Humshakals: Hum Shock-Alls reeling under the farce

Published: June 20, 2014
Saif Ali Khan Bipasha Basu

Ram Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan and Riteish Deshmukh in a still from Humshakals. Handout/Vancouver Desi

SUBHASH K. JHA
IANS 

Film: Humshakals
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Ram Kapoor, Riteish Deshmukh, Bipasha Basu, Tamnannah Bhatia, Esha Gupta
Directed by Sajid Khan
Rating: ** (2 stars)

Tammanah Bhatia makes so many faces in every frame you wonder if she’s auditioning for a film against drug addiction while pretending to be in the comedy revolving around three sets of identical characters.

Bipasha Basu who plays one of the female leads in the comedy of ghastly errors, has gone on record to say she was extremely disturbed by the end-result of this film.

And to be honest, so are we. And the end that Bipasha talks about seems to take forever to reach as we watch three grown-up actors lapse into a collective state of incurable idiocy.

Moronic and misconceived, the Ashok and Kumar duo seem to revel in crass mediocrity. As inmates in a mental asylum in London, Saif Ali Khan and Riteish Deshmukh raise the ante for lunacy to a point where sanity begins to seem like a state of mind invented to make us believe there is a world, a relatively sane one, outside what comic filmmakers in Bollywood consider to be funny.

To be fair, Sajid Khan’s new brainwave replete with triple roles for its three male leads plus a drag act each in the second half which is genuinely funny, is as obnoxious in treatment as the slapstick comedies of Rohit Shetty or Anees Bazmi.

I suspect the actors must have had a whale of a time shooting the scenes. And Sajid Khan must have enjoyed writing the comedy of mistaken identity especially when the look-alikes keep multiplying as the plot progresses.But the growth is unstructured. It’s like supplementary food being air-dropped to famine victims. The basic food items are missing. What do you do with add-ons?

The comedynmoves with the screechy stealth of a boys choir singing Yo Yo Honey Singh’s numbers when the head priest is on vacation. Every member of the cast and crew seems to be in a vacation mood. Many of the gags are stretched out as though the director commanded the camera to roll and then went off to sleep.

Saif and Riteish vacillate between being spoofy and spiffy with some help from Ram Kapoor who gets to play two characters, one of them suffering from what the medical experts on board for this specialized comedy refer to as OCD Level 3.

Riteish, as regular in Sajid Khan’s cinema as titles beginning with the letter H, makes a better impression than Saif who tries hard to show us he’s in the fun no-brainer mood. Saif is clearly out of his depths indulging in the slapstick lunacy of a world that has no logic except to create a chaotic humour out of a stockpile of mistaken identities.

To shock us, there are lots of gay jokes popping up when you least expect it, as though the director wants to remind us that political incorrectness is not only about mistaken identities but also about identity crises.

Don’t even try to make sense of the world that Sajid Khan builds. The sand castle of goofiness can any time be washed away by the high tide. The director doesn’t really care.

Sajid Khan takes potshots at himself and his sister Farah Khan by showing Himmatwala and Tees Maar Khan as part of torture curriculum in the mental asylum. Don’t be surprised if the DVD of Humshakals shows up in Humshakals 2 as a torture device.

In one of the rare genuinely funny sequences, Saif and Riteish try to impress Ram Kapoor by pulling off the tablecloth from a table filled with food, promising  that nothing will spill.

Of course all the food comes crashing down. But does the fear of falling ever hold back the broad comedy of ill manners which Bollywood considers funny?

Wish we had as much fun watching this film as the team seems to have had making it. Saif is shown to be a bad stand-up comedian. The film never outgrows its hero’s character’s craving to make people laugh.

IANS 2014-06-20 23:06:16

[+]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,



Readers Comments (0)

Comments are closed.

Featured

crime-British Columbia

Three arrested after Surrey RCMP-involved shooting in Newton

AMY REID SURREY NOW NEWTON — Three people are in custody following a police-involved shooting in Newton Friday afternoon. Shortly after noon, plainclothes officers attempted to…
Continue Reading »

Immigrant-language test

Woman loses Canadian citizenship for failing language, knowledge tests after it was granted in error

ADRIAN HUMPHREYS POSTMEDIA NEWS A would-be Canadian who received a grade of zero out of six on her citizenship language test and four out of…
Continue Reading »

India-Kashmir-Obama

Pakistani PM Sharif asks Obama to play role for resolution of Kashmir issue

MUNIR AHMED THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ISLAMABAD — Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday asked the U.S. President Barack Obama to play a role in…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

crime-British Columbia

Three arrested after Surrey RCMP-involved shooting in Newton

AMY REID SURREY NOW NEWTON — Three people are in custody following a police-involved shooting in Newton Friday afternoon. Shortly after noon, plainclothes officers attempted to…
Continue Reading »

Whitecaps2

Spice Sports: Whitecaps announce new USL PRO team!

GOPI AND THE GORA FOR VANCOUVER DESI An exciting announcement was made this morning at UBC’s Gerald McGavin Rugby Centre. Soccer fans in Vancouver will…
Continue Reading »

Immigrant-language test

Woman loses Canadian citizenship for failing language, knowledge tests after it was granted in error

ADRIAN HUMPHREYS POSTMEDIA NEWS A would-be Canadian who received a grade of zero out of six on her citizenship language test and four out of…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

desi bride loaded in gold

Indian bride draws flak for wearing $700,000 jewellery at her wedding

CEN AGENCY An Indian sweet maker made sure his daughter was the golden girl at her upcoming wedding by covering her in gold jewellery worth…
Continue Reading »

India

Video: Bear mauls Indian farmer to death, injures second man (Warning: Graphic Content)

VANCOUVER DESI An Indian farmer was mauled to death and another left seriously injured after a terrifying and unusual bear attack in Karnataka on Monday,…
Continue Reading »

Spiderman

Video: India’s real-life Spiderman scales buildings with bare hands

VANCOUVER DESI A 27-year-old man in India who is nicknamed the “real-life Spiderman” has become one of Karnataka’s leading tourist attractions for his ability to effortlessly…
Continue Reading »

desi victim

Victim of ski accident to open spinal-cord recovery centre in Richmond (w/video)

NICK EAGLAND VANCOUVER DESI Dhruv Kapoor realized he was in deep trouble as he barrelled down a ski run in Russell, Man., on an icy…
Continue Reading »

op-ed

Aziza Sindhu: How do you grieve for a tyrant father?

AZIZA SINDHU CALGARY HERALD My father, Salim M. Sindhu, passed away on Nov. 10. As a child, I wished he smiled at me, as a…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood

Aamir Khan and Deepika Padukone the next hit Bollywood couple?

HINDUSTAN TIMES Bollywood actors Aamir Khan and Deepika Padukone are known to deliver hits on their shoulders alone. Now, audiences may be in for a…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood sex video

I can’t take nonsense: Sonakshi Sinha on why she lashed out at KRK on Twitter (w/gallery)

HINDUSTAN TIMES Some Bollywood stars tend to be diplomatic about controversies, and choose not to react. Sonakshi Sinha isn’t one of them. Last month, she…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood wedding reception

Photos: Khan-tastic wedding reception for Salman’s sister Arpita

VANCOUVER DESI While celebrities have reached the wedding reception for Salman Khans sister Arpita and businessman Aayush Sharma to wish them their best, photos have…
Continue Reading »