Category Archives: Movies Review

Hrithik Roshan’s Super 30 beats Manikarnika to be the seventh highest opening weekend grosser of 2019

With total earning of Rs 50.76 in it’s first three days, Hrithik Roshan’s Super 30 has bagged the seventh spot on the top opening weekend grossers of the year 2019. The film is directed by Vikas Bahl and also features Mrunal Thakur, Pankaj Tripathi, Amit Sadh and Nandish Singh Sandhu in pivotal roles

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Hrithik Roshan has made his comeback to films after about 1 and a half year and that too with a bang. Hrithik, who was last seen in Kaabil with Yami Gautam, now portrays the real-life character of Anand Kumar who is a mathematician from Bihar in his latest movie Super 30. And as soon as the actor started promoting his film, loyal fans came all out to support their superstar in every way possible. Last week, we told you that we were expecting the film to earn around Rs 12 to Rs 14 crore on its first day and that it may cross the Rs 15 crore mark if the film shows growth in the evening and night shows. We also said that it had all the chances to earn over Rs 50 crore during its opening weekend. Since there is no competition for the film, we are expecting Super 30 to collect over Rs 80 crore in its first week.

And we were right! While on its first day, Super 30 earned Rs 11.83 crore, the second and third days showed remarkable growth in the earnings clocking in Rs 18.19 crore and Rs 20.74 crore respectively, making the total earnings to Rs 50.76 crore in India. And with these numbers, the Hrithik Roshan-starrer has landed on the seventh spot on the list of the top opening weekend grossers of the year.

Here are the top opening weekend grossersof 2019

Bharat – Rs 150.10 crore (5 Day Weekend)
Kesari – Rs 77.56 crore (4 Day Weekend)
Gully Boy – Rs 72.45 crore (4 Day Weekend)
Kabir Singh – Rs 70.83 crore
Kalank – Rs 66.03 crore (5 Day Weekend)
Total Dhamaal – Rs 62.40 crore
Super 30 – Rs 50.76 crore
Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi – Rs 42.55 Cr
Student Of The Year 2 – Rs 38.83 crore
De De Pyaar De – Rs 38.54 crore
Uri – The Surgical Strike – Rs 35.73 crore

Talking about Super 30, the film is based on the life of mathematician Anand Kumar who forms a batch of 30 underprivileged students in Patna, Bihar every year and trains them to crack the IIT JEE exams. The film which is headlined by Hrithik Roshan, also stars Mrunal Thakur, Pankaj Tripathi, Amit Sadh and Nandish Singh Sandhu in key roles. Reliance Entertainment in association with HRX Films presents this Sajid Nadiadwala film which is a Phantom production. It is produced by Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment, Phantom Films and Reliance Entertainment, and is directed by Vikas Bahl. Super 30 hit the theatres on July 12.

Kabir Singh box office collections day 4 early estimates: Shahid Kapoor’s film turns out to be a BLOCKBUSTER

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After enjoying a humongous opening weekend, Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani’s Kabir Singh has shown an excellent hold on Monday at the box office. As per the early estimates, the intense love story has raked in Rs 17 crore yesterday and now stands with the grand total of Rs 87.83 crore. So, by looking at the current scenario, we are expecting the film to enter the Rs 100 crore club today at the ticket windows.

As per Shahid Kapoor, the film has a unique approach, which attracted him towards it. “It’s what attracted me to the film in the first place. I believe there is a Kabir Singh inside everyone. That’s why people can relate to him so easily.”

The film has received rave reviews from all around the corners. Our editor-in-chief Tushar Joshi gave the film 4 stars and wrote, “Kabir Singh is an ace up Shahid Kapoor’s sleeve and a treat for his fans. Watch it if you want some intense romance laced up with knock-out performances.” He also praised Shahid’s performance and said, “Shahid delivers one of his careers finest performances. His rage and anger isn’t just on the surface but it’s visceral and a part of the air he breathes. To show that complexity isn’t easy, so Shahid digs deep and becomes the madness that is Kabir. He is deep and intense yet light and breezy when needed. There is a natural flair and charm that he puts to use full throttle. Kiara’s last scene with him is a revelation.”

