Football.
The match against Barcelona was touted as Jose Mourinho’s biggest challenge and he came up trumps again, as he did a week ago at Milan. Yeah they lost the match 1-0 but came out 3-2 winners in the tie and that’s as much down to the manager’s tactical brilliance as it was to the players. Walter Samuel, Lucio, Javier Zanetti, Maicon, Esteban Cambiasso et al put in stellar defensive purposes and stifled Barcelona so much that towards the end they had to resort to long balls and crosses in search of the elusive goal.
The match would’ve been a different affair altogether if it weren’t for the theatrics of Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets, whose dramatic antics after being touched on the face by Inter’s Thiago Motta (who was already on a yellow) and probably the crowd & Barca players’ reactions, conned/convinced the referee into showing a straight Red. Down to ten men with more than an hour to go, Inter downed gears and played as defensively as they could. Though that made the match less interesting, it offered an insight into how Barca would cope up with overtly defensive play – and the answer is: not good. Theyc ould only muster a total of 4-5 shots on-goal even though possession was 75% in their favour! Messi was subdued for the most part but the colossal-est disappointment of the night for me was Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who apart from changing his torn jersey, did little.
Hats off to the Inter side and now they must be favourites to win the big prize, come May 22nd. Of course, Bayern are no slouch and in Louis Van Gaal, possess a shrewd and experienced manager who might just manage to outwit Jose in the big match. We’ll all see in a little over three weeks’ time.
More: UEFA Match Report | BBC Sport Match Report
Red Bull’s red hot Qualifying streak continued as they qualified at the top of the pile for the Chinese Grand Prix and locked out the front row – Sebastian Vettel on pole position with Mark Webber on P2. Fernando Alonso’s on P3 with Nico Rosberg P4, Jenson Button P5 and Lewis Hamilton managing only P6 after dominating the practice and earlier qualifying sessions. Felipe Massa qualified on P7 with Robert Kubica P8, Michael Schumacher P9 and Adrian Sutil rounds off the top ten.
It was a rather surprising result, given McLaren had dominated the practice sessions – Button fastest in FP1 & Hamilton in FP2. The signs were there in FP3 as Mark Webber clocked the fastest time. However, as the initial two qualifying sessions showed, McLaren were back on top as Hamilton edged out their rivals in both the sessions. But right when it mattered, the Red Bulls pulled out fastest times outta the bags! Mark Webber was almost celebrating as he was on P1 as the chequered flag waved but Vettel was still some way behind and as expected, clocked the fastest time – a 1:34.558 as compared to 1:34.806 for Webber.
Q1 started with Renault racing against time to get their second driver Vitaly Petrov out on track after he destroyed his car after a shunt in this morning’s third practice session but eventually they did get him up and running. McLaren and Lewis Hamilton showed that their practice pace was no flash in the pan as they were fastest in the first session. Nico Rosberg was second fastest for Mercedes with Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso & Felipe Massa following closely. It was a bad day at the office for Force India’s Vitantonio Liuzzi as he failed to make the cut into Q2 for the first time this season. Joining him at the back of the grid were the two Virgins of Timo Glock and Lucas Di Grassi, the two Lotuses of Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli and the two Hispanias of Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok.
I needed a reboot myself after returning from the screening of Prince, where the hero faces from acute bouts of nausea and passes out coz his “brain crashes every time he reboots i.e. sleeps”! And no, I’m not making this up here…its actually the whole bedrock principle of the movie *facepalm*
The hero, is called only Prince for no apparent reason (its *not* his nickname…they actually show an ID Card with the name as Prince Verma!) and is said to be a master thief – though he only vacuums up some diamonds at the start of the movie and ransacks a telephone booth at the fag end & steals nothing in between! Something lame happens to his memory and he recalls only the past day or so.
Therein starts a whole rigmarole where the hapless audience is subjected to not one, not two but three bimbos calling themselves Maya, an idiotic servant who keeps repeating “woh” every time he opens his mouth, some wierdly named organizations – there’s DCOI & IGRIP, for starters, a ‘look-ma-I’ve-a-Terminator-esque-hand’ villain, umpteen gun-toting phoren extras, some unfathomable computer gadgetry and a whole lot of bunkum. And yeah, there’re several quite daring but nonsensical stunts – most of them involving jumping off rooftops on bikes!
Amidst all this hoopla, there’s nothing resembling a storyline or a screenplay. Yeah, there’s a flashback story that is a load of tripe, some mumbo-jumbo about national security, the usual hundreds of millions of dollars at stake and also the backstabbery but all of them are as predictable as tomorrow’s sunrise! Logic, rationale, flow and meaning disappear as the horns did off a donkey’s head!
The guys at WordPress are genuises! Otherwise how’d they figure out I had a bunch of pics ready to be posted and to save me trouble of putting them up at some 3rd party sites like Slideshare, launched their nifty li’l images-as-a-slideshow feature?
I’d been to Bengaluru and then to Mysore on a whirlwind short trip with folks and below are some of the snaps taken with my phone.
There’d been much more than just these pics if it were not for some dumbo (ahem…who some say was me!) had not forgotten the digicam in the back of the car as we returned from a tiring trip!