Shah Rukh Khan
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In a particular scene in Happy Bhag Jayegi a Pakistani security personal played by Piyush Mishra lands in India to search for a person. As he tries to take his first step on the Indian soil he recoils, asking god to forgive him. Finally people behind him threaten to push him off the bus if he did not walk. Piyush Mishra is brilliant in the scene as the patriotic Pakistani. And he is brilliant throughout the film, adding much to the film’s humour.
But this story is not about that character. It is about Happy (Diana Penty). Happy elopes on her wedding day but accidently jumps into the wrong truck and lands up in Lahore, Pakistan. She finds herself in the house of Bilal Ahmed (Abhay Deol), a gen-next leader of Pakistan. Bilal risks losing his career if people of Pakistan find that he has an illegal Indian visitor in his house. As he tries to take charge of the situation he also needs to deal with his possessive fiancé and overbearing father.
The stage is set for a rather entertaining story. And so is the scope for the director to take a safer route where girl and boy fall in love in the most unlikely condition. Thankfully, Aziz does not fall into the pit. His story does not follow the expected twist. The problem is when his attempt to steer away from the usual reveals a less worked second half.
The first half of the film is breezy and replete with laughter. The characters come alive. The second half is when the problem arises. The humour dries up and the screenplay feels a drag. The end almost feels like an old Priyadarshan film.
Happy Bhag Jayegi is carried forward for its characters. Daman Singh Bagga played by Jimmy Sheirgill is one of most memorable characters we have across in Hindi cinema in quite some time. And the actor plays it with elan. Piyush Mishra’s character of Usman Afridi is funny. The film’s central character Happy is almost identical to Geet from Jab We Met. Possibly even feistier as she refuses to mellow down even in the face of losing everything! And Diana is refreshing. Let’s say we are glad to see her acting again. It is Abhay Deol who seems to have played the safe character.
Happy Bhag Jayegi could have been a far serious drama under a different director. But Mudassar Aziz, who had last made a forgettable Dulha Mil Gaya, decides to treat the subject in as simplistic a manner as possible. Attempt clearly is made keeping in mind the 70s classics made by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Except of course he does not have a screenplay that carries the film unblemished. But funnily, that does not seem to overshadow the fun that the movie is. This is one movie that should entertain you enough for the money you pay.
By Noyon Jyoti Parasara
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