 

releases this week: Sindhubaad, Kalki and Brochevarevaru Ra

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As we reach the penultimate week of the summer season, quite a few films line up for release this week and it would be interesting to see how they would fare. In Tamil, the much-delayed Sindhubaad is said to be releasing on June 28 after it couldn’t be released last week due to a legal issue. In Telugu, Rajashekhar-starrer Kalki is gearing up for a release and movie buffs are eager to see what AWE director Prashanth Varma has in store for them. In Malayalam, filmmakers are yet to lock the theaters for the release and hence, there is no update on that. Kannada cine goers will gear up to watch the superstar Shiva Rajkumar as a cop in Rustum which is lined up for release this week. From Kalki to Rustum, here are the films releasing this week in South cinema:

Rustum:

Director: K Ravi Varma

Star Cast: Shiva Rajkumar, Shraddha Srinath, J Mahendran

Synopsis: Shiva Rajkumar is back again at playing a cop in Rustum and his look in the film has left his fans stunned. Directed by Ravi Varma K, Rustum is said to be a commercial entertainer and fans expect it to be another blockbuster.

Director: Prashanth Varma

Star Cast: Rajashekhar, Adaah Sharma, Nandita Swetha

Synopsis: Touted to be an investigative thriller, this Telugu film stars Rajashekhar in lead role. Kalki is directed by Prashanth Varma who made a stunning debut with AWE. Expectations on this thriller are quite high and fans expect it to be entertaining. Watch the teaser here if you haven’t already:

Kesari movie review: Akshay Kumar does a Sunny Deol in this Gadar-style drama with gusto and zero nuance

WARNING FOR PARENTS: This is an extremely violent film filled with Game of Thrones-grade bloodshed, beheadings and impalements. It is curious that the Central Board of Film Certification, which has issued A (Adults-only) ratings for far less gore and the use of swear words in recent years, found Kesari fit for a relatively mild UA. In the Indian system, UA stands for “unrestricted public exhibition subject to parental guidance for children below the age of 12″. For some perspective, please note that Udta Punjab was rated A for its abundance of expletives, the Rani Mukerji-starrer Mardaani was rated A for colourful language and violence that is tame compared to what we see in Kesari which has got a UA despite heads being chopped off, an eye being mutilated in close up and, among a zillion instances of bloodletting, a clear, lingering shot of a dead Sikh soldier’s body pierced by multiple swords that have been driven into the ground to hold him up almost horizontally. (Warning ends)

 

Kesari movie review: Akshay Kumar does a Sunny Deol in this Gadar-style drama with gusto and zero nuance

Imagine a real-life battle in which a band of 21 soldiers defended a fort against about 10,000 opponents and managed to inflict heavy casualties on the enemy. This, according to records, is what happened at the Battle of Saragarhi in 1897 in which men of the British Indian Army’s 36th Sikh Regiment warded off Pathan troops for several hours till their last breath at a small British outpost that falls in modern-day Pakistan.

There is enough drama in the truth to merit a nail-biting, breath-stopping film. The truth is not enough for too many filmmakers though.

So, in the hands of writer-director Anurag Singh — creator of Punjabi blockbusters making his Bollywood debut here — Saragarhi gets embellished and twisted to please the communities it means to pander to and play along with the current dominant national discourse.

There can be no doubt about the bravery and skills of the 36th Sikh Regiment, but co-writers Girish Kohli and Singh seem to consider it an inconvenience that these men were, after all, fighting for the British Empire. In their bid to turn the 36th Sikhs into a cause that viewers of Independent India could root for, Kohli and Singh divert attention from Her Majesty and write conversations into the screenplay that position Saragarhi as a campaign by brave Sikhs for their qaum and for India’s azaadi.

Then, to cash in on the prevailing nationalist frenzy steeped in Islamophobia, they present the Pathans with an absolute lack of nuance as hordes of bloodthirsty, regressive, cowardly, unethical barbarians fighting a jihad in Allah’s name against a civilised, liberal, gutsy, noble force.

When Havildar Ishar Singh (Akshay Kumar), head of the 36th Sikh Regiment at Saragarhi, opens his mouth and roars, the Pathans, though armed to the teeth, cower before him as the Pakistan Army did nearly two decades back when Sunny Deol hollered at them and threatened them with a handpump he had uprooted with his bare hands. Like old-style Hindi film villains, the Pathans are often stupid to boot and in at least one scene are shown assaulting a solitary Sikh one by one instead of in unison. If this film’s version of events is to be believed, the Pathans’ only strength lay in their numbers and their utter amorality.

