Directed by: Sajid Khan
Producer by: Sajid Nadiadwala
Starring: Arjun Rampal, Deepika Padukone, Lara Dutta, Jiah Khan, Akshay Kumar, Ritesh Deshmukh, Boman Irani
Music Dir: Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani, Loy Mendonca
At the very start of the film, Sajid Khan pays his respects to several notable names of the 1970s and 1980s, who redefined Hindi commercial cinema. And that gives you ample idea of what to expect from HOUSEFULL, which, very frankly, stresses on wholesome entertainment like those wonderful entertainers made by Manmohan Desai, Prakash Mehra, Feroz Khan, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, K. Raghavendra Rao, Narendra Bedi, Ravi Tandon and Brij. No wonder, films made by these icons have tremendous recall value even today.
The two things you expect from HOUSEFULL are non-stop laughter and non-stop entertainment. That's because the promos of the film have already given you an inkling of what to expect from this film. Besides, Sajid Khan swears by wholesome entertainers, so it's only natural to expect HOUSEFULL to bring the house down.
We loved Manmohan Desai and Prakash Mehra's movies because they transported us to a world of make believe, into a fantasy world, keeping us thoroughly entertained for those 3 hours. Obviously, we never questioned the logic then because we knew that entertainment was the keyword. HOUSEFULL takes the same route.
HOUSEFULL entertains majorly at places, but it's an uneven ride. Uneven, because the pace dips at several places. It's not a rip-roaring laugh-riot or a non-stop laughathon that one expects it would be, since the focus is on emotions and drama as well. Even the climax, I am sure, will meet with diverse reactions. It will have its share of advocates and adversaries.
Final word? The actors are top notch and so are their performances. Wish the script would've been equally super. Yet, despite the hiccups, HOUSEFULL should be lapped by moviegoers in a big way because the audience is starved for that solid entertainer with big stars for more than two months now.
HOUSEFULL narrates the story of Aarush [Akshay Kumar], the world's unluckiest man. Being jinxed, he believes his bad luck can vanish if he finds true love. In this quest for true love, he gets married to the daughter [Jiah Khan] of a wealthy businessman Kishore Samtani [Randhir Kapoor]. But there's a twist in the tale.
Enter Sandy [Deepika Padukone], who falls in love with Aarush. But complications follow thereafter as Sandy's brother, Major Krishna Rao [Arjun Rampal] and Hetal's [Lara Dutta] father, Batuk Patel [Boman Irani] enter the scene. How Aarush and his buddy Bob [Riteish Deshmukh] come out of this mess forms the crux of the film.
Like HEYY BABYY, HOUSEFULL has a story to tell as well. It's not merely an assemblage of funny sequences or a mere montage of comic scenes. But some of the funny sequences are sure to make you flex your facial muscles wide. Note Akshay's intro, or the sequence involving the vacuum cleaner, or Akshay getting a pet home, or the entire Chunkey Pandey track in Italy. Simply howlarious!
Sajid balances the dramatic moments well. The Jiah Khan sequence soon after the marriage is very interesting and so are the sequences in the second hour, when Arjun and also Boman land up at the mansion. The comedy of errors is truly funny at times and also the gay angle, which has been injected in this half. It may not be as memorable as the Kantaben track in KAL HO NAA HO, but is funny nonetheless. Talking of dramatic sequences, the ones between Akshay and Arjun are fantastic, especially the lie detector test, which is amongst the best sequences of the film.
Director Sajid Khan knows his fundas right. He packs just about everything to entertain you for the next two hours, but the screenplay could've been tighter. While the pacing is slow in the first hour, it's the second half which has a lot to offer. Overall, Sajid jumps into the big league of film-makers who make films for the masses and successfully at that!
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's music is pleasant. Vikas Sivaraman's cinematography is top notch. The locales of Italy are mind-boggling.
Every actor in this film takes the film to the next level. Akshay underplays his part beautifully. All those who felt that the actor tends to get loud or needs to be controlled will change their opinion with this film. He's the soul of HOUSEFULL. Riteish is incredibly natural. I've often felt that Riteish is one actor who doesn't give you an impression that he's 'acting'. Though the story primarily revolves around Akshay, Riteish stands shoulder to shoulder with Akshay in this one. Arjun Rampal is fantastic. Post OM SHANTI OM and ROCK ON!!, HOUSEFULL is yet another film that taps Arjun's talent to the maximum.
Deepika is a surprise. She carries her part with amazing confidence and again, post OM SHANTI OM and LOVE AAJKAL, HOUSEFULL is the film that would make people notice her talent as well as beauty. Lara is a seasoned player when it comes to comedies and she's too good yet again. Her scenes with Riteish in particular and also with Boman are first-rate. Jiah is a revelation. Although she doesn't get much scope, she manages to register an impact nonetheless.
Randhir Kapoor is very good. Boman Irani is excellent and is amongst the driving force of the second hour. Chunkey Pandey is sure to bring the house down. He is exceptional. Lilette Dubey is competent, as always. Malaika Arora Khan is alright.
On the whole, HOUSEFULL is not a complete laugh-riot, but is an entertainer all the way, targeted at the hardcore masses. What really works for the film is its massive star cast, gripping second half and also the skilled performances by each and every member of its cast. The audience is starved for a good commercial entertainer and HOUSEFULL should bring HOUSEFULL boards back outside cineplexes.