Housefull 4 Movie Review: Jokes Fall Flat in Akshay Kumar-Kriti Sanon's Film
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Bobby Deol, Riteish Deshmukh, Kriti Sanon, Pooja Hegde, Kirti Kharbanda
Director: Farhad Samji
Not that I thought Housefull 4 to be a serious film on India-China relationship, but never expected it to be this absurd either. Well, as Housefull franchise’s brand ambassador Aakhri Pasta (Chunkey Pandey) says, ‘I am joking.’ This is exactly what the trailer promised it to be.
Right in the beginning, while punching a co-actor, Max (Bobby Deol) thunders, “Aaj mera fast hai isiliye thoda slow maara (I punched you slow because I am fasting today),” and the audience immediately recognises the setting. It’s the same one in which covert lovers make out in front of the girl’s sleepwalking father, or the one where a python grabs someone’s balls. The point is that Housefull films were never meant to be intelligent. These are literally slap and stick comedies, if you dare say.
The story is about three London-based brothers—Harry (Akshay Kumar), Max (Bobby Deol) and Roy (Riteish Deshmukh). They want to marry three daughters—Kriti (Kriti Sanon), Neha (Kirti Kharbanda) and Pooja (Pooja Hegde)—of a rich businessman, played by Ranjit, who keeps switching to ‘beti’ from ‘beauty.’ I wonder why they didn’t use Kriti Kharbanda’s real name!
Harry, who gets flashes from his past life 600 years ago, believes his brothers and everyone around them, were part of a bizarre story that took place in 1419. The credit must be given to Kumar who is wholeheartedly into this ridiculous set-up, and wants us to believe him. Some of us did as I heard whistles around. However, it wasn’t actually wonderful to see Deol reminiscing in the tune of ‘soldier, soldier,’ and Deshmukh playing an effeminate character. You know how they introduce him: Isne gender ka tender nahi bhara. I don’t know how to translate that accurately.
Let me break it down for you: It’s one of those films where the actor would ask the actress, “Bees ke baad kya aata hai (What comes after 20),” before kissing her.
Or, somebody would come and tell the camera, “London me do hi cheez famous hain, Big Ben and big bhai, (There are only two things famous in London, Big ben and big brother).”
Big Ben and Big Bhai! Ben-Bhai! You get the drift!
Somebody says ‘don’t be horsing around’ and the next shot is of horses. If you still don’t find it intriguing enough then the director Farhad Samji will present you the Royal family of Britain, dancing to thoughtfully penned song ‘Chumma.’
As if this was not enough. A character faking pregnancy says, “Main abla hoon tabla nahin,” and somebody immediately retorts, “Ye Katappa toh ek hi cut me pappa ban gaya.”
Probably this much criticism is not justified. When did the makers pretend otherwise? But the well of jokes dries after a while and the same gags keep repeating. Had there not been Akhay Kumar, it would have become a really painful watch. He has barely managed to stop Housefull 4 from becoming another Tees Maar Khan.
It’s funny in parts but can’t hold attention for fifteen minutes straight at any juncture. There lies the problem. Kumar’s excellent comic timing isn’t enough to cover up other characters’ lack of substance.
Despite all this, two brilliantly placed things in script cracked me up. The first is three pigeons named Neil, Nitin and Mukesh, and the second is this dialogue: “Agar main badshah hoon toh tu kya Honey Singh hai (If I am Badshah then who are you? Honey Singh?).”
Oh, I laughed so hard.
No, I am joking.
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