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Manoranjan to Make You Roll in the Aisles

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Akshay Kumar and Asin in a still from “Housefull 2.”
  • MUMBAI, India

    It’s always gratifying when sequels (which are meant to be bigger and better) are actually better. “Housefull” was not exactly a great movie even as a brainless masala comedy, but like Sajid Khan’s debut film, “Heyy Babyy,” it had a mass connect. 

    In his third directorial enterprise, Khan delivers a super-value, nay, a king-size pack of manoranjan that will not only connect with the masses but also the supposedly classier crowds. To call it a brainless masala entertainer would be right only to the extent that it asks us to suspend the logical part of our brain for a little over 150 minutes. But the film definitely connects to the emotional side when needed, and makes us chortle and laugh and feel great. Even more importantly, the basic plot is interesting and the script intelligently structured to integrate all the threads and accommodate 12 lead characters and some eight more supporting and minor ones. In fact, given the actual plot, it is essentially a very clever script.

    Based in London, the film’s take-off point are two squabbling half-brothers Daboo Kapoor (who else but Randhir Kapoor?) and Chintu Kapoor (Rishi Kapoor, of course) who both want the richest son-in-law for their respective animal rights activist daughters Heena (Asin) and Bobby (Jacqueline Fernandez). Since Daboo is the elder but illegitimate son, Chintu’s name plates read “Kapoor & Real Son” and he hates Daboo – and vice-versa. When Chintu insults a prospective suitor’s father (Virendra Saxena) and he suffers a heart-attack, the son Jai (Shreyas Talpade) swears revenge.

    JD (Mithun Chakraborty) is one of the richest tycoons in UK and it is his son Jolly (Riteish Deshmukh) who the Kapoor brothers want as the damaad. By a coincidence, Jai and Jolly are college friends. When Jai asks Jolly to woo Heena and then walk out on the wedding day, Jolly, who as a son is terrified of dad enough to not even assert that he loves model JLo (Zareen Khan), suggests that Max (John Abraham), their college-mate and an inveterate pickpocket and thief, be hired to impersonate Jolly. But Max inadvertently lands up in Daboo’s house instead and so the friends have to rush to Sunny (Akshay Kumar), a terror in college days, for the job. Now they have an additional headache: Max and Sunny, who were the best of friends, are now sworn enemies. 

    And so the mirth and confusion continue, with a few early sequences of a pet python and a pet alligator to entice the kids, a suspicious Maharashtrian sidekick (Johny Lever) of the Marathi tycoon JD, a matchmaker Aakhri Pasta (Chunky Pandey reprising his “Housefull” act) and others. The proceedings get more convoluted and the real identity of JD makes for a zany twist indeed.

    As a film, “Housefull 2” (See: Housefull 2 trailer) has many other virtues: the dialogues (Farhad-Sajid) are completely loaded with wit and not just the lines but also several situations are affectionate lampoons-cum-tributes to classic mainstream cinema. The camerawork (Manoj Soni) is bewitching, the music (Sajid-Wajid) and lyrics (Sameer Anjaan) of high caliber, the choreography (Farah Khan) superb and Khan’s direction loaded with a lot of cerebral touches that paradoxically com from the heart with the single, unsullied aim of giving audiences value for money enjoyment.

    The acting honors, as in “Agneepath,” are led by Rishi Kapoor – the man is getting better by the day. His elder brother Randhir Kapoor is excellent too. Akshay Kumar is his usual competent and easy self, and ditto Riteish, who is outstanding in his portion as Sunny’s bodyguard (we are sure Sajid is again taking a good-natured dig at Salman Khan’s character!). The rest do their jobs competently but the surprise in the pack is John Abraham – his expressions and body language in particular and his overall performance are simply fabulous for someone who was never considered to have reached anywhere in acting skills.

    Watch “Housefull 2” for its sheer sense of fun. It’s worth several times the price of your admission ticket. And no IPL is going to prevent the shows from going full, or should we say, “Housefull too”?

    Rating: ****

    Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment and Eros International present

    Housefull 2

    Produced by: SAJID NADIADWALA

    Directed by: SAJID KHAN

    Music: SAJID-WAJID

    Written by: SAJID NADIADWALA, SAJID KHAN, FARHAD-SAJID, TUSHAR HIRANANDANI

    Starring: AKSHAY KUMAR, JOHN ABRAHAM, RITEISH DESHMUKH, SHREYAS TALPADE, ASIN, JACQUELINE FERNANDEZ, ZAREEN KHAN, SHAZAHN PADAMSEE, RANDHIR KAPOOR, RISHI KAPOOR, MITHUN CHAKRABORTY, BOMAN IRANI, RANJEET, JOHNY LEVER, CHUNKY PANDEY, VIRENDRA SAXENA, MALAIKA ARORA KHAN

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