Kesari takes its time to get to the battle, spending its somewhat slow-paced first half establishing Ishar’s unwillingness to accept orders from British seniors that go against his principles, acquainting us with his wife (Parineeti Chopra) through a long flashback and fantasy sequences in which he holds imaginary conversations with her, and building up the bond between him and the men newly under his command at Saragarhi. This segment is equal parts funny, mushy to cringe-worthy levels and trite.

Still from Kesari trailer. YouTube screengrab

The momentum picks up post-interval as does the tension, despite a Sikh soldier breaking into song at a crucial moment in the battle. But as much as the combat is executed skilfully and is designed to set pulses racing, the clichéd, populist portrayal of the Pathans, the Sikhs and vintage Bollywood heroism robs Kesari of all finesse and intelligence.

Far from being a war drama based on actual events, it then becomes just another Die Hard in which the ever-invincible Bruce Willis is replaced by the ever-invincible Akshay Kumar. When an explosion occurs in the midst of tents, sending them up in flames and consuming everyone within touching distance, only Akshay a.k.a. Ishar emerges unscathed. The Pathans are so intimidated by him that even when he is completely surrounded, it takes them time to attack him all at one go. As it happens, Ishar is also a saint.

The manner in which Kesari stereotypes the Muslim Pathans — the marauding mob, the evil mullah, the wily and campish sniper — fits the narrative being pushed by the present Indian establishment. (And for the benefit of discerning viewers who might object, two ‘good’ Muslims are thrown into the mix for good measure.) While this aspect of the film merits a discussion considering the wave of Islamophobia sweeping across today’s world, it is equally important to focus on  the positive othering of Sikhs.

Bollywood categorises Sikhs into two clear-cut groups: the undiluted boisterous buffoon and the undiluted braveheart. Kesari deals in the latter. The positive  stereotyping of marginalised and minority communities tends to lull liberals and members of those communities into complacence, but needs to be viewed with concern for what it is: a sugar-coated form of othering, a manifestation of the filmmaker’s inability to see that community as “one of us” or, at worst, a mask for prejudice. If you find your heart warming up to the routine pedestalising of Sikhs in Hindi films, remember that pre-2000 Hindi cinema was marked by a positive stereotyping of Muslims, with the golden-hearted, all-sacrificing Muslim being a regular in stories back then. What did that trope seek to hide?

Blanket statements and blanket characterisations of communities in films should always give us pause.

To say none of this matters if a film is entertaining amounts to denying the power of cinema. Yes, Akshay’s natural charisma does come through in Kesari when he is not over-acting. Yes, the men under his command are well cast, with Suvinder Vicky and Vansh Bharadwaj particularly making a mark as the supportive Lal Singh and the rebellious Chanda Singh respectively. Yes, the cinematography by Anshul Chobey is impressive and the battle scenes are more technically polished than the recent Manikarnika. And yes, the passing reference to caste discrimination among Sikhs is a greater acknowledgement of caste than we are used to from Bollywood. But none of this should distract us from the sad reality that Kesari’s makers do not have faith in the very story they claim to tell.

Early in Kesari, a British officer taunts Ishar Singh — the soil of Hindustan births only cowards, he says. His contempt sparks off a rage in Ishar and a desire to demonstrate that Indians are valiant. He spouts a line around this time about how he is tired of the enslavement of his people, first by Mughals and now by the British. This entire portion is written to indicate that the 36th Sikh Regiment fought at Saragarhi for their own self-respect and, in the long run, India’s freedom, not because they were paid to do so nor out of loyalty to Her Majesty the Queen of England. What a perfect example of mindless cinematic patriotism — it seems not to have occurred to the writers, that at the end of the day, what their film is saying is that Ishar’s goal was to prove himself to his white master.

Irrespective of what the 36th Sikhs’ actual motivations were, obviously theirs was a historic last stand worthy of a film. When an honest army procedural could have had an impact, the team of Kesari chose instead to be a barely disguised propaganda vehicle and to chronicle this remarkable episode with self-defeating twists. A spot of exaggeration here and there could of course be explained away as cinematic licence, even the loudness and initial tempo could have been excused, but this goes way beyond that. It is as if Team Kesari were dissatisfied with the truth about the 36th Sikh Regiment who, ironically, they seek here to lionise.

