Humshakals: Torturous comedy

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Humshakals: Torturous comedy

Humshakals is so painfully brain-dead and pathetically filmed, it makes you cringe, says Deepa Gauri

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Published: Sat 21 Jun 2014, 10:37 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 6:29 PM

How could a film be so blatantly bad, bland and boring, and yet have a full-house of audience laughing away in mirth?

Watching Humshakals with the Thursday audience and cringing at the terrible nature of director Sajid Khan’s new misadventure, we one again realise that Bollywood operates to a formula only it understands.

No matter how loud you shout about the film being bad, there is always going to be that 100 people from the audience, who will step forward and say, ‘yaar, it is comedy. What else did you expect? We loved it.’

So if you have enough patience to laugh with the five-year-olds when Ritiesh Deshmukh lifts his leg a la doggie style around a lamppost for you know what, well then, Humshakals is for you.

If you do find humour in Ritiesh, yes yet again, doing the same relieving act, this time, as himself from up the ceiling down on Satish Shah, Humshakals is your must-watch.

And if you do not mind watching Saif Ali Khan, the 2005 Indian National Award winning actor, convoluting his face and barking and wailing at you and chasing you in his new role as, wait for it, a dog, Humshakals is your classic.

Sajid Khan hits the lowest note in comedy with Humshakals, and if it still has takers and it goes on to enter some INR100 or INR200 crore club, as Fox Star and Vashu Bhagnani’s PR mills will have us believe in the coming days, blame it squarely on our never-ending ability to suffer insensitivity and rankling bad films in the name of entertainment.

In a nutshell, Humshakals is about three pairs of Ashoks (Saif Ali Khan) and Kumars (Ritiesh Deshmukh). The first pair turn into dogs, thanks to a drug discovered by evil scientist Kans (Ram Kapoor), who has eyes on Ashok’s wealth; the second pair has the mind of five-year-olds; the third pair is effeminate. Meanwhile, there are two other lookalikes of Kans too.

And yes, there are three women (Bipasha Basu, Tamannaah Bhatia and Esha Gupta), each fitting extremely well into Bollywood’s regressive characterisation of women as dumb, dumber and dumbest although they work as a corporate estate manager, a news presenter and a doctor.

To write about the performances of these esteemed men and women of Bollywood would be to demean them for Sajid Khan’s fault.

It is alright to be silly. It is alright to make illogical comedies. After all, the best comedies always have a streak of suspended disbelief that, however, isn’t forced. But Humshakals is a very badly made and amateurish film that assaults the viewers’ sense of humour. And unpardonably, it takes the audience for granted.

Every stale joke and every stereotype finds its way into this film, which starts with one of the Ashoks trying to do terrible stand-up comedy leaving the audiences screaming, ‘stop it.’ Sajid Khan, seriously, should take note.


Director: Sajid Khan

Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh, Ram Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Tamannaah Bhatia and Esha Gupta

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