Dir: Sajid Khan. India. 2010. 156mins
Director Sajid Khan’s comedy Housefull, will appeal to Bollywood fans out there with a bag of popcorn and a plate of samosas, but minus their thinking caps. It will appeal to Indians abroad and maybe in a limited way to other interested audiences. The film is breezily entertaining with its slapstick humour and dance scenes and the successful teaming of Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone, paired again after their modestly successful 2008 film Chandni Chowk to China, released by Warner Bros in several territories.
The broad comedy (and stylish costumes, music and glamorous locations) helps Housefull to stay afloat despite its skimpy story.
The film, which opened on April 30, took $14.3 million worldwide over its 2,000 screen opening weekend in the US, UK, India and other key territories, attracting full houses (much like its title, which is otherwise unconnected with the story!) across India over the weekend.
The broad comedy (and stylish costumes, music and glamorous locations) helps Housefull to stay afloat despite its skimpy story of Aarush (Kumar), a man whose congenital bad luck brings him a job only at a casino, where his mere shadow is enough to a turn a player’s winning streak into a losing one. The owner, Kishore Samtani (Randhir Kapoor), is so pleased that he gets his daughter, Devika (a seductively pouting Jiah Khan), to marry Aarush, but on their exotic honeymoon she runs away with her lover.
But when he throws himself into the sea to kill himself he is rescued by Sandy (Padukone) who happens to be nearby. They fall in love, though their globe-trotting romance is constantly interrupted by a motley group of co-travellers that includes Aarush’s best friend, Bob (Ritesh Deshmukh), his wife Hetal (Lara Dutta), her father, Batuk Patel (impressively played by Boman Irani) and Sandy’s brother, Major Krishna Rao (Arjun Rampal), for some reason forever armed with a lie-detector!
Housefull loses way in its plodding middle-section, but aims to up the ante with a climax set in London’s Buckingham Palace as two bumbling engineers connect a cylinder of laughing gas to the main air-conditioning plant that pushes the stiff-lipped Queen herself into an uncontrollable fit of laughter – a sequence that may tickle British viewers as well.
Production companies: Eros International and Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment
International sales: Eros International, www.erosplc.com
Producers: Sajid Nadiadwala, Sharan Kapoor and Andrew Heffernan
Screenplay: Sajid Khan, Milap Zaveri and Vibha Singh.
Cinematography: Vikas Sivaraman
Editor: Rameshwar Bhagat
Music: Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Main cast: Akshay Kumar, Deepika Padukone, Ritesh Deshmukh, Lara Dutta, Jiah Khan, Arjun Rampal, Chunkey Pandey, Boman Irani, Randhir Kapoor, Lilette Dubey