Total Dhamaal movie review: This asinine comedy proves Ajay Devgn should stick to action

They say the journey is more important than the destination. But director Indra Kumar’s adventure comedy (a very, very loose definition) is all about the journey, which is troublesome, even frightening, and all together tedious. So much so that by the time a motley crew of opportunists find their way to a buried treasure, the adventure comedy has begun to feel like a disaster film.

A still from Total Dhamaal trailer. Source: YouTube

Arshad Warsi, Javed Jaffrey and Ritesh Deshmukh return to the third part of the Dhamaal franchise as no-hopers looking for a get-rich-quick scheme. Ajay Devgn, Sanjay Mishra, Madhuri Dixit and Anil Kapoor inflate the cast. Just to keep reminding of the motivation of the characters, the word ‘paisa’ echoes in the background, sounding more menacing than enticing.

It took three writers — Ved Prakash, Paritosh Painter and Bunty Rathore — to ensure that the screenplay is stretched beyond its elasticity and is packed with misadventures than adventures. It took a headlining cast of eight to make the posters look good but even they could not make this asinine comedy, with the occasional laugh, tolerable.

Though Kapoor and Dixit, who play a bickering couple caught in their own war of the roses, and Warsi and Jaffrey, as polar opposite brothers, bring their comic A-game, Deshmukh and Pitobash Tripathy can do little to elevate their pedestrian material. Devgn should set comedy aside and stick to the action genre. As for Mishra, his brief seems to have been to add the word ‘bro’ twice in every line of dialogue.

Devgn and Mishra play thieves who clumsily pull off a big heist, but they are double-crossed. When they do track down the robber, they have to contend with six other greedy souls interested in a share of the spoils. Thus begins a race to the finishing line to a zoo, where the bounty is buried. Also on their tail is the police commissioner (Boman Irani).

For the next hour, we witness planes, trains and automobiles being used to get this gang to their destination. This is when the script gets really exasperating and also a bit scary with plane crashes, cars being submerged in raging waters, girders dangerous dangling off construction sites, speeding trains hurtling towards vehicles blocking the tracks, untrained skydiving and a rickety wooden bridge. Random cameos by Manoj Pahwa, Johnny Lever, Esha Gupta and Jackie Shroff, among others, punctuate these shenanigans.

After all of this, the film attempts to deliver a mixed message about how animals living in captivity need to be saved from avaricious developers. In the process, as they set aside their selfishness, this collective of crazies finds their conscience and we find a quick exit from the cinema.

Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi box office collection — Kangana Ranaut’s period drama earns Rs 85.80 cr

Kangana Ranaut’s period-drama Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi is steadily inching towards the Rs 100 crore mark. The film, which released on 25 January, has raked in Rs 85.80 crore so far. According to trade analysts, it should witness an upward trend on the third weekend of its release.

Still from Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi trailer. YouTube screengrab

Manikarnika earned Rs 1.25 crore on Friday. The film was reported to be Ranaut’s biggest opener by trade analysts.

Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi focuses on Rani Laxmibai’s fight against British colonisers for the rightful independence of her country and land. The film also stars Atul Kulkarni, Jisshu Sengupta, Suresh Oberoi, Ankita Lokhande, Danny Denzongpa among others. KV Vijayendra Prasad, screenwriter of blockbusters like Baahubali franchise has penned the script of Manikarnika.

The film had also faced its share of controversies with Sonu Sood’s exit and Kangana sharing the directorial duties with Krish. Manikarnika had also invited severe protests from political outfits who had claimed to be part of Karni Sena for allegedly distorting history and alluding to a relationship between a British officer and Rani Laxmibai.

Recently Ranaut spoke out for the lack of support she received during the promotions of the film. She said that people from the Hindi film industry have ganged up against her for speaking out against ‘nepotism’

Katrina Kaif on Thugs of Hindostan failure: Disappointment is always good as it wakes you up

Katrina Kaif believes the takeaway from disappointment is that it gives a reality check to the people involved in the film.

Aamir Khan and Katrina Kaif in a still from Thugs of Hindostan. Image via Twitter

Katrina, whose last feature Thugs of Hindostan failed to register a strong performance at the box office and was panned by the critics, said something went wrong with the film.

Last month, her Thugs… co-star Aamir Khan had taken “full responsibility” for the film’s failure.

