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Housefull

‘ Housefull’ is much too long,and much too ridden with dull interludes.

Cast: Akshay Kumar,Deepika Padukone,Ritesh Deshmukh,Lara Dutta,Boman Irani,Arjun Rampal,Lilette Dubey,Jiah Khan,Randhir Kapoor

Director: Sajid Khan

Rating**

Sajid Khan is a lunatic of admirable proportions. There is no one else with quite the same gifts working in Bollywood today,so when he promises us slapstick,we are ready to roll on the floor. But he’s forgotten,in his second outing,the first rule of comedy : pile up silliness upon silliness by all means,but Do Not Give Me A Moment’s Pause. Also,Give Me Only Those Actors Who Can Make Me Laugh. ‘ Housefull’ is much too long,and much too ridden with dull interludes.

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Only Sajid can come up with an inspired line like : chalo,ek sher sunao. The ‘sher’ in question is a tiger,stretched across a sofa,and Akshay Kumar is doing the asking. The tiger roars obligingly. So do we. It’s completely madcap,and the kind of humour Sajid is so good at. If he had kept ‘Housefull’ at this pitch,it would have been a cracker. But no,the inflated balloon of a script makes space for actors with not a comic bone in their body,and allegedly humorous situations which stop the film dead,especially in the tedious second half.

Akshay Kumar plays a sad sack who is convinced that the day he marries his run of ill-luck will be over. Aided and abetted by childhood pal Deshmukh and his pretty wife Dutta,he fetches up first with the comely Jiah Khan,and then with the comelier Padukone. In the first half hour,when Sajid is sticking to his basic plan,’Housefull’ is a bit of alright.

And then it all goes down the chute. The excellent Boman Irani turns up as a bumbling Gujarati father and revs up things here and there. Deshmukh is good and so is Dutta,in bits. But nothing can save a script which can’t quite decide whether it needs to drum up laughter or tears.

Those who weigh the film down are Jiah Khan,great in the hot bod department but a disaster in knowing how to build up a laugh,Arjun Rampal who’s consistently dour,Chunkey Pandey who knows how to be funny but seems to have been on a holiday,and,most disappointingly,leading man Akshay Kumar,who’s flat and predictable. How many times will he essay the same part—lovable-loser-who-will-always-tell-the-truth?

Next time around,Sajid,give us something that will really make us double over. Go on,you can do it.

shubhra.gupta@expressindia.com

First published on: 30-04-2010 at 03:24:33 pm
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