Comedies are certainly in vogue these days, and specially one starring Akshay Kumar gains instant curiosity attached to it given his earnt reputation as the new “Comedy King”, but HEYY BABYY had other factors going for it too, including a multi-cast, hit music, fabulous promos and a unique concept. So does the movie live up to expectations? YES, though the movie does come with its fair share of flaws.
The movie looked like a copy of the Hollywood Hit THREE MEN AND A BABY (1987), however surprisingly writers Sajid Khan and Milap Zaveri have incorporated enough of their own ingredients of comedy, romance, emotions and drama for this to stand out as its own film. The movie revolves around three bachelors Arush(Akshay Kumar), Tanmay(Ritiesh Deshmukh) and Ali (Fardeen Khan) who’re living in Sydney having the time of their lives playing the fields and partying it up. However life takes a turn when a little baby girl gets left on their doorstep. Despite knowing a thing or two about women, this little girl is one they can’t control. The baby changes their lives completely as their entire lives start revolving around it with it’s 2 hour feeding times, crying, and offcourse diaper changing. Soon the bachelors start feeling like dads, and they can’t stand away from the little wonder, and at that moment the girls mother Esha (Vidya Balan) enters claiming her baby back.
In a series of events the trio are now caught in a bungled mess to win back the baby…and its mother! Who gets the baby in the end? That I won’t reveal for you though it’s pretty predictable from the start.
The entire first half feels like an American teen comedy as the bachelors go around trying to find the mother of the baby. The graph takes a turn at interval point when the baby’s mother arrives, and the movie does slacken in pace a little bit. Akshay Kumar’s flashback sequence is well written. The second half then turns in to a NO ENTRY type craze-fest as the three men try and win their baby back. And this again provides plenty of room for humour, though it doesn’t live up to the energy of the first half. The entire “contract” angle felt like something out of an old-school Jeetrendra-Reena Roy tear-jerker. The momentum does pick up with the MAST KALANDAR song, but from there till the end the movie is guessable. So what does work in the movie? It’s execution!
Sajid Khan who is known for his comic abilities (he directed a strangely funny episode in RGV’s DARNA ZAROORI HAI) makes puts his comic ability to the forth here, and the results are dead-on. There is toilet humour, sex jokes, witty dialogues(Milap Saveri is back in MASTI mode with some rude & crude one-liners), and slapstick Right from the word go, Sajid Khan sets the scenes for what’s to follow in the second half. The baby arrives quiet early on, allowing enough time for Sajid to set the stage for a “baby antics” comedy show. The nappy going on Akshay Kumar’s face was crude, yet had the audiences in uproars. The chemistry between Akshay, Ritiesh and Fardeen was fantastic which helped the proceedings superbly. The second half does fall a little flat in comparison to the first, though there is enough there again to keep the viewers engaged. The momentum does pick up when the three men try and win back Angel and Esha as the combination of emotions and drama is bang-on, the finale is a little short of expectations as it’s totally clichéd.
That Sajid Khan has a fine knack for comedy cannot be debated as he manages some supremely funny situations in the first half and second which evoked immense reactions from the audiences, but it’s the rather formulaic story-telling device that stands out. This is not as zany as say a JHOOM BARABAR JHOOM or a JAAN-E-MANN and at times ranges from a old-school David Dhawan(not the revamped-since-MUJHSE SHAADI KAROGI DD++) comedy to Indra Kumar’s MASTI. Having the baby as the central part of the comic proceedings was a touch of brilliance, and Sajid manages to successfully use the baby to hit the right notes by immaculately capturing the reactions based on the situation. And yes, he does use the baby for over-sentiments and sympathies which had the aunties weeping. The inclusion of a “hit” number in the middle of the second half shows that Sajid Khan is well aware of Bollywood formula as the song manages to definitely elevate the proceedings. And ultimately, he gets his casting bang-on.
Akshay Kumar again plays the “playboy” image here after GARAM MASALA, but unlike GARAM MASALA, the role offers him to play the full yard from comedy, romance to the drama. Despite being a multi-starrer of sorts, Akshay is undoubtedly the “leading man”, though surprisingly he doesn’t take over the proceedings allowing enough footage for Ritiesh and Fardeen to leave a mark as well unlike say BHAAGAM BHAG where Akshay dominates the proceedings.