“I know Aamir has spoken on the matter and it has really hurt deeply and personally. Disappointment is always good as it wakes you up little bit again. In case of Thugs… it was not for lack of trying, something just went wrong in case of Thugs of Hindostan. You need to have guts and urge to try things and be prepared it may or may not work,” Katrina said in an interview here.

The actor is looking forward to the release of her next Zero, in which she plays a troubled movie star, Babita.

Katrina said it is hard to tell how a film will do at the box office before it hits the screens and in case of Zero she has full faith in director Aanand L Rai.

“With regards to Zero, it is hard to say. You never know from before a film (whether it will work or not). Lot of work has gone into it. It is hard to tell. I believe it is a good film and is a good story.

“Aanand L Rai is one of the finest storytellers in our cinema. His story connects with people. His emotion connect is good. You have to wait till the film releases. You will have the answer…” she said.

Also starring Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma, Zero opens in theatres on 21 December.

Kedarnath: Vashu Bhagnani, Pooja Film Company alleges failure to act on complaint against proprietors

Bombay High Court recently took cognizance of a petition which claimed that the police were failing to act on the criminal charge made against the proprietors of Kedarnath. The accused included director Abhishek Kapoor and Rohinton (Ronny) Screwvala, film producer and managing director of Unilazer Ventures Pvt Ltd, reports Bar and Bench.

Sushant Singh Rajput and Sara Ali Khan in Kedarnath. Screenshot from YouTube

The petition claimed that the initial complaint had been registered with the Economic Offences Wing and despite personal visits and frequent reminders, the complaint remained neglected. The complaint claimed there was fraud and breach of trust by the accused parties which resulted in the loss of over Rs 15 crore.

The petitioner, Pooja Film Company and Vashu Bhagnani, stated that the distribution rights of Kedarnath were passed on to Screwvala’s company despite Bhagnani already being on board. After KriArj Entertainment Pvt Ltd (KEPL), the initial producers of the project, ran into financial difficulties, it entered MoUs with both Pooja Films and Srewvala’s company to help back the project. Bhagnani and Pooja Films thus invested Rs 15.6 crores into the film on condition of right of pre-emption, ie, the first right of refusal when it comes to production and distribution rights of the film.

However, following KEPL’s forfeiture from the project, the petitioner found out that all rights for the film had been signed over to GSP completely.

Badhaai Ho box office collection: Ayushmann’s Khurrana’s film rakes in Rs 45 cr in extended opening weekend

The extended Dusshera weekend ended with Ayushmann Khurrana’s Badhaai Ho overshadowing Arjun Kapoor’s Namaste England completely. Although both the films were pulled ahead to release a day earlier, Badhaai Ho managed to raced ahead Namaste England to garner Rs 45 crore in the first four days of its release.

Posters of Badhaai Ho and Namaste England. Image via Twitter/@FlickNookIn

The film earned an additional Rs 13 crore on Sunday, scoring a big extended opening weekend. Also starring Sanya Malhotra, Neena Gupta and Gajraj Rao, the film opened to rave reviews. On the other hand, Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra’s Namaste England was unanimously panned by critics for its trite and immature storyline. The film could only score Rs 6.55 crore over the extended weekend, reports BollywoodHungama.com. From the holdover titles, Anushka Sharma and Varun Dhawan’s YRF big-ticket, Sui Dhaaga, has almost exhausted its run. Currently showing in about a 100 screens, the film has raked in Rs 78.70 crore.

 

Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi movie review: Sonakshi Sinha leads charge with gusto in a pleasantly silly comedy

Happy Bhag Jayegi was the sleeper hit of 2016, a comedy revolving around an Amritsari bride who runs away from her wedding to marry the man she loves, but lands up in the home of a stranger – a Pakistani politician – by mistake. Diana Penty was luminous as the eponymous leading lady of that film, which, despite its insubstantial plot and flagging second half, managed to be funny all the same. She reprises her role in a cameo in Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi even as it diverts its gaze to another Punjabi girl called Harpreet aka Happy, this one played by Sonakshi Sinha.

Writer-director Mudassar Aziz appears to have taken the feedback on his previous venture to heart. Happy Part 2 not only remains largely amusing if you can excuse a few waning patches here and there, the writing of its characters and the plot also have more substance than Part 1. Of course it is a parade of non-stop nonsense, but how does it hurt to get a fit of the giggles in a film that yet does not insult your intelligence and heads off in directions that Bollywood rarely bothers with, especially in comedy?

