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Happy Phirr Bhaag Jayegi Movie Review: Bright Cast, Intelligent Script In Happy Sequel!

Subhash K . Jha



Mudassar Aziz: Give Peace A Chance!
Happy Phirr Bhaag Jayegi Movie Review

Happy Phirr Bhaag Jayegi

Starring Sonakshi SinhaJassi GillJiimy Sheirgil, Denzil Smith, Aparshakti Khurrana

Directed by Mudassar Aziz

Rating: *** ½ (3 and a half stars)

A rom-com works and this one sure does! Only when the writer and the cast have fun doing it. By that reckoning, the writer-director Mudassar Aziz and his delectable cast must have enjoyed themselves as though there is no tomorrow.

As far as sequels go Happy Phirr Bhaag Jayegi (HPBJ) is a  long-legged sprinter. It hops skips and gambols through a maze of amusing incidents woven around some of the most wittily constructed yet inoffensive ethnic jokes seen and heard in Hindi cinema, notorious for insulting cultures and nationalities.

Most of the comedy of mistaken identity is set in China, and that in itself unique. The last time a Hindi film took us to that vast country of illimitable possibilities was when Nikhil Advani made that unintentionally hilarious Akshay-Deepika fiasco Chandni Chowk To China.

Straightaway, the ‘Happy’ sequel doesn’t treat Shanghai and its suburbs as touristic spots. The location is a character, not a prop. Cinematographer Sunil Patel is very clear he isn’t shooting ‘An Evening In Shanghai.’ Thank you.

The same goes for every actor,  chosen because he or she just belongs by right to this zany world of insatiable adventure. This time there are two Happy’s in the script. Happy no.1 Diana Penty (why don’t we see more of her on the screen?) makes a welcome appearance with husband Ali Fazal. But the focus this time is on the new addition Happy no.2  played by Sonakshi Sinha who is practically in every frame as the runaway jilted bride. Sinha, takes charge of the plot with confidence and grace,  giving her best shot to what could possibly be her most accomplished performance to date.

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She isn’t alone. HPBJ oozes acting talent. While the Indo-Pak fracas between Jimmy Sheirgill and Piyush Mishra from the first film is carried forward here without the tu-tu-main-main dragging its tired feet, it is the newcomers in the story who inject a fresh verve to the madness.

Jassi Gill as a sad lonely dumped Sardarji in China singing Karaoke in dimly lit clubs to Sunny Deol songs who suddenly find more excitement in his life than he had bargained for, is absolutely delightful. He is the loser who has nothing to lose except boredom, out on an extended adventure binge with a girl who has everything to lose but is determined not to.

The writing is exceptional. HPBJ is one the most neatly-scripted comedies in recent years. While every character comes alive with situations and lines that are often hilarious, sometimes not that funny(that’s life!) I must make mention of two add-ons in the sequel who are priceless. Denzel Smith playing an Indian saint-rogue in China who cooks and connives his way through a labyrinth of high-level misdemenaours is outstanding. From that hypnotic baritone to his culinary expertise, Smith gives his character a sufiyana diabolism. Loved it!

Oh yes, there was a  runaway bride in the first part. There is a  runaway bridegroom in the second. He is played by Aparshakti Khurrana, one of the bravest most honest young actors at work on a character that not many actors in Bollywood would touch with a bargepole.

These desi characters and some tongue-in-cheek Chinese caricatures go a long way in making this sequel a happy experience. Sure, not all the gags and jokes work. Some lines meant to be exceptionally funny fall flat on their face. But writer-director Mudassar Aziz never loses sight of his flight into a world where cultural, ethnic, personal and interpersonal crises are magically and dissolved and alchemized.

Far cleverer than it is willing to admit, Happy Phirr Bhaag Jayegi sparkles with a sense of parodic profundity brought on by characters who are at a loose end, and not afraid to tackle their situation headlong with humour and fortitude.

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At one point while travelling together,  Sonakshi’s Happy asks Jassi Gill’s Khushant Singh why his wardrobe is filled with women’s clothes.

“I put them in when I am alone,” he retorts wrily.

That line returns to haunt the film much later when we see another character cross-dressing to dance to Mera naamchin chin choo, that  Howrah Bridge evergreen where Helen batted her ‘chinky’ eyes so satirically. This time those fluttering eyelashes are actually a wink. Don’t mind.

