Happy Bhag Jayegi movie review: A comedy that loses the plot

Happy Bhag Jayegi movie review: Diana Penty, Abhay Deol film begins well but soon the laughs are few and far between. A weak script fails this film and its cast.

Rating: 2 out of 5
Written by Shubhra Gupta | New Delhi | Updated: August 20, 2016 10:43 am
Happy Bhaag Jayegi movie review, happy bhag jayegi review, happy bhag jayegi movie, happy bhag jayegi rating, happy bhag jayegi image Happy Bhag Jayegi movie review: This cross-border love story starring Abhay Deol and Diana Penty has potential but it simply fails to capitalise on its strengths.

Happy Bhag Jayegi movie cast: Abhay Deol, Diana Penty, Momal Sheikh, Ali Fazal, Jimmy Shergill, Kanwaljeet, Piyush Mishra
Happy Bhag Jayegi movie director: Mudassar Aziz

What if an Indian girl wakes up in Pakistan one fine morning? And what if she finds, gasp, the one she’s looking for across the border?

The premise of Happy Bhag Jayegi, promises you some good chuckles because, well, who doesn’t like the idea of a pretty girl on the run in search of her Prince Charming? And the Pakistani locations—the scenic spots around Lahore– should inject some freshness, right?

We smile in the beginning. Spirited Amritsar kudi Happy’s (Diana Penty) heart beats for Guddu (Ali Fazal) but the path of true love is strewn with stern fathers (Kanwaljeet), local bad boy rival Bagga (Jimmy Shergill) and an accidental Pakistani gentleman named Bilal Ahmed (Abhay Deol).

But all too soon, the pleasures of the film dwindle, and we are left to fend for ourselves, looking for something that will make us laugh, even if it is weak laughter. There is some of it, but it is far too intermittent.

Read: Can Happy Bhag Jayegi hold off Akshay Kumar’s Rustom?

The film spends a substantial amount of time in Pakistan, and a whole bunch of colourful characters trying out their Urdu. Fervent Pakistani cop (Piyush Mishra) who loves some things Hindustani (Taj Mahal, Yusuf saab), Bilal’s father (Javed Sheikh) who wants him to join politics, and his beautiful betrothed (Momal Sheikh) who looks askance at this new girl: is the Indian Happy about to sink her hooks into her all-Pakistani Bilal?

Done well, Happy Bhag Jayegi could have been a rollicking comedy. But despite its occasional throwaway lines, and nice touches, it never comes together. If you want me to suspend disbelief and buy into your wholly contrived plot, you have to be able to write your way past the contrivances. This doesn’t happen.

2986704/  Happy Bhaag Jayegi movie review, happy bhag jayegi review, happy bhag jayegi movie, happy bhag jayegi rating, happy bhag jayegi image Happy Bhag Jayegi movie review: Diana Penty is no Punjabi pataka despite her infectious smile and appeal.

Some of the casting choices are suspect. Penty has a wide-eyed appeal and an infectious smile but she is not a good fit for a Punjabi ‘pataka’. And some are too familiar. Fazal has a thankless part and never lifts off the screen: imagine being termed a musician and never getting to play or strum or sing. No, really.

And some are too familiar: Fazal has a thankless part and never lifts off the screen; Shergill has some funny lines but he is essentially doing a repeat of his Tanu Weds Manu part. In fact, the film has several striking resemblances to TWM, which makes sense because Happy Bhag Jayegi is an Anand L Rai production too.

Good to see Abhay Deol back in the groove after his disastrous previous outing One By Two, and the very pretty very swish-in-her-designer-threads Momal Sheikh (a popular TV actor who also happens to be Javed Sheikh’s daughter) gives him something to work on. The third angle in this triangle is touched upon but its potential is never fully realised. And that goes for the film as a whole. When will our films be better written?

Watch: Happy Bhag Jayegi trailer

Some of the gentle Indo-Pak banter is funny but it becomes too stretched. And what was the need of the risible : ‘Kaisa desh hai, bandook na dikhao toh koi sunta hi nahin hai’?

This Happy should have left me much happier.

Follow the reviewer @shubhragupta

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  1. F
    florida international
    Feb 1, 2017 at 12:26 pm
    This was one of the worst movies I have seen in a long time. The script writer should visit stan in real before uming most absurd lines to have been said by a stani. stan never wished for Mahatma hi or Kapil Dev as they had Mohammed Jinnah and Imran Khan presenting stan. If media is not doing enough to create hatred against both countries, this useless movie pla along. The language used in the movie also shows the writer and director did no homework before making this movie and sta busy in creating a disappointing boring movie that nobody would ever watch.lt;br/gt;If you want a man to fall hopelessly in love then they should have casted Madhubala or Aiswariya not a transgender looking actress. Overall extremely dull and obnoxious movie far away from comedy and will give you a headache hearing Happy every min of the movie. Then you look at Happy and wonder really this is happy!
    1. D
      Aug 20, 2016 at 5:13 am
      You did not ssy what I commented is wrong. Why muslim actors in indian movies. You may one of those Kanahiya type Hindu if you are Hindu. I like to be secular but Muslims behavior has hardened me. It seems secularism is for Hindus only and muslim is muslim with 4 wives, 4 ammies..
      1. D
        Aug 20, 2016 at 12:05 am
        Muslim actors, muslim directors.. good wonderful stan.. Muslims shown unreal ordinary folks not jihadis, playing football with your heads..or jihad supporting... that is bollywood today.. totally dominated by muslims who hate india or talents in india just have to bring..fu..cked jihad supporting Insha Allah type actos from stan. Hindus are week and deserve all Muslims nuisance.
        1. A
          Aug 29, 2016 at 6:43 pm
          Good one... Able to pull off the sleeves but could have been much better
          1. S
            Aug 20, 2016 at 7:26 am
            Go have some good breakfast..............it help you.e out of it man
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