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!
One of the drawbacks of the movie is that most of the comic situations end abruptly. The divorce, the black child, Lilette & Boman’s romance, the ayah angle et al could’ve been built upon or closed down gradually but aren’t. Also, the movie suffers from several gaping loopholes – plot-wise as well as narrative-wise. Music is good and almost all of the songs add credence to the narrative plus being very nicely (read sexily😉 ) picturized. Oh Girl, you’re mine, Pappa jaag jayega & Dhanno stand out tops amongst them. ooh and I should mention that dhanno has a eye-poppingly good-looking Jacqueline Fernandez dancing away nicely (same definition of that as a line previously😉 ).
Akshay’s character is straight out of the Salman-Preity-Akshay starrer Jaan-E-Mann (co-incidentally also a Sajid Nadiadwala movie). Yeah he’s a nerd there and a loser here but the portrayal is the same. Riteish and Lara are an odd pairing but they carry it off well. Jiah Khan is wasted and shows a bit too much skin (um…not wasted, in that case!). Deepika is natural and looks beautiful in some stunning costumes but why-oh-why saddle her with a South Indian name and having her blurt an awkward-sounding “anna” every few minutes! To make matters worse, she and Arjun Rampal converse in some awful Telugu. Coming to him, Rampal still retains the same woodiness from his Pyaar, Ishq aur Mohabbat and Deewanapann days and is an even worse dancer than Sunny Deol. Consistency, eh? Boman Irani is the funniest of them all (so is Chunkey Pandey…btw, what a name he has – Aakhri Pasta😆 )
Some boring and finicky moments in the first half, a nonsensical climax and few gaping plot holes aside, Housefull is a fun watch nevertheless. The comic moments outweigh the tardy ones, but only just. With a not-too-bad star cast and some nice music, this one can be a sure-fire weekend time pass. Though I wouldn’t expect it to be housefull (meaning a full theatre) over a long period. At least not as long as #Simha is ruling the roost in the AP theatres