Cast: Abhay Deol, Diana Penty, Ali Fazal, Jimmy Sheirgill, Javed Sheikh
Director: Mudassar Aziz
Bollywood has rarely got all its ingredients right for a romantic comedy, more so, when it tries to incorporate staple elements for a laugh riot comic caper in place: a wedding, two suitors, a runaway bride, confusion and much more. Happy Bhag Jayegi has everything light, breezy and fun going for it. But even with the formula, comedy man Anand L. Rai (of Tanu Weds Manu fame) as the producer, fails to get into a rhythm of a warm full of funny moments film that doesn’t aim to stir up laughs; at best it keeps you smiling. That sure cannot be a box-office winner.
Happy (Diana Penty) is getting married to her father’s (Kanwaljeet Singh) chosen man Daman Singh Bagga (Jimmy Sheirgill) in Amritsar, while she has made a decision to elope with Guddu (Ali Fazal) on the wedding night itself. Everything seems like a perfect plan until she jumps from the first floor of her bathroom window into a wrong truck that’s loaded with goodies and is Lahore-bound, leaving poor Guddu clueless about her whereabouts. All hell breaks loose as the hunt for the missing bride tracks Guddu by the enraged and powerful Bagga and the father gunning for the daughter who has earned him enough shame.
Meanwhile, Happy lands up in Pakistan in business tycoon and ex-governor, Javed Ahmed’s (Javed Khan) palatial home where his son Bilal Ahmed (Abhay Deol) has abandoned his original ambition to be a cricketer, and is aspiring to be the “next Prime Minister” of the country. Finding herself in a strange place, Happy obviously loses her nerve, and panics, but is not someone who would cow down to any kind of pressure, and even offers an Indian currency note (with a Gandhi) to an auto rickshaw driver.
After an interesting start that holds enough promise, the story hinges on a couple of tangy predictable twists. If it’s not the unoriginal plot that fails to give us laughs, the cast too, can’t salvage much. Sure, Penty’s shining personality rescues individual scenes as she knows how to sprinkle on the charm, but only when she has a good script like the one in Homi Adajania’s Cocktail. Deol too could have been the key to this film’s success, as he allows himself to attempt a light-hearted comedy with all his might. Sheirgill as someone who has been wronged has played these roles many times before.
Writer-director Mudassar Aziz has many loose ends in the story. Bilal’s fiancé (Pakistani actress Momal Sheikh) who is possessive and is shown keeping tabs on him, discerns his concern and love for Happy, and even contemplates uniting them. Towards the end of the film, Guddu too, discovers, not to his surprise, but to his amusement, that Bilal has a soft corner for Happy, and guess what? He tries to match make — all this after he has travelled all the way to a neighbouring country in search of his love! Wonder what Aziz had in mind, for even when one pens a script for a romantic comedy, surely one doesn’t expect sudden jolts to justify the union of the film’s lead characters. Therefore, if you are a sucker for love stories, this one will only amuse you in partse. As a feel-good effort, it’s a bust.
The writer is a film critic and has been reviewing films for over 15 years. He also writes on music, art and culture, and other human interest stories....