Director : Sajid Khan
Star cast: Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh, Ram Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Tamannaah Bhatia, Esha Gupta, Satish Shah, Chunky Pandey
Rating: 0 stars
Humshakals could be one of those classic cases of the after party being a little better than the real party. Because after 159 minutes of, let’s not get into what that was, it’s the behind-the-scenes shots that actually make you laugh, if at all. There’s a scene that shows Ram Kapoor trying to get fresh with Riteish and the latter retorts saying, “Mujhe toh laga ke Ram ko bade acche lagte hai”. This might sound the crassiest joke in the universe, but when the rest of the film has fed you cocaine and vodka parathas, you WILL laugh at this one.
I’ll make an attempt to put the story in a nutshell, but the retelling may not make much sense after a point. (You’ve been warned). Saif Ali Khan plays Ashok Singhania who is a multi-billionaire residing in a palace in the UK. He’s also a “struggling” stand-up comic who cracks jokes like ‘which number you should fear the most? Seven. Because Seven eight (ate) nine!’ This is what he does before he takes his friend Kumar (Riteish Deshmukh) for a ride in his private jet. Saif’s father is in coma and he and his friend soon find themselves in a mental asylum, because they turn into dogs, thanks to a dose of MAD (mind altering drug). The conspiracy is the brainchild of their scheming maama KANS, played by Ram Kapoor. If it sounds bereft of any sense so far, then to get a fair idea of what the rest of the film entails, just multiply this by three.
We are not sure if Sajid Khan meant it as an apology, when he cracked a joke on himself in the film, where at some point one of the three versions of Saif Ali Khan and Riteish Deshmukh get tortured in the asylum with Sajid’s own remake of Himmatwala.
One doesn’t know what Saif is doing in the film. Of course you don’t expect a Hum Tum or a Dil Chahta Hai here, but even in the slapstick comedy space, despite his brilliant comic timing, he sticks out like a sore thumb, overacting written all over him. Riteish is perhaps the only standout in the film, the gags suit him well. Ram too manages to juggle his multiple roles effortlessly. That’s perhaps because his characters have some semblance of sense. There’s one that’s clearly negative and the others somewhat simpletons. Also, you got to give credit to the plus-size actor for pulling off a summer dress as effortlessly as the toned Saif and Riteish. Again, don’t ask why he had to slip into a summer dress in the first place. The ladies Bipasha Basu, Tamannah and Esha Gupta should thank their stars that they have been relegated to the periphery.
Lastly, let’s pray that Sajid’s Prince Charles, who has a tiny role in the film, never sees Humshakals. Because when the climax is enacted in a tacky recreation of the House of Commons, (yes, you heard it right), Prince Charles says, “My first marriage made more sense than this.”
At this point you wish those vodka parathas were real.