Rating : Good (3.5/5)
Genre : Romantic Comedy
Year : 2014
Running time : 2 hours 15 minutes
Director : Krishna D.K. , Raj Nidimoru
Cast : Saif Ali Khan, Ileana D’Cruz, Kalki Koechlin, Ranvir Shourie, Govinda, Preity Zinta
This film comes from the directors of “Shor in the City”, so expectations are high. But then the same duo also made “Go Goa Gone”. Ergo, expectations are tempered.
Los Angeles based author Yudi’s (Khan) life isn’t going as expected. His last book is on the bargain rack, and he has no new ideas for the next one. So, when aging film star Armaan decides to make a “romedy” and Yudi is approached to write the script, he happily agrees. On the personal front, after wading through a sea of casual girlfriends, Yudi has finally found the one. Unfortunately, she doesn’t think the same. Are Yudi’s personal and professional lives destined to hit rock bottom?
Happy Ending is built around a large cast of interesting characters. All these characters, except maybe author Aanchal (Ileana), are a little kooky in their own right. Yudi has a hairy, pot-bellied alter-ego “Yogi”, who shuffles around in sweatshirts and speaks in a Haryanvi accent – which was hilarious. Yudi’s best friend Montu (Shourie), whenever we see him, is feverishly trying to escape his wife and household duties. Yudi’s ex-girl-friend Vishakha is needy and clingy, and a tad stalk-erish, and Kalki was magnificent as her. Ex-girlfiend Divya Dawson (Preity), now married and mother of two, inflicts herself and her progeny on Yudi when she pleases. Armaan (Govinda) has a giant ego, and his youthfully-dressed secretary makes sure everyone is appropriately respectful to Armaanji.
All the actors do very well, but special mentions go out to Govinda, Ranveer and Kalki. Govinda is a giant trip as Armaan, and even though his role has very little impact on the story, I’m glad that they had him – he adds his own little zany spark to the film. Ranveer is fabulous as the almost rabid, freedom-seeking married man envious of his best friend’s single life. His role milks the oppressed-modern-man stereotype to the hilt. And Kalki is quite funny (as only Kalki can be) as the always-smiling, possessive ex-girl-friend who won’t take no for an answer.
Irreverent humor is the highlight of this curious film. While Happy Ending is about Yudi and his crazy life in general, it eventually boils down to a love-story. Khan and D’Cruz share really good chemistry, and while I’m getting a little tired of Khan in yet another city-boy Casanova-ish avatar, D’Cruz is another story altogether. She sparkles with a natural charm, and this film works to a great extent because of her.
Happy Ending is not just another love story, of which Bollywood has many. I’m glad that the directors built us a romantic comedy from the ground up, complete with a believable yet zany cast of characters. Much fun is had when one kooky character meets another. The dialogs are spot-on, and laced with wit and sarcasm. So, it is kind of a bummer that with all this to its credit, Happy Ending falls short of the magnificence that should have rightfully been its. And for that we have the laggardly screenplay to blame.
The director duo have written the screenplay, which twiddles its thumbs for too long. There’s the beginning and the ending, and a whole lot of nothing happening in between. This gets almost boring towards the middle of the film, but thankfully Happy Ending recovers to finish respectably. This is a good watch if you are looking for something a little hatke.
Kidwise : Although this contains some mildly adult situations, Happy Ending is non-scarring; no cringing required.