Hits and Flops are the name of the game, but recently the scenarios has been that some movies which were expected to do well in both the games, critics view and box office, have failed. There were sky-high expectations of entertainment from David Dhawan and Hum Kisise Kum Nahin, which just turned a sore disappointment and then there have been situations with rock bottom expectations like Na Tum Jaano Na Hum, which turned out to be a decent show. Badhaai Ho Badhaai lands in the latter category. The earlier reports suggested that the critics had given all the thumps down to this movie and when I walked out of the theatre, I walked with a totally different frame of mind as compared to when I walked in the theatre to watch the movie. Obviously we all know that there would be just one name that could make a difference between a watch able movie and one, which is not.
Badhaai Ho Badhaai directed by Satish Kaushik, as all his other movies, is a remake on a Telugu film, "Subhakankshalu". The story is based on the feud of 2 families; one is a Hindu Family - the Chaddah family (played by Amish Puri and Farida Jalal) and other Christian Family - the Dī Souza family (played by K. Vishwanath and Rohini Hatangadi). Film starts with the old fashion tension between two families who were close family friends and are now foes for last 27 years. The Chaddah grandparents (Amrish Puri and Farida Jalal) and DīSouza grandparents (K Vishwanath and Farida Jalal) have realized the mistake, but now the feud is between their sons Govind Namdeo and Anang Desai.
Both families get a letter from Raja (Anil Kapoor) claiming to be their grandson and is coming to live with them with the intention to re-unite the 2 families. Enter Raja and his friend Lucky Iyer (Suresh Menon), who are shown the door by both families and find Ghooman Singh (Kader Khan) as their savior and giving them shelter. Raja wins over his grandparents and when the grandparents from both sides pressurize him to get married Raja tells them about his non-factual wife Banto Betty. An actual Banto Betty (Shilpa Shetty) turns up in person and after some regular comedy track, its time for Raja to expose his reality. Here comes the flashback and that is the highlight of the movie as expected. How a fat Raja who loves Florence (Keerti Reddy) and how he changes for her and how the two families unite is the rest of the movie.
First the drawbacks, and boy there are some critical ones. The weak links here are Satish Kaushik and Kavita Choudhary. Satish Kaushik again here makes a very average attempt of what could have turned something interesting. His narration of movies at times is very slow and at times abrupt. He, as in his earlier movies, still sticks to melodramatic sequences and over the top and loud characters. Only some of the pre-climax scenes, like where Govind Namdeo and Anang Desai rush from their house with the gun in their hand will make you laugh. Kavita Choudhary who had written the TV serial "Udaan" fails. Without the character Raja and to a certain extent that off Lucky Iyer (Suresh Menon), the entire talented supporting cast just donīt have a neat characterization. Shilpa Shetty has her moments, but her character could have been much better. The other aspect which is annoying is the excessive use of songs and add to that, the multiple usage of "Raag Banke" in the first half and "Tere Zindagi Mein" in the second half. Though the songs are hummable, the small versions of these put a brake on the narration.
On the positive side, the climax of the movie, especially the entire sequence after the melodramatic outburst of emotions from Govind Namdeo and Anang Desai, is very well done. The ending sequence reminded me of one of Anil Kapoorīs long cherished movies. The choreography and the locations in the songs are really very good, but that has never been a problem even in Anil-Satishīs earlier ventures. The entire "pahadi" setup and the backdrop, though a little filmi, is good. Sharmishta Roy does well there. The comedy track of Suresh Menon, Kader Khan and Shilpa Shetty in the first half is very good and that is one positive of the first half, which is otherwise slow. But the highlight of the movie is the second half, which has Anil Kapoor playing the fat man for a little less than an hour. Some jokes are what you actually might see in real life happening on an obese individual. Also, the movie has been made with a view of entertaining the entire family and kids, which could work in the favor of the movie. Also, the makeup for Anil to play the fat character is very well done. His expressions in that part are the highlight of that character.
On to the performances, Shilpa Shetty looks like suffering from a Sridevi hangover or a hangover from Kajol in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. She does well in delivering the Punjabi dialogues, but she is indeed loud, where similar to what I thought about Kajol in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. Though Shilpa Shetty looks like a damsel in the movie. Keerti Reddy as Florence disappoints. She thinks acting is screaming and loud, which could again go back to the way of Satish Kaushik handling his characters. Amrish Puri, K. Vishwanath have their moments and so do Farida Jalal and Rohini Hattangadi. Kader Khan does well as Ghooman Singh and yeah he does get some laughter rolling. The pick of the lot is Suresh Menon as Lucky Iyer. His one-liners are a laugh RIOT and his expressions while delivering are also good. Govind Namdeo and Anang Desai ham all the way. But the highlight of the movie as expected, is the performance of Anil Kapoor. As all movies, again here he delivers 100 percent. Whether the fat Anil or the thin Anil, he adds a lot of dignity to the character. His dialogues at the climax are really well delivered. His character here reminds a lot of his character in Woh Saat Din and the end of the movie also reminds of Woh Saat Din. The director for once has been careful thorughout the movie so that we can actually approve as to why the movie ended as it did.
Overall, the movie may have a below average script and direction, and lack of definition of the characters, but it does entertain and gets some laugh in for the audience thanks to some good comedy and genuine performances. At least, with the intention of a family entertainer, the movie doesnīt fail.