Director: Krishna D.K., Raj Nidimoru
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Ileana, Kalki Koechlin, Govinda
Rating: Three stars
Self-deprecating humour, charming as it may be, is a rarity in Hindi films and ‘Happy Ending’ is one such film. It takes a jibe at the ‘formula’ that most box office hits follow, even while it panders to it – albeit smartly.
The story revolves around a Casanova and one-hit-wonder writer Yudi (Saif) who lives the dream bachelor life while evading any semblance of a serious relationship. He believes that ‘true love’ is best suited to be a subject of fiction and that in real life, ‘opposites’ do not attract each other outside of a magnetic field. When the royalties of his bestseller start to dwindle, Yudi realises that it’s time to finally start working again and comes across a quintessential Bollywood hero Armaan (Govinda), looking for the next hit script and signs Yudi for the job. Armaan has a clear idea of what it should read like and a ‘happy ending’ tops the list. Because life he believes, is intense and hard-hitting as it is, and a ticket worth Rs 300 would do more good providing entertainment than giving life lessons.
It is during his research for the ‘happy’ script that Yudi comes across Aanchal (Ileana), a cheesy romantic novelist who seems to have replaced him on the bestseller list. But there’s one more thing that two share apart from their literary status – an aversion towards commitment.
What follows is a classic/cliché love tale — hero and heroine take an instant dislike towards each other before they realise that the other person is indeed ‘the one’. While the framework may not be the most original, the treatment towards the story is rather charming and reminds you more of a Hollywood romcom more than a desi one.
Performances by Saif and Ileana are underplayed and real. But Govinda, despite having little screen space, steals the show right from his entry. For those who missed Kill Dill, (we did too) it is a treat to watch Chi Chi back in his element, playing to the gallery like he always does.
Other characters include Yudi’s BFF Montu (Ranvir Shorey), who is married to a rather demanding wife and lives precariously through his friend. His is one of the most endearing characters in the film.
Then there is Yudi’s girlfriend Vishakha (Kalki) who refuses to take the gigantic hints that Saif drops her about their relationship going nowhere. We weren’t too impressed with that one.
There are a couple of more celebrity cameos, which we’d rather that you find out on your own.
Overall, the film offers a generous dose of laughter, some stunning locations that are a treat to watch and a refreshing comeback of Bollywood’s ‘Hero Number One’, among others. Directors Raj Nidimoru, Krishna DK have managed to provide a fresh perspective to an otherwise drab storyline. So while the film mocks other films that cater to the ‘masses’ (their words, not ours) and aim at giving you three hours of paisa-wasool entertainment, Happy Ending follows the same trail too. Does that make it a paisa-wasool entertainer then? Oh yes!