By Inakshi Chandra-Mohanty
Happy Bhag Jayegi is a highly predictable and mediocre romantic comedy. The film follows a runaway Indian bride, Happy (Diana Penty), who is unintentionally transported to Pakistan. The plot centers on her efforts to return to her home in Amritsar with the help of Bilal Ahmed (Abhay Deol), the son of a Pakistani ex-governor.
This is writer and director, Mudassar Aziz’s second film. His previous release, Dulha Mil Gaya, did poorly at the box office and received critical reviews. Happy Bhag Jayegi however, is commendable with witless but hilarious dialogues. Only two hours and six-minutes-long, the film manages to keep a fast-pace despite the few emotional moments where it slightly lingers. The characters are believable and the intriguing premise manages to captivate the audience.
Diana Penty delves into the character of Happy with a tremendous amount of energy. Her sharp comic timing and her strong screen presence add depth and freshness to her character. Abhay Deol’s acting, however, is far from enticing. In many scenes he tries too hard to be funny and breaks away from the comic flow. Ali Fazal is sweet and simple as Happy’s lover, Guddu, and Piyush Mishra is a delight to watch.
In spite of the many positives of this film, it loses its touch in the second half as the characters fall into a waterfall of emotions and too many complications arise. A few jokes are repeated multiple times and though, amusing at first, begin to falter towards the end.
Happy Bhag Jayegi has flaws but is still enjoyable and entertaining. It left me pleased with a smile on my face.
Very few films can waver between being top-notch at some points and stupid at others. Mudassar Aziz’s Happy Bhag Jayegi is one such example that starts at an amusement park promising some crazy roller coasters that end up being a merry-go-round.
Having hints of Jab We Met and Tanu Weds Manu, Aziz puts up a fast paced and genuinely funny first half with a plot that is inherently funny and convincing at the same time. My request to all the directors and screenplay writers: Please do not hinder your screenplay by putting a compelled intermission, else the curse of the second half, as it has so happened, will prey on your story that has the potential of being so much better that what you eventually make of it.
Hindi films that have had an India-Pakistan theme or even a subplot have always had the syndrome of melodrama that often felt artificial and distasteful. I was elated to see this being religiously avoided in Happy Bhag Jayegi. And while the writers did give those periodic pro-India one-liners, they were kept subtle, funny and heartfelt. The actors were mostly dependable while Diana Penty did much better that I had expected. Piyush Mishra is clearly the highlight of the film.
Happy Bhag Jayegi left me disheartened, not because it is a bad film, but because it could have been so much better. While I have several problems with the film, its inherent genuineness makes it likeable and watchable.
Director Mudassar Aziz’s Happy Bhag Jayegi is that originally fizzy cola that lost its fizz but it still remained sweet.
Happy Bhag Jayegi is a romantic comedy and revolves around its female protagonist Happy (Diana Penty), who flees from her marriage and accidentally reaches Lahore, where she meets a Pakistani diplomat’s son Bilal Ahmed (Abhay Deol). When questioned, Happy reveals that she had run away from her wedding with the local corporator Daman Singh Bagga (Jimmy Sheirgill) in Amritsar, because she is actually in love with Guddu (Ali Fazal), but her parents are opposed to their relationship.
The film involves a series of chases, hidings, abduction with a blend of humour in the first half. There are few genuinely funny moments – like a scene where Piyush Mishra, a clumsy Pakistani cop tells Guddu “Ask me about anything but Kashmir”. The film slows down in the second half due to multiple subplots and romantic angles. However, crackling dialogues and well written characters save the show.
While Diana Penty does a decent job in playing the character of Happy, the three men impress with their endearing performances. Director Mudassar Aziz, who had earlier made the forgettable Dulha Mil Gaya, gives a pleasant surprise in the form of Happy Bhag Jayegi. The way he has presented the film’s characters is extremely real and that’s what works in favour of the film. The only thing which puts the film down is a slow second half, contrived screenplay and mediocre music.
Nevertheless, at roughly 125 minutes Happy Bhag Jayegi is a decent watch. Watch it with low expectations and you will come out entertained.
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