Director duo Krishna D.K. and Raj Nidimoru have directed a bunch of breakthrough movies before this- Shaadi.com, Flavors, 99, Shor In The City and Go Goa Gone. They have a rather fresh and sensible voice as filmmakers. That’s exactly what Happy Ending lacks. It’s a film that doesn’t know what it is- a pathetic mashup of just about every romantic comedy trope with a banal plot that disappoints to no end. Saif Ali Khan returns to play the commitment phobic character he has been playing
in movies like Love Aaj Kal, Cocktail for the last decade- yes, Hum Tum happened in 2004 and Salam Namaste released in 2005. (Priety Zinta is in the film as well, but as bollywood conventions go- she’s a mother of three)
It stars Saif and Illena as writers – who bear no resemblance to real world writers. The whole narrative suffers a major identity crisis. It’s neither a smartly written film like the earlier films we have seen from the director duo nor a commercially driven mass entertainer. The primary characters seem out of place and for some reason the supporting characters are comparatively a lot better.
Returning to the screen again this week, Govinda, is (again) the best thing about the film. His comic timing, his demeanour and his presence is what gives this film some credibility. He plays an ageing bollywood actor who hires our protagonist- somewhat ironic when you realise that it parallels the making of this very film. Funny man Ranvir Shorey is phenomenal in the small and rather under written character. Kalki Koechlin returns to playing the manic, overly obsessive, borderline crazy girl she has gotten used to playing.
The story is as predictable as it gets, done to death cliches overused without reason. Most of it doesn’t make sense to reproduce in a review; it wouldn’t make a difference. It’s like Californication but horribly adapted and modified. Yup, a line here and there does make you laugh- but not the way you’d like it.
What looks like a lazily written script can be the result of the directors losing the essence of what they started out with. It’s something many crossover filmmakers face- their breakthrough sensibilities don’t always gel with the banality of the mainstream.
And for that simple reason, this film is a huge disappointment. Except for Govinda. As the opening credits mention him- he’s above all.