Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi movie cast: Sonakshi Sinha, Jimmy Sheirgill, Jassi Gill, Piyush Mishra, Diany Penty, Denzil Smith, Jason Tham, Aparshakti Khurana
Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi movie director: Mudassar Aziz
Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi movie rating: One and a half stars
A winsome Punjabi ‘kudi’ on the run, with a rag-tag bunch chasing her: this was the premise of Happy Bhag Jayegi, which was some amount of fun.
Part two bungs in a new Happy (Sinha) but doesn’t forget the older one (Penty). This time, the girls and assorted characters are dashing around China, a much bigger brother than Pakistan, where the first film was set.
That one came with a whiff of freshness. The sequel tries for the same mix of muddled-headed but large-hearted Punjabis, crooked Chinese, a song or two, and a series of sequences which are meant to be funny but are most flat and dull.
The new Happy lands in Shanghai only to discover some goons after her. The original Happy is floating around too, along with the love of her life (Fazal). Happy Number Two is on a mission, her backstory involving a heart-broken father, and a fiancé on the lam. Her present slings her towards black-suited slant-eyed characters with guns, and a hare-brained plot which never takes off, barring the few odd moments.
New entrants Denzil Smith and Jason Tham, show up as ‘Chini’ baddies, and get a lot of screen time. Familiar hands from the previous film, Jimmy Sheirgill and Piyush Mishra, reprise their Bagga-Afridi ‘jodi’, but even these stalwarts can’t do much to lift the film.
The writing is determinedly juvenile (‘Tu Gill hai, taa main Sheirgill hoon’), which would be fine if it were used with flair. But most of it is tired. A set piece which revolves around a guy slipping on spilled noodles you can see coming a mile off. Characters going by the name of Makaju and FaQ. The initial snigger trails off after the nth iteration.
The smartest thing you can do with a caper like this, when you are trying to stuff in all kinds of improbable things, is to keep it brisk and pacy. It is two hours and some, but feels much longer.
And most of that is down to Sinha. She gets top billing but there’s no sparkle in her performance. The film has just a few places where you crack a smile, especially when you see Jassi Gill as the Chinese-speaking ‘desi’ trying to help his country-folk out. He is about the only tolerable thing in this enterprise.
The rest makes you want to run.