Diana Penty and Sonakshi Sinha in a still from Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi. YouTube

For a start, it is nice to once again meet a heroine not helplessly hanging around waiting for a man, any man, to bachao (save) her when she is trapped in trying circumstances. This Happy is a combustible woman and like that Happy takes matters into her own hands when the going gets tough.

There’s more where she came from. How often do we get to see a Hindi film featuring a turbanned Sikh as a major character without the screenplay being packed with Bhangra and cries of “balle balle”, without the guy in question being loud and boisterous, and sans sermons about Sikh valour or traditions of service to others? Representation should not be about pedestalising minority communities, but about acknowledging their existence in big and small ways without feeling compelled to create a shindig around an individual’s religious or ethnic identity.

So yeah, we have Khushwant Singh Gill (played by the very likeable Jassie Gill) who is recruited to Happy’s team in a foreign country, without so much as a balle balle or a lecture about Sikhism. Then there is the Lahori cop Usman Afridi (Piyush Mishra) and the Amritsari thug-politician Daman Singh Bagga (Jimmy Sheirgill), carryovers from Happy Bhag Jayegi, still sparring over Urdu and Pakistan in a still engaging and still inoffensive fashion. Yeah, a Pakistani character who is not belittled or demonised in this era of crude, in-your-face nationalism that India is passing through and Bollywood is pandering to. Imagine that.

The trickiest part of Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi is that it is set in China, which would have been an excuse to make lazy racist jokes in most Bollywood films, but not here. Aziz walks a fine line – a clever line – by allowing his characters to be racist as they would be in real life, while using their prejudice to throw a spotlight on the “all Chinese look alike” attitude of the average insular Indian who resorts to the dismissive umbrella labels “Cheeni” and “chinky” for people of the entire geographical region extending from our own north-eastern states all the way to Japan. Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi’s humour incorporates consequences that the primary characters suffer for their insularity and ignorance. This is done mainly through the medium of the gangster Chang played by Jason Tham.

None of this is spelt out in black and white, nor is the normalisation of a gay romance in a brief passage that eschews Dostana-style jokes completely. In a film where you least expect it, we are thus reminded without anyone overtly saying so, that homosexuals, cross dressers, Pakistanis, the Chinese, Punjabis and women – groups that are usually stereotyped in Hindi cinema – are all just regular people.

Jassie Gill, Sonakshi Sinha and Jimmy Shiergill in a still from Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi

 

Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi could still have done with more work on its writing and direction – the songs (barring the remix of the appropriately chosen classic, ‘Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu’) are ordinary and feel superfluous, there are places in the narrative where the energy dips (which is inexcusable in a comedy), the manner in which a fellow called Fa in Shanghai is introduced seems to suggest that he will be a significant player among Happy’s allies but then he inexplicably disappears for most of the film, and the sidelining of Diana Penty’s Happy feels like such an opportunity lost considering the spark this underrated, under-utilised actor showed in the first Happy.

Truth be told, I was really looking forward to more scenes with Sinha and Penty together, because though Sinha is the bigger star, Penty has the charisma to match. Where she does get screen space in Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi, Penty gives us evidence of her innate verve, which adds to the disappointment on this front.

Sinha’s filmography so far has been dominated by crass big-banner ventures often trivialising sexual harassment and starring major male stars, in which she played the hero’s lover who could have been played by any other marginal female star. She has underlined her ability to be more than just a vapid sidelight and in fact to carry a story on her shoulders in films such as Lootera, Noor and Ittefaq. Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi gives her the chance to tap her comic timing and she does so with gusto, leading the charge in an ensemble cast of gifted actors. Piyush Mishra is as hilarious as he was last time. Sheirgill gets more opportunities here to mine his flair for comedy and is good too. And Gill is, without question, hero material.

Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi is not without flaws, but they are overshadowed by the absence of references to farts, poop and animal backsides, homophobia, misogyny and other ugly biases that have repeatedly reared their heads in the kind of comedies Sinha herself has been a part of over the years. Pleasant and engaging is an option in this genre – thank you, Mr Aziz, for knowing that.

Note: This is not a Hindi film. The dialogues are a mix of Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu and a spot of Mandarin (I think), with Punjabi dominating the conversations but not so much that a non-Hindi speaker would be lost.