Movie Review: Humshakals
Star cast: Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh, Ram Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Tamannaah Bhatia, Esha Gupta, Satish Shah, Chunky Pandey
Director : Sajid Khan
Clearly, Sajid Khan doesn’t believe in less being more. In `Humshakals’, he ups his game three-fold. From ‘Hum Do Hamara Ek’, he goes full tilt for `Hum Do Hamaare Teen’, so we get everything multiplied by three.
The more the merrier? Nope. Just `teen tigaada, kaam bigaada’.
From past experience, you have to go into a Sajid Khan film wondering just how much of a dip there can be. This one is beyond. Idiocy is a gentle term for what is unleashed upon us. You can also call it a two-and-a- half hour showreel of plot-less, witless, joyless offensiveness.
I am all for political incorrectness. Silliness can be great fun. Brainless doesn’t have to translate to brain-dead, when it is done with smarts. `Humshakals’ has zero. Even in his really terrible moments, Sajid has managed to come up with one laugh out loud moment. Or two. Here there are none.
Instead, there’s Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh and Ram Kapoor in a threesome. Actually, if only. What we get is three Saifs, three Riteshes, and three Rams, in various stages of derangement. And three women ( Bipasha, Esha, Tamannah), who stand around in various stages of wispy short-skirted dressage, squealing and giggling.
There are some scenes in London and Mauritius, but the film is shot mostly within what is repeatedly called a `paagalkhana’, studded with lots of `goras’ behaving like Bollywood’s idea of ‘mental patients’. But that’s only for scenery.
Mostly the film is stuffed with Saif ( looking jaded and tired) and Riteish ( trying to keep his head above water) waving their hands, making faces, sticking their tongues out. Or being tied up and `tortured’ by a Satish Shah who thinks he is Hitler and Gaddafi and Idi Amin, all rolled into one. Or stuffing tennis balls, no footballs, down their shirt-fronts, and dashing about in lipstick and high heels and waxed legs. If there is a scarier sight than the jovial Ram Kapoor in drag, hit me with it, and I will hand you a lollipop.
Because that’s what Kapoor the Third uses as a pacifier, when he is not pacing about his cell in an underground cage. Where am I going with this, did you say? Relax, dear viewers, this is not a spoiler, it’s just a little detail in this jaw-droppingly, numbingly awful plot. If you can call it one.
When the director is not taxing our brains with his story, he is taking pot-shots at his favourite targets. The seriously ill, the disabled, the mentally challenged, the gay people, the black people, the short people, are all on his radar. And us, the poor saps, who are sitting in the dark, hoping to be lead to light.
Actually, let me correct myself. There IS one good joke in here. It’s when Sajid holds out his own version of a 80s potboiler as a weapon. His victims go cross-eyed and shout ‘nahiiiiin’, we crack a smile. This is a flash of the old Sajid, willing to take a joke, and stretch for one.
Where has that Sajid gone? Or is this his` humshakal’ in the director’s chair?