Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Anupam Kher, Jackie Shroff
Director: Farah Khan
Happy New Year exists for one purpose — to entertain. And Farah Khan, inheritor of the Manmohan Desai mantle, has proved that she is more than capable of giving us a good time. But in Happy New Year, the desire to entertain overshadows everything else — script, characters, coherence, narrative logic. The result is a 179-minute film that simply beats you into submission. It is frantic, noisy, gaudy and, largely, joyless. Farah takes the framework of the traditional heist movie and bungs in revenge, melodrama, comedy, romance, countless dazzling dance sequences and, as a climactic flourish, a dose of patriotism.
Shah Rukh Khan is Charlie, described as a Boston University ka topper, who can’t find a job because his father (Anupam Kher) is imprisoned under false robbery charges. Charlie seeks revenge against the man who ruined his life. The revenge involves the famed Atlantis hotel in Dubai, a monstrously large safe, the world dance championship, too many product placements and diamonds worth ‘300 crore dollars’. Charlie’s crew consists of five oddballs who are losers. So it’s up to Shah Rukh to keep Happy New Year going. He displays his eight-pack abs, beats up many baddies and still romances with utmost conviction.
I have a very high tolerance level for anything Shah Rukh is in, and yet Happy New Year was a slog. Which compels me to repeat a line from my review of Chennai Express: Come back, Rahul. All is forgiven.