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    Default housefull...IndiaShining: Housefull movie

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    Film: Housefull
    Dir: Sajid Khan
    Cast: Akshay Kumar, Riteish Deshmukh, Lara Dutta, Deepika Padukone
    Rating: *
    Welcome to yet another ‘leave your brains at home’ kind of comedy. An almost impossible task I think, to surgically remove your brain, and then to make your way to the cinema sans it.
    Though I think, if you don’t already possess a brain, or your intellect has been considerably eaten away by recurring cinema such as this, then you may actually force yourself to patronize this stupid starry ordeal. I sadly caught myself chuckling a few times in a bid to recover my 320-rupee ticket price, a hefty sum for such little ‘entertainment’.
    The unlucky Aarush (played by Akshay Kumar) must marry a girl to change his fortunes. His best friend Bob (Riteish) and his girlfriend Hetal (Lara Dutta) take him to a lavish London party where he meets the eccentric and drunk host, Randhir Kapoor (hic!). Aarush and Randhirs daughter Jiah Khan meet and instantly fall for each others traditional Indian values and within a few seconds the drunk dad announces their marriage, bequeathing a few million pounds to the lad he just met.
    It didn’t make sense. So I swung a cricket bat and knocked the side of my head, subjecting my brain (which I had to bring with me) to a nasty blow. It still didn’t fly.
    So Aarush and Jiah are on holiday in Italy/Greece/Film City or wherever the hell this exotic resort is and Aarush is thrilled to have better luck. The resort is run by a loud and irritating Indian who speaks in an Italian accent and is imaginatively named ‘Aakhri Pasta’ (Chunky Pandey). ‘Pasta’ cant keep his hands off Aarush’s bride (Jiah Khan) and Jiah cant keep her hands off a hairy and expressionless white man. Aarush is shocked to learn that Jiah and ‘hairy white man’ are lovers and that his marriage is a sham.
    Enter Sandy (Deepika Padukone), who rescues a drowning Aarush and then dances with him in a sexy song sequence. It must be true love! What makes Sandy’s heart beat faster for the forlorn loser is ‘Aakhri Pasta’s’ lie that Aarush’s wife died on his honeymoon. Why the lie? You ask? I am clueless. I suffered another blow to my head with the cricket bat. My brain refused to shut up even then.
    Well, If we must go further; you can expect inane misunderstandings between the two couples and then add characters like a farsan making Gujrathi father who sleepwalks, a man eating old heiress who is less entertaining than the man eating tiger on a couch, A parakeet that gets sucked into vacuum cleaner and a monkey that gets into a fist fight with Aarush.
    Menaka Gandhi, fret not, the self respecting monkey gives it back in equal measure.
    While the situational ideas have the potential to entertain like in a ‘Dumb & Dumber’ or in an ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ sort of slapstick way, the execution and smugness of the making, leaves you baffled as only the cast seems to get most of the jokes. The exaggerated climax, where laughing gas is released into Buckingham palace, is anything but funny. As you watch white skinned extra’s and red-faced Indians laughing uproariously on screen, you are deafened by the silence of the audience in the cinema hall.
    There are racist jokes; like the Gujrathi father looking at a black woman and disdainfully calling her ‘Surpanakha’ (Ravan’s ugly sister), bad Italian accents with the use of words like pasta and De Niro to frame sad sentences and even done to death closet gay jokes; where the Gujrathi father seems to find the boys in compromising positions. Sadly Unoriginal.
    Yes, we’re looking for entertainment and not necessarily intellectual stimulation all the time. But recent films like ‘3 Idiots’ have proved that our cinema can be ’silly funny’ and yet have heart. That we can laugh at jokes and gags without having to surgically remove our brains or knock them out cold with cricket bats.
    As we settle back into cinema halls post the IPL season, and look for entertainment worth the insane ticket prices, we must remember this. A lavish and starry production with a great marketing budget is no compensation for amateur dialogues, predictable screenplays and hammy acting.
    Instead, you could watch Amitabh Bachchan in the 1981 hit ‘Kaalia’ on the telly this weekend.



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