JAAN-E-MANN is hardly a performance I would consider a “regular Akshay Kumar performance”, NAMASTEY LONDON was again more a romance/drama with a dash of patriotism than a comedy, and HEYY BABBYY is again a mix of everything as the role gives Akshay ample scope to perform in romance and drama as well. And thankfully, unlike JAAN-E-MANN, he hits all the right notes in the emotional scenes this time, as well as being “bang-on-the-money-funny” in his comic scenes. Ritiesh Deshmukh and Fardeen Khan both get ample scope to rise-to-the-occasion as well and both deliver commendable performances. Ritiesh Deshmukh with his Marathi cursing Eddy Teddy is again a superb performance from Ritiesh Deshmukh who makes his job look easy. The actor has excellent timing and his facial reactions dead-on. Fardeen Khan is again proves that he is comfortable in a comedy after NO ENTRY. His delivery, confidence and expressions have all improved, and his Parimal Tripathi homage was pulled off with panache. This “trimurti” hit the right notes.
Vidya Balan is likeable as always, and hits all the right notes with her performance. She doesn’t get a chance to do any comedy herself, but leaves her mark in the emotional sequences. One just wishes that she’d choose her western clothes more careful as she does look seriously over-weight in some of those dresses, maybe that was meant to be the affect given she’d had a baby, though I highly doubt it. On the other hand, she looks absolutely stunning in Indian attire be it the flashback sequences with the wedding or the MAST KALANDAR song with the black and red sari.
The other “actress” in the movie steals the show in many places, yes folks, a mention of HEYY BABBYY cannot go without the baby;) and Subhaan Nadiadwala is simply too cute as the two-toothed devil to angel. I was surprised to find not just Indian audiences there tonight, but quiet a few Pacific Island and European people in the audiences too who were all enjoying the movie in full go, and they too were enjoying it immensely.
Boman Irani is in form, and though his character is serious to start with, he slowly lets his eccentric quirks take over and makes his presence felt too. I guess the temptation of casting Boman Irani in a film and not letting him be funny is just too hard to resist!
Shahrukh Khan makes a special appearance as Raj. Though before the movie’s release, the sequences between Shahrukh Khan and Anupam Kher were much hyped, Shahrukh Khan does not feature in a prominent role at all. He has no dialogues, and is only a part of the dance for a minute. But that’s not take away anything from the song MAST KALANDAR which is definitely one of the films “highpoints” as far as evoking a reaction from the audience goes, as the entire auditorium erupted in to claps and whistles when Shahrukh Khan joins Akshay Kumar on the dance floor for some extremely catchy dance moves courtesy of the ever shining Vaibhavi Merchant, Geeta Kapoor and offcourse Farah Khan. Anupam Kher does his over-hyped comedy act to perfection and comes across as fresh, but forced. Watching Boman and Anupam together is a lot of fun as always.
The movie also features Koena Mitra, Dia Mirza, Amisha Patel, Neha Dhupia, Mallika Arora, Amrita Arora, Amrita Rao, Tara Sharma, Minissha Lambha, Riya Sen, Sophie Chaudhury, Aarti Chhabbria, Hrishitaa Bhatt, Payal Rohatgi, and Kim Sharma in small guest roles, most of which is part of a lavishly and raunchily picturised title track which plays at the start and features the girls looking sizzling HOT!
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music is up to the mark, and the apart from MAST KALANDAR and the title track, the other numbers too come at the right times and work well within the context of the movie. Be it DHOLNA, JAANE BHI DE, or MERI DUNIYA TU HI RE, the songs are melodious to the core.
Technically the movie is a polished product. Himann Dhamija captures the stunning locales of Sydney with aplomb. The movie has a slick look through-out and the songs have been captured with a striking eye.
All up HEYY BABYY is definetly NOT a “great” movie, it has its fair share of flaws throughout, and Sajid Khan’s direction is raw in places, however the movie has enough of what it promised and the end result is definitely paisa-vasool.