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Actor Shah Rukh Khan during the promotion of film happy new year at his promotional tour in Washington on Sept. 23, 2014. (Photo: IANS)

‘Happy New Year’ Movie Reviews Roundup: Negative Media Reviews Overwhelm Positive Push by Some

actress deepika padukone during the promotion of film happy new year at his promotional tour in Washington on Sept. 23, 2014. (Photo: IANS)The verdict is emerging after a grueling day of wait for the Shahrukh Khan and Farah Khan film “Happy New Year” made with a huge budget of Rs.170 crore with more Hollywood-like scenes and car chases in Dubai. To begin with ‘The Hindu’ gave out the first review of the film with a tongue-in-cheek remark that HNY “could steal your heart if you don’t use your head.”

Close to it comes another review from India Today reviewer Rohit Khilnani who finds it as another masala Bollywood flick with no content and passes his verdict as a stretched out 3-hour film.  “If you go and watch Happy New Year, you will surely sit through it but will you walk out smiling? I can’t take that guarantee,” says the writer.

Rohit Vats, Hindustan Times correspondent finds stark resemblance to Hollywood’s ‘Ocean’s 11 series’. Being a Farah Khan’s baby, he says the film has the mandatory ‘formula’ and becomes more like Manmohan Desai going the Hollywood way.

In Mint, writer Sanjukta Sharma finds so much staleness packed into a running time of 3 hours that is revolting even to the “brain-dead stupor” that we, fans of Hindi movies, sometimes habitually get into “just for the sake of time-pass entertainment.”

Sarita A Tanwar of DNA was quite gungho about the film except for the screenplay, logic issues, sensibility issues and says “in a heist film, you can’t have that. I wish Boman Irani would stop playing the lonesome Parsi guy – he’s better than that.” But she is strong in recommending the film saying, “Make this Diwali even more special with Happy New Year. One of the best entertainers of 2014.”

Here all the above-mentioned reviews in details as the 3-hour extravaganza cannot be dismissed in few lines.

The Hindu Review: Happy New Year: A long night at the bar
By Sudhish Kamath

While the template is decidedly heist, the treatment is completely Bollywood, writes Kamath. “Happy New Year is too self-aware for its own good but thankfully, it packs in some laughs with moments of irreverence and political incorrectness… There are a couple of unwarranted, contrived twists slapped on before the actual heist to infuse needless drama and Farah loses an opportunity to make her Team India understand HOW they need to dance. Strangely, despite being a choreographer storyteller, Farah Khan has missed exploiting this opportunity.

If you are still in that bar mood by the time you reach the ending, chances are you will enjoy Happy New Year as much as I did.It’s a return to form for both Farah and Shah Rukh Khan though the real show stealers are Abhishek Bachchan and Deepika Padukone. Happy New Year could steal your heart if you don’t use your head.”

India Today Review: Happy New Year a below average film
By Rohit Khilnani

India Today’s Reviewer Rohit Kilnani says the film HNY is more a masala than content catering SRK fans and nothing else. After giving the plot, the writer says the film is predictable, which is fine but not as gripping as expected. It makes no sense and not funny either. Boman Irani fits are just bizarre! While SRK entertains with full energy, Deepika’s sincere efforts are contained by the script and Sonu Sood is brilliant.

“Abhishek  Bachchan performs well too and so does Vivaan Shah,” says the writer. Good on music but director Farah Khan has not delivered a good film like Om Shanti Om still. “If you go and watch Happy New Year, you will surely sit through it but will you walk out smiling? I can’t take that guarantee,” concludes the writer.

Indian Express Review: “Happy New Year is a long showreel of what SRK the superstar can do”

Taking a dig at the dialogues of Shahrukh Khan, the writer wonders whether Farah Khan couldn’t think of new dialogues or is it because she just wanted to direct a film for his friend-turned-foe-turned friend. In his view, the film is a cross between ‘Oceans 11/12’ and ‘Flashdance’ with tagline “Mera Bharat Mahan” sentiments.

Taking exception to an eye glaze in the opening, he ridicules the self-referential humor, he warns about the sound in the range of high-higher-highest. As the title suggests, he notes the three-hour duration it takes and focuses on Shah Rukh Khan, “whose eight packs achieve the status of a separate character, given the amount of footage they get. In other places, Khan is his usual self-deprecating cool self, and cracks a couple of good jokes : one cuts close to the political bone. But it is also a performance that feels a trifle frayed, because he has nothing substantially new to do.”