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“I Don’t Look Like Hrithik At All,”Anand Kumar Can’t Wait For Bio-Pic To Be Out”

Subhash K . Jha



 Mathematical maestro Anand Kumar from Bihar would not be  present for  the  post release of Super 30 the  film based  on his  life and teachings.

Says Anand, “The poster was released on  Teacher’s day.And I had to be with my students  in Patna on that day.So I couldn’t attend  the poster release. However I’ll be promoting the film with Hrithik Roshan when  it is ready for release. I may also ask some of  my students to join in the promotion. I am  what I am because of  my students.”

When asked  about the  catchline Anand kumar said, “We  thought about the line about  the raja ka beta long before the  film started  shooting. The writers  thought this line serves the  film’s purpose. My entire endeavour in life is  to educate poor students and equip them with the knowledge that would empower them against  poverty.”

Anand says he is  delighted with the way  the film Super 30 has shaped up.  “The film would definitely encourage  promising students  to  aspire to go into teaching. I don’tknow why  the teaching profession  has  lost  its aura and power. Perhaps  the teachers themselves are to blame for this loss of credibility. I am hoping this film will revive the respectability of  teachers as gurus who are the architects  of  our future.”

Anand is very happy with Hrithik’s performance. “I don’t look like anything like Hrithik Roshan.He  looks  like  a Greek God. But to see him play me is a very big thing for someone like me who comes from a background  where film stars belong to a dream world.”

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Peppermint Movie Review: It Is A Self-Justice Abomination

Subhash K . Jha




Starring Jennifer Garner

Directed  by Pierre Morel

Rating: **(2 stars)

 The  kindest thing I can say about this  no-holds-barred vigilante  drama is that  it makes no bones  about its elementary target. This actioner  with much sound and no substance   puts the  talented Jannifer Garner  into a no-brainer  bloodbath after her husband and little daughter  are gunned down on the night  of  the daughter’s birthday.

When the law turns  the  other way Riley(Garner)  must take it (the law, though not the narrative) in her own  hands.

The  film open in the middle of the plot, with Riley savaging  a distinctly despicable sort in a car. The  wailing  soundtrack aids the  saga  of  violence much in the same way that an aphrodisiac helps  the  sexually disengaged  sex worker.From there it pushes  into a flashback on Riley North  ko gussa  kyon aata hai(what makes Riley mad).

The  happy-family bit is rubbed  in with the gleeful  accentuation of a  Bollywood  happy-family film. Only the song is missing.But then Peppermint(the title comes from the flavour of the icecream the daughter enjoys before the gruesome tragedy) doesn’t allow us to feel any  of  the protagonist’s  unspeakable pain .

Director Pierre Morel  is  so taken up with the  task of his heroines vigilantism in all its blazing-guns glory,  he barely gives the plot room to breathe.

 It’s all bang-bang with  not a  moment of tender introspection.  Strangely  as the story progresses  Riley loses  focus of her mission(to avenge her family’s death). Garner’s Riley  goes berserk with the gun. In one sequence she roughs up an alcoholic father  of a little girl after threatening a storeowner  warning him  not to sell the sodden father  any hard beverage.This kind of collateral  Justice serves  no purpose in  the plot.

In scene after scene Garner  ploughs through  showy,thunderously  staged shootouts and then sits  down to sew herself together.Alas,   there is no sowing-and-mending for the script  of this  tacky flashy tawdry revenge drama which could do with a lot more selfcontrol.Rage  is  a good remedy for   wrong-doings but only when used with prescriptive restrain.The narrative of retribution  goes  berserk in this film.

  On the  plus side Peppermint  does have some  exciting shootouts and the sheer  idea of a  woman training herself to beat the hell out of her venomous adversaries is  an incentive to  see the  film. If you  like that  kind of a thing.

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Manmarziyan Bows To Protests

Subhash K . Jha



Producer Aanand Rai and director Anurag Kashyap have been forced to cut out scenes showing Abhishek Bachchan smoking in Manmarziyan and Abhishek is not happy about this 
while the actor who is overjoyed with the response to his performance is unable to speak on record a source close to Abhishek says , “Abhishek was very happy to play a Sikh for the first time since his grandmother mrs Teji Bachchan was Sikh.But his joy has been diluted by these unexpected protests .He would never do anything to hurt the Sikh community.”
Former chairperson of the censor board Pahlaj Nihalani is alarmed to hear about the alleged cuts. “If after the censor board had cleared the film with no cuts and the makers have decided to give in to outside pressures and cut scenes then it is a very wrong precedent.Once the censor board clears a film no power on earth can stop any scenes “

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