Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Housefull: Turn down the volume!
There is a song in Sajid Khan’s “Housefull” with the lyrics “volume kam kar” (turn down the volume). Wouldn’t it be nice if the director and actors had imbibed this simple message? That would have made this alleged comedy easier to tolerate.
Instead every character in the film either screams, laughs or cries so loudly, and for seemingly no reason, that you want to hit the mute button.
Unfortunately, the noise pollution shows no sign of stopping and also puts an end to any hope of genuine comic moments. Director Khan sacrifices clever lines for loud and mostly unfunny gags, which if you saw his first film “Heyy Baby”, wouldn’t come as a surprise.
Akshay Kumar plays Aarush, who believes himself to be a human jinx, bringing bad luck to all around him. He quits his job at a casino in Macau and comes to London to spend time with his friend Baburao, better known as Bob (Riteish).
Bob’s wife Hetal (Lara Dutta) is supposed to be a waitress but can apparently afford designer handbags and luxury trips to Italy.
In spite of having no job and home, Aarush manages to land himself a rich wife, merely by virtue of being Indian, but it turns out she only got married to get hold of her father’s fortune.
His last chance for love comes in the form of Sandy (Deepika Padukone) who falls for him but has a strict brother.
In order to convince him and Hetal’s dad, the foursome concoct a lie, which leads to supposed comic scenes.
But when a character in a film is named “aakhri pasta” and there’s a scene involving laughing gas at Buckhingam Palace, you can imagine how pain-inducing this comedy is.
Khan claims this film is a tribute to directors like Manmohan Desai and Hrishikesh Mukherjee, but I cannot think of a worse way to pay tribute. The script is needless to say haywire and makes no sense. However, Akshay Kumar does put in a restrained performance this time around, making him likeable.
There haven’t been a lot of big budget films at the theatres for two months and it must be tempting to buy a ticket. I’d say wait a while but if you must go, go with lots of tolerance and ear plugs