The film is directed by Mudassar Aziz.
Happy Bhag Jayegi is the Bollywood entertainer for this week. The film marks the return of Abhay Deol and Diana Penty after a long break, while also starring Ali Fazal, Jimmy Sheirgill, Momal Sheikh and Piyush Mishra. The film is directed by Mudassar Aziz and produced by Aanand L Rai. Read our review ahead...
What's it about
Happy (Diana Penty) a boisterous girl from Amritsar, is in love with her childhood sweetheart, the unemployed musician Guddu (Ali Fazal). However, her father gets her engaged to Daman Singh Bagga (Jimmy Sheirgill), a local politician and bully. On the night of her engagement, Guddu arranges for her to elope with him with an elaborate plan. However, the plan goes awry and she accidentally lands up in Lahore, Pakistan at the house of upcoming politician, Bilal (Abhay Deol). At first, both are at loggerheads at each other, with Bilal trying to hide her from his father (Javed Sheikh) to save his political clout. Also his fiancee (Momal Sheikh) feels there is something going on between Bilal and Happy. To solve these complications, Bilal goes to India to bring Guddu and get him married to Happy and deport them together to India. More complications arise when Bilal begins to develop feelings for Happy, she gets kidnapped, and Bagga arrives in Lahore after realising she is there.
Happy Bhag Jayegi is a surprise for sure as the film is filled with several light moments, especially in the first half. The misadventures of Happy in Pakistan are better than the last time we attempted comedy in our neighbouring country, Welcome 2 Karachi. Mudassar Aziz, who previously made the forgettable Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Dulha Mil Gaya, redeems himself slightly in making the movie entertaining in a few places. It also helps that Aanand L Rai is the producer of the film, and it bears his stamp. The dialogues, especially in the first half, will make you chuckle. For example, the scene where Guddu and Piyush Mishra as Pakistani cop share a peg on the terrace as Guddu asks him, 'Main aap se kuch poochna chahta hoon.' To which, the cop replies, 'Kuch bhi pooch, Kashmir ke Siva.' It's a pity that the latter half has a very few scenes that manage this wit, though Piyush Mishra briefing his juniors about a possible terrorist attack is hilarious. The casting also works for the movie. Though Diana Penty maybe be playing the titular character, it's the men who actually rock the show. Abhay Deol, seen after a brief hiatus, is charming and leads the cast with gusto. Ali Fazal will win your heart with several moments, especially in the aforementioned terrace scene. Jimmy Sheirgill continues his Tanu Weds Manu act here, but we are not complaining at all - he shines throughout. Pakistani actress Momal Sheikh is very pretty and makes you fall in love with her by the end. Kanwaljeet and Javed Sheikh also lend adequate support to this multi-starrer. However, the biggest scene- stealer is Piyush Mishra, who brings the house down in every damn scene.
The best thing about Happy Bhag Jayegi is that it doesn't mock our neighbouring country just for the sake of it. In fact, it tries to show that if you cut off the bad blood, they are just like us.
Many Bollywood films suffer from the average second half syndrome, so much that I feel that we should actually walk out during the interval just to keep the memories of a better half. Happy Bhag Jayegi, unfortunately, is a proud member of this club. After an entertaining first half, we find ourselves facing an uneven second half, where the jokes are rare and the director pushes in subplots too many. Though it was assumed that Bilal would fall for Happy, the average writing for this track makes it a tad implausible. Thankfully the director ties this up neatly with a logical conclusion. However, it shows the film's glaring problem - the romantic portions suck as compared to the lighter ones. Even Happy's kidnapping act, though funny at times, seems a li'l forced into the plot. If the writing had been better, we could have gotten the comedy of the decade. The songs are unnecessary additions since not a single one of them leave any impact. The climax almost reaches David Dhawan kind of mirth.
Speaking of Diana Penty, she has improved a lot from her debut film, where I found her a bit stiff. However, in her comeback film, where she is playing the titular character, Diana is surprisingly given very less to do. It also doesn't help her that her character is given shades of what Kareena Kapoor did in Jab We Met. After all, there can be only one Geet, right?
What to do
Happy Bhag Jayegi suffers from an average writing in the second half. However, thanks to several light moments and fantastic performances, it turns out to be a decent watch that has the potential to surprise you.
3.0 out of 5
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