Happy gets lucky

IT'S AN outlandish story all right. Happy Singh (Akshay Kumar), the village smart-aleck, makes everyone in his village unhappy so they pack him off to Australia, ostensibly to bring back a local lad Lucky Singh (Sonu Sood) who's now a don known as King.

By Sudha Mukerjee (FILM REVIEW)

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Published: Sun 10 Aug 2008, 8:34 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:50 PM

The villagers con Happy into believing that King's dad has had a heart attack (in fact it's an asthma attack) so off goes our kind hearted hero to bring back the don.

But Happy lands up in Egypt instead so that he can bump into heroine Sonia (Katrina Kaif) and do a quick dance amidst the pyramids.

When he finally reaches Australia, circumstances compel him to become the new King and he transforms from a country bumpkin to a dudeish don overnight. If all of this sounds utterly loopy, wait till you see what else producer Vipul Shah and director Anees Bazmee have in store.

What's worth a look? Most definitely the lavishly picturised songs, and the title track (in shades of black, red and white) is a royal treat.

Alas, most of the rest isn't exactly fit for a king.

But this is Anees Bazmee (who struck gold with No Entry and the incredibly foolish though highly successful Welcome) so you can expect plenty of chaos, corny jokes and gags. While some work, many don't and it doesn't help that Bazmee also throws in a heavy dose of maudlin sentimentality, half baked villainy and a tame ending.

Yet again we see a track relegated to the closing credits, a fad that lamentably persists in our films. Pray what is the use of a zippy number (featuring hip hop icon Snoop Dogg) and even a wrap-up of the story when the audience is streaming out of the cinema hall?

To its credit, the first part does offer some zany moments. Happy Singh's antics in his village are amusing and his journey to Australia via Egypt, quite eventful. How he becomes the new King is perfectly idiotic but still funny.

However, it's pretty much downhill after that. Happy's attempts to help down-on-her-luck Rose (Kirron Kher) to impress her daughter (guess who) and her wealthy fiancé (Ranvir Shorey) fail to strike a chord. Things get more tedious when Happy begins to reform the gang of goons he inherits from Lucky Singh, and the entire lot soon ooze enough syrup to start a bakery chain.

And can someone explain why Jaaved Jaaferi is seen in a double role with the two characters having nothing to do with each other?

King Akshay Kumar, comic timing spot-on, is in sparkling form. Whether it's natty stunts or setting the dance floor on fire or simply fooling around, he's clearly having the time of his life.

Queen Katrina Kaif looks gorgeous and can boogie up a storm but still cannot act to save her life. Om Puri, as the hero's friend Rangeela, is endearing.

No dearth of talent in the support cast but none of them have enough meat in their roles.

The competent likes of Sonu Sood (who has great screen presence and definitely deserves some decent roles), Sudhanshu Pandey, Yashpal Sharma, Jaaved Jaaferi and Manoj Pahwa are all reduced to buffoons. Neha Dhupia (as a moll or secretary or some such) seems to have settled quite comfortably into sidey roles. Kirron Kher goes over the top while Ranvir Shorey (the sole character without ha-ha overtones) is efficient.

Sense and sensibility aren't the film's strong points and they aren't supposed to be.

Singh is Kinng is unapologetic about being a mindless entertainer. While Akshay Kumar lifts the proceedings considerably, you wish there had been more moments of genuine mirth. Ultimately, it's the audience that's King and it's a foregone conclusion that they will welcome Mr. Singh!

Singh is Kinng

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif etc

Music: Pritam

Producer: Vipul Amrutlal Shah

Writer & Director: Anees Bazmee

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