There is an inherent problem in Babloo Happy Hai; that of the director's way of making a film.
Nila Madhab Panda struck gold when he made his first film I Am Kalam. The film went on to win him tremendous laurels. His second film Jalpari was another gem and established him as someone who could deal well with themes more social than commercial. The stereotypes in the film industry often see many filmmakers sticking to what they do best. For Nila Madhab Panda Babloo Happy Hai seemed like the attempt to move on.
And that's where the problem strikes. The director dabbles into a more complex world with more characters and too many sub-plots. And then finally strays into his home turf with a strong message. But while he does that he is loses way, loses steam and ends up giving us something rather half-baked.
Babloo Happy Hai has nothing to do with any Babloo. It is of coming of age of certain characters as the story unfolds, rather than a sex comedy as the promos may have suggested.
Jatin, Harry and Rohan are three friends out on a road trip to Ladakh and stop over at near Manali for Jatin's fiancee's cousin's wedding. Jatin is often troubled by his fiancee Tammana's constant fussing over him. He is attracted towards Natasha, who is a distant cousin of Tammana. Story gets complex as each character has its own sub-plot. And then they find a cause to life.
The writers do a fair job creating interesting characters and the most of the actors come up with consistent performances. Also to their credit they have dealt rather beautifully with certain aspects - such as homosexuality. For once they have provided respectability to a gay character. They have also done a fair in decriminalizing sex and portraying the inhibitions towards using contraceptives. It also has a commendable message attached to it.
Good things aside, the director seems confused as to where to which space he wants his film to be in. There is a desperate attempt at times to make it irritatingly commercial with item numbers and badly shot disco songs. More importantly for the Panda, rustic visuals may have worked his earlier films, but this film needed better production quality!
Performances of the lead cast, except Preet Kamal is pretty decent. Preet however looks as plastic, as your tiffin box could be, even as the character screams for better casting! Notable are Sumit Suri and Amol Parashar, who add much warmth to the film with their portrayals.
Babloo Happy Hai could have been much simpler and better film, one capable of touching your heart. Instead it ends up as a classic example of a director gone wrong in his attempt to bridge the gap between social and commercial themes.
PS: The end credit, of the print that was shown to me, had half names in small letters and half in capitals - showing a rushed up, half-hearted work. That probably sums up the film.
Critic: Noyon Jyoti Parasara
(2 / 5) : Average