On Deepika Padukone, he says she “is the one that manages to stand out a little, and that could be because there is no other female competition… Too often we are left struggling against ennui – of having seen it, and heard it, before.” No freshness in the film, he concludes.

Hindustan Times Review: Manmohan Desai goes the Hollywood way in Happy New Year

Rohit Vats of Hindustan Times begins wondering what’s a good film.” If it holds your attention till the end credits, it’s a good film. Happy New Year gives you enough reasons to stay inside the hall.” he writes but immediately detaches from making a judgement wondering “whether all those sequences come together to make a composite whole or reduce the film to yet another mindless potboiler, depends entirely on your perception.”

Like other writers, he writes about its stark resemblance to Hollywood’s ‘Ocean’s 11 series’. Being a Farah Khan’s baby, he says the film has the mandatory ‘formula’ and becomes more like Manmohan Desai going the Hollywood way. “Just for the reference, Farah had categorically mentioned the value of Manmohan Desai brand of cinema in Om Shanti Om and HNY seems like an extension,” he cautions.

“The extremely unimaginative writing in this part makes the characters utter famous dialogues from SRK’s films. At this juncture, the director seems so full of herself and Shah Rukh Khan that Happy New Year becomes the collage of many mediocre Bollywood moments.” In his view, screenplay was not original and hence, not gripping either. The fantastic events in the film belong to Deepika Padukone’s which was limited as the hero eats up most of the screen time” he notes.

“The film is entertaining for sure but it would have been easier for the viewer to form a positive opinion about the film if it would have been edited by at least 20 more minutes. The ‘close to three hours’ duration makes one uneasy and also induces repetition,” he says before giving his final verdict: “There is nothing wrong with Happy New Year if all that you are looking for is a good timepass and entertainment.”

Mint Review: Happy New Year A Dubai Bollywood Night on loop, and some stale heist tropes
By Sanjukta Sharma

The writer makes some interesting remarks. “Happy New Year is a forced juxtaposition of a dance movie and a predictable thriller. The result is painful. The choreography has a few flashes of invention, although for a film about a dance competition, the moves are noticeably repetitive and stock B-Bollywood. The humour is largely dull except for a few gags by Irani, although he just recreates the cardboard Parsi blub.

“Padukone is resplendent in her glittering costumes, her Mohini sold on the idea of making India proud and reclaiming her respect, but throughout the film she is working towards the opposite of that goal—she is an unadulterated bimbo, a pretty thing to be laughed at and pitied. The really insufferable moments in the film unfold simultaneously with the follow-up to the heist, when all of Dubai is going “India! India!”, when saffron and green illuminate riverfronts and city hoardings.

Happy New Year is like a Bollywood Night in Dubai on loop, with a few stale heist tropes thrown in. So much staleness, packed into a running time of 3 hours, is revolting even to the brain-dead stupor that we, fans of Hindi movies, sometimes habitually get into just for the sake of time-pass entertainment,” concludes the reviewer.

DNA Review: Happy New Year’ is one of the best entertainers of 2014
By Sarita A Tanwar

On positive note, the writer says the film is “Farah Khan’s return to form” though there are some stereotypes but Farah Khan knows how to spring surprises when the screenplay becomes a tad tiresome.

Giving a list out of the positive side like Malaika Arora Khan’s flirtatious gestures towards Sonu; the hilarious Anurag Kashyap-Vishal Dadlani track; Sajid Khan’s cameo; andAbhishek’s stripping scene , she hunts at the HNY’s scene-stealer, SRK’s son Abram Khan who makes his debut in the film’s end credits.

Pointing out the flip-side of the film like poor screenplay, logic issues, and sensibility issues she says in a heist film, “you can’t have that.” Her advice to Boman Irani is to “stop playing the lonesome Parsi guy” as he’s better than that.Her final advice is “Make this Diwali even more special with Happy New Year. One of the best entertainers of 2014.”

2 comments

  1. Happy New Year is a stupid and also dangerous movie. It intends to appeal to present Indian sensitivities (Modi look-a-like on TV screen and constant Indian flag waving). What is more, it offers some escape to the present Indian inferiority complex. We are told that the enemies of India should be afraid of India. One wonders whether India has friends at all (although the film claims that it has one or two). The film is also racist (Chinese and Koreans look all the same) and biased against Muslim countries (your hands will be cut off immedialetly.
    Is this the way India will proceed?

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