Written by Abhikendu Deb Roy.
A mission is usually of three parts – the aim, the act and the outcome. Mission ‘Happy New Year’: To accomplish an act of theft in the midst of a World Dance Championship. Result: No prizes for guessing, mission successful. It is the act in between which is the essence of this 3 hours long movie.
Director Farah Khan, after a disastrous Tees Maar Khan, is back with the actor she had started her career as a director. Needless to say, the entire plot revolves around Shah Rukh Khan, a meticulous planner who is out there to take revenge for his father’s imprisonment due to a false accusation. A commercial movie like this can never end with a gory conclusion; so you know what happens at the end. It is how he arranges his teammates for the dance competition and the theft likewise is what makes the journey interesting.
Happy New Year was meant to be an SRK movie. Right from his entry exhibiting those 8-pack abs, hoots and claps across the hall are heard every now and then. His acting can never go wrong, and maintains the personality of a team leader. He appears stylish as well, his golden streaks and a rugged goatee being in fashion these days. However, Shahrukh looks tired and aged in some of his scenes, the energy missing almost throughout the entire film.
Unlike other Khan movies, this is one of those very rare specimens in Bollywood where heroines are just not merely diminished to the role of a showpiece. Farah must be appreciated for giving Deepika Padukone enough opportunities to showcase her talents. Deepika works wonders for this film and is probably the brightest actor among them all, emanating positive vibes and energy.
A linear script keeps the plot simple, but makes it too predictable at parts. Logic is seriously lacking in the script, but one must not, in such a film, ask for explanations of a double role or a team of non-dancers winning the trophy on an international platform. It does carry a few minor twists here and there which take the level of interest for a viewer a few notches up the hill.
With dance championship as one of the building blocks of the film, you can expect superbly built stages with a visual treat of lighting. Inspite of indoor sequences predominant, the set design has been put to larger-than-life situations with intricate detailing of the canvas. Cinematographer Manush Nandan is apt for the portrayal of such a magnanimous film.
180 minutes may seem too long for a film these days, but once you dig into that couch at a plex with a tub of popcorn, you won’t get a hint of how the time is passing by, thanks to the moderately tolerable rib-ticklers and the adrenaline upsurge. But there were patches of the film which could have been done away with, had the editor Anand Subaya noticed.
Dance numbers are expected from a film with such a theme, and there are too many. Countless songs tend to drag the film a bit, but you will enjoy the beats of Indiawaale and Satakli. The only romantic number Manwa Laage has a déjà vu of the romantic hero. But that one song during which you just cannot take your eyes off from the screen is Lovely, the introductory item song of Deepika. Vishal-Shekhar could have come up with a soundtrack of superior quality.
Final Verdict: You will like the film if you are a Shah Rukh fan and if you go in with the mindset of enjoying a masala flick. We however miss the romantic chocolate boy Shahrukh from the olden days. There is a pinch of patriotism in the potboiler as well. It is surely an entertaining film, but surely not a meaningful one.
And also expect Shah Rukh’s youngest son Abram to headbang with his doting father at the end of the movie.