When the movie starts with a suggestive “He’s such a loser!” ,you almost start to contemplate the utopian possibility of Sajid Khan accepting his directorial prowess in his own film. But alas ! The “loser” only alludes to the obvious winner among the sea of losers around , Akshay Kumar.
To describe Housefull as “nonsensical comedy” , will actually be giving credit where it is not due . Sajid Khan’s latest is another example of how “funny” Indian directors seem to believe that the average cine-goer has an IQ of -150 and is willing to laugh at any horrendous caricature they put together .The film begins with Sajid Khan acknowledging the likes of Hrishikesh Mukherkee who apparently taught him that cinema was all about “Entertainment”. I would instead , he told us who told him that “entertainment” was about a bunch of giggling fools and their successful portrayal of themselves being passed off as a movie.
Not that it matters, but Housefull has a ,well, story. Akshay Kumar is the “loser” a.k.a “panauti” . The film begins with the aforementioned song and a scene of a bunch of gamblers getting incredibly lucky at a casino in Macau. The owner of the casino , now perspiring profusely, calls on the “cooler” to save the day. In steps Aarush (Akshay) and brings with him a literal wave of bad luck. Scenes of gamblers howling , girls breaking into tears and for Sajid Khan’s even dumber audience , the roulette ball settling on a ‘0’ follow. If you haven’t guessed it yet, Aarush is an employee at the casino and his “bad luck” is his USP. To establish his misfortune further , Aarush is next seen in a scene proposing to and (obviously, Bad Luck remember?) getting dumped by Puja (Malaika Arora). A comical caricature of the Priydarshini kind follows with a closing shot of Maj.Krishna Rao (Arjun Rampal), Puja’s brother landing a right fist on Aarush’s cement-caked (you don’t need to imagine much to figure out how that happened) face which sends him flying into a billboard (previously introduced in a screen-wide shot with the word “CLOSER” spread across it) and by a strange kind of fortuitous magic pins his face into the ‘C’ , establishing once again ,you guessed it -“LOSER”. Anyhow , a few scenes later we are introduced into the rest of the jokers at another casino in London. Hetal (Lara Dutta) is seen in a Play Bunny costume (the skimpy clothes ! Did I not mention ?) along with dealer and husband Bob (Ritiesh Deshmukh) at a casino owned by the old and freakish looking Kishore Samtani (Randhir Kapoor) .
The film rolls on. Mr.Bad Luck drops into his London Chaddi Buddy Bob’s place without notice. Scenes involving Hetal in lingerie (Really skimpy ! Did I not mention ? ) , a garrulous parrot , transmission of “visible” electricity , a vacuum cleaner and a bunch of break-dancing niggers follow. Hetal married Bob against father’s wishes (Hello Bollywood !!) .So now father Batuk Patel (Boman Irani) doesn’t speak to her. To prove that even Play Bunny costume wearing and Victoria’s Secret clad Hetals of the world have a heart and love their parents, Lara is seen recording grief-soaked messages on Batuk’s phone and in a subsequent scene requesting “Mr.Nuisance” Aarush to stay with her and Bob. Tears are shed. Then smiles. Rich man Samtani has a salwar-clad “overtly Indian” daughter named Devika (Jiah Khan) who wants to marry an Indian-Indian , not London-Indian .So Mr.Bad Luck steps out of his character and into a party where he meets Devika and about five and a half seconds later, they decide to marry.
Now, Sajid Khan might be a shitty director but he sure as hell knows the value of the assets at his disposal, especially Jiah Khan’s. So in a dream song sequence in honeymoon destination Italy ,Devika in what seemed under-sized lingerie (Skimpy skimpy ! Did I not mention ?), is seen lip-syncing to “Aaja tujhe heaven dikhaungi” while crouching and crawling towards Aarush who (obviously) doesn’t know “what to do” (as opposed to who to do or how to do?). Devika’s (and more importantly Jiah Khan’s) good girl image was too difficult to swallow. Hence in the very next scene Devika is once again seen in an under-sized bikini (no dreams now !) as she emerges Jism-style from the Italian seas and starts hugging and kissing her boyfriend who she wants to but can’t marry because of typical NRI father-woes (Namastey London ?). On hearing the news ,Mr.Panauti a.k.a Loser a.k.a Aarush decides that he has had enough of his bad luck and virginity and swims his way into the seas till he starts to drown. Of course its only an hour into the movie and so Akshay can’t die. So even has his unconscious body starts sinking into the depths of the sea , a mermaid-like Sandy (Deepika Padukone) in hot pants (There were skimpy-clad heroines. Did I not mention?) does her bit. Mr.Bad Luck finally gets lucky with Sandy. The three couples unite in Italy .More cleavage, hot pants , cheesy songs follow.
And now the twist ! Maj.Krishna , Puja’s brother, is also Sandy’s brother. You would guess that since Aarush didn’t know “what to do” , it would not be a problem. But turns out it is. Also, Sandy (hot pants but emotional Indian all the same) advices Hetal to patch up with her father. So Maj.Krishna and Basuk Patel are coming to London. When they do, more cleavage, stupid jokes and Priyadarshini-style confusion ensue. It ends in amidst typical outrageous grandeur and tantamount insanity. All (absolutely all) of the film’s characters serendipitously land up in the Buckingham Palace (where else?) where a delightfully cheerful Queen Elizabeth and a cheeky looking Prince Charles make their appearances. The setting was ripe for Sajid Khan to once again bring his impeccable comic timing to the fore. In probably the most amazingly clever sequence in the movie , the Buckingham Palace’s AC repairers (also Indian obviously) are shown mistakenly substituting the AC coolant with Nitrous Oxide ,which Santa (one of the repairers) dutifully explains is another name for Laughing Gas and which ,he goes on to explain, (this Santa is a genius) makes people laugh their guts out. Post this Chemistry lesson ,the Nitrous Oxide takes effect. Everyone laughs. And yes, Queen Elizabeth’s laugh was the funniest. A few long drawn emotion-filled speeches (Aarush makes one from the Queen’s dias) later, the film veers to an expected happy ending. In a parting stroke of genius , Sajid Khan replaces the “He’s such a loser!” chorus in the beginning with a “He’s such a winner!” chorus in the end. And so the masterpiece ends.
The worst part about Housefull is how it wastes some really talented performers. The likes of Boman Irani and Lilette Dubey and even Ritiesh Deshmukh and Akshay Kumar (both of whom I believe can pull off comedy well) are wasted with cliched dialogues and childish scenes. Sajid Khan , as a cover for his lack-lustre comic timing, casts hot bods Deepika, Lara and Jiah in meaningless roles and simply dresses them up in the hot pants and skimpy bikinis to hog the hold on to the viewers’ attention. The music isn’t that bad and there are quite a few quirky numbers.The heroines look great and so do the locales. About the script and the direction , I think I have said enough.
If you are looking for an air-conditioned hideout to escape the heat for a couple of hours, Housefull should be running in the best theatres in town. If you can’t stop day dreaming about Deepika Padukone , there’s a lot of her on show in the movie. But if you have a IQ of about 10 or greater and are looking for good laugh, I suggest you ask a bunch of fat people to dance and watch them instead.