Pure popcorn entertainment with plenty of laughs
To begin with, if at all the makers of the film choose to carry forward the franchise, the next film should be centered on the adventures of Bagga and Afridi, played in supreme form by Jimmy Sheirgill and Piyush Mishra. Because these two are a riot and possibly the only reason why ‘Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi’ saves itself from absolute derailment.
‘HPBJ’ is a continuation to ‘Happy Bhag Jayegi’ with its cross-border comedy in place. Happy 2 (Sonakshi Sinha), a horticulture professor is kidnapped by Chinese goons (blessed with an IQ of five-year olds) who mistake her for being the Happy (Diana Penty), they are actually looking for. Meanwhile, Happy 1 and her husband Guddu (Ali Fazal) receive the best of Chinese hospitality, after she is misunderstood as the expected professor. In the midst of chaos, Bagga and Afridi are also kidnapped from Amritsar and Lahore respectively, to retrieve the original Happy. While escaping from her kidnappers, Happy 2 bumps into Khushwant Singh Gill (Jassie Gill) an Indian Embassy official, who resolves to help her on the purpose that brought her to China. What follows is a ride of errors.
To tell a comedy based on mistaken identities is a noble intention but director Mudassar Aziz, who is also credited to have written the story, screenplay, dialogues and the lyrics of the film’s soundtrack, seems to run out of ideas after a point. To give him the benefit of doubt, maybe, handling too many profiles at once can be blamed for the movie faltering at occasions too many. Replete with racial stereotypes, some of the film’s dialogues display an average Indian’s touristy mindset. For example, in more than three occasions, it’s mentioned that all Chinese look alike. What’s disturbing are the objectionable names given to some of the characters, masquerading as comedy. How do you explain naming a character as Fa Q and another as Ma Ka Ju in a family entertainer? Editor Ninad Khanolkar could’ve cut down the length of the film’s second half which particularly goes off the roof with proceedings going nowhere.
But hey, it’s not an unenjoyable film altogether. The film’s best scenes and dialogues feature Bagga and Afridi and it’s to the credit of Sheirgill and Mishra that you remain invested in the film throughout, even though trying to gain sense of the plot can be excruciating. Sonakshi has a refreshing presence to offer as Happy. Jassie makes an impressive debut and makes you care for Khushwant. He is the good boy most girls desire. Diana and Ali as Happy and Guddu have little to do given their limited screen presence. Aparshakti Khurana as Happy’s fiancé Aman is possibly the weakest link in the film. Infact, his arrival rudely interjects all the fun that’s going on till then. Jeeveshu Ahluwalia as a Chinese citizen who speaks Urdu is a shaky act but he can still land a punch or two.
In a day and age, where a ‘Golmaal Again’ can make its money and even win the Best Film at a reputable award function, it’s only fair to give ‘Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi’ a chance. Its two and a half hours of pure popcorn entertainment with plenty of laughs.
PS: Once again, I request the makers reading this. Can we have a film with Bagga and Afridi in the leads please?