Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Boman Irani, Abhishek Bachchan, Sonu Sood, Vivaan Shah & Jackie Shroff
Director: Farah Khan
Producer: Gauri Khan
There are films which some critics assess on the basis of how good or bad they are. But nowadays, the one criteria which matters the most, is films that win over hearts, and those that lose out on conveying the message through its emotions. With Diwali being celebrated globally this weekend, Farah Khan has gone above and beyond to ensure that she did everything possible to deliver a winning Diwali formula, through the grandeur, lavish, opulent, vibrantly colourful, and action-drama packed Happy New Year.
A story which Farah Khan envisioned over a decade ago, revolves around six losers consisting of Charlie (Shah Rukh Khan), Mohini (Deepika Padukone), Nandu (Abhishek Bachchan), Jagmohan (Sonu Sood), Tammy (Boman Irani) and Rohan (Vivaan Shah), who decide to rob a huge volt with a handful of diamonds, that reside at the Atlantis in Dubai, a posh 5-Star hotel. The reason behind this mega robbery is because Charlie’s father Manohar (Anupam Kher) was instrumental in designing and constructing this volt for the villain of the film, Charan Grover (Jackie Shroff), who ends up betraying and backstabbing Manohar to gain complete ownership over the diamonds. Hence, Charlie begins his quest by getting together a team of five guys and one girl to help him seek revenge and steal those diamonds by taking part in a World Dance Championship.
There are filmmakers who state their genre as serious, intense and dark, but Farah Khan is anything but that. Her genuine passion for Bollywood as a genre, is almost infections and unapologetic in every frame that she directs. And just as expected, she has once again managed to express the madness of her craft so eloquently on a canvas like Happy New Year. Not only is her style of writing meant to cater to an audience that enjoys being entertained through a term one describes as ‘Masala’, but even the occasional illogical turn of events in the film, showcase a slice of how crazy she chooses to present them. However, she does complete justice to the expectation of the script by rightly casting an ensemble of actors who understand and deliver her vision, successfully.
If there is anyone who still doubts Deepika Padukone’s ability as an actress, then it’s only because one fails to see her beautiful growth as a performer. With several blockbusters already under her belt, Padukone has developed the habit of reinventing herself by leaving behind a speciality of her own, in every film she approaches. The character of Mohini is simplistic, yet bold, which gives her the freedom to strengthen the scenes that she features in. I must say, with the heavy ‘last name’ shadow that he holds along with the ‘limited acting ability’ tag that many reckon him with, Abhishek Bachchan is the pleasant surprise package of the film. His ever so chirpy, corny, classy and charming demeanor of the double role that he portrays, is going to be well applauded and appreciated by those who’ve written him off in the past.
Boman Irani is one man in the Indian Film Industry who elevates the gravitas of his performance according to the expectation of the script and the director of the film. The character of Tammy is an accurate representation of those qualities that he would feel rather proud of watching himself enact. And, make no mistake about Sonu Sood’s brilliantly well-built and tough-man look which he imposes. There is a layer of acting that he’s so driven and focused towards exemplifying on-screen, which one sees through the character of Jag. Vivaan Shah being the so-called wild card entry and what Farah Khan says was a ‘difficult casting choice’, lives up to the expectations of a generation that appreciate and acknowledge fresh young talent that gets harnessed with every role played. He may be young in experience, but he’s got a pleasant future ahead of him.
Time and again, for over two decades, every single time this man decides to invest in a project that he strongly believes in, it ends up becoming a colossal success. To billions across the globe, Shah Rukh Khan is not just an actor. He is a phenomena. And rightly so, what else can one expect when his unbelievable charm, extraordinary presence and larger-than-life persona, is the reason that drives an entire nation and fans across the globe, run to their nearest cinema to catch a glimpse of him. He dons the avatar of Charlie quite effortlessly through a polished showcase of expressing his sadness and aggression, throughout the movie. Moving away from the conventional Rahul or Raj, Khan orchestrates an interesting take on humanity and how destiny is a mean game changer, that can either bite you hard or show you the light of day. What remains constant about SRK is that he doesn’t deliver anything less than investing his heart and soul into the film.
Ever since Happy New Year began its first leg of shooting, it was no secret that the film would culminate into something truly special and soul-stirring. And it has. Dubai has never looked more grand with each frame designed to impress the eyes. So watch Happy New Year without any pre-judgements, because it will make you smile by telling you that ‘Life gives every looser a chance, to become a Winner.’
Oh, and don’t miss out on one of Vishal and Shekhar’s best music compositions till date. Have a Happy New Year!