The “Happy Bhag Jayegi” Review

The legend is true! Jimmy Shergil can never get the girl in his movies. Be it Tanu weds Manu, Mere Yaar ki Shaadi Hain (where he loses the lady to Uday Chopra! …Yes we rechecked), Dil Hain Tumhaara, this guy with the most baronial of looks doesn’t get his love interest. So when the trailer of the movie came out with three leading guys and one leading lady, the odds of him having a “Happy”ily ever after were miniscule.

Now for the movie. Happy Bhag Jayegi stars Diana Penty as Happy who elopes from her marriage in the first few minutes of the movie. Any guesses as to who the duped would-be groom is? Diana plays the effervescent driven-by-heart-matters small town girl who cannot stand upto her father to get married to her lover, Guddu (Ali Fazal). So both of them decide to run away on the day of her proposed marriage to Bagga (Jimmy). Comedy of errors ensue when Happy jumps on the wrong truck and lands in Pakistan. (go figure!…….couldn’t? neither could we). In Pakistan, she meets Bilal(a charming Abhay Deol) who is the son of an influential politician and is too kind to Happy to bear her tantrums (love thy neighbour?). Bilal plans to deport Happy secretively so that his father’s image is not tarnished, but Happy has other ideas. As luck would have it, almost everyone in the movie lands in Pakistan and the movie progresses in blistering pace towards the usual ruckus of a climax which is as formulaic as Bollywood can get.

The character development of Happy is undercooked. So much so that the primary love story between her and Guddu never quite plucks our emotional chords. Since we do not care about the love birds being separated and all the shenanigans of Happy seem childish, the movie remains a series of set pieces, some farcical and some genuinely funny. The humour is sprinkled liberally and makes viewing easy on the eye.This is a kind of movie to be watched with family. Not much sense in the proceedings, but few laughs here, few giggles there and a Sunday afternoon is spent well.

This is a kind of movie to be watched with family. Not much sense in the proceedings, but few laughs here, few giggles there and a Sunday afternoon is spent well.

But what we definitely care for is the character of Zoya (the lovely Momal Sheikh. She is the daughter of Javed Sheikh who plays Abhay’s father in this movie). She comes into the story line as the highfalutin fiancé of Bilal but as the story progresses, she turns into the willing accomplice in the larger scheme of reuniting Happy with Guddu. What is also refreshing to see is her silent realisation that Bilal feels liberated from the shackles of the political aura of his father and goes out of his way in helping Happy. This is the story we care about. Zoya and Bilal, born with silver spoons and destined to get married, more for a show of power than love, but Happy kind of brings them together.

The director chooses laughs for logic for most part of the movie. The humour is basic but it is accentuated by the inherent likeability of each character. Such movies do not have a villain per se, so situational comedy takes centre stage. Although the basic theme is similar to the 90s movie Runaway Bride starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, but as we mentioned above, the primary love story here is not as charming as its English counterpart. That is the reason that when Guddu finally meets Happy, we do not go soft.

Although the basic theme is similar to the 90s movie Runaway Bride starring Juila Roberts and Richard Gere, but as we mentioned above, the primary love story here is not as charming as its English counterpart.

The scenes in Pakistan are shot well. The usual projection of Pakistan as hostile and filled with vile has been replaced with warmth and that is such a welcome change. The supporting cast does a good job with Piyush Mishra standing out with his comedic timing. The music is a big let down in this one as none of the songs stay with you for long. They do not even pull the story forward. Bollywood is seeing the resurgence of stories from the Mohalla involving common men and women. Be it Tanu Weds Manu, Queen or Happy Bhag Jayegi, such movies connect with the audience despite obvious faults. Touted as Diana Penty’s reintroduction to Bollywood, the most memorable characters are infact those portrayed by Jimmy Shergil and Abhay Deol. Goes to show the talent on display. A decent one time watch. Then again, with most movies aiming at packaging itself as wholesome, we appreciate the attempted light heartedness of this flick.

gobblscore: 6.5/10

gobblpoint: Watch it for the underrated actors like Abhay Deol and Jimmy Shergil. Once you see them on screen, you just wonder what they can deliver if they get the backing of really good scripts.
Disclaimer: The image used in this post are the sole property of the makers of this film and is not owned by us in any form whatsoever. 

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