When Sajid Khan made Housefull he had called it his tribute to Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Manmohan Desai, Prakash Jha and the likes. That had not gone down too well with lot of people. With Humshakals the director has taken it beyond just Indian greats. This time he dedicates his film to the geniuses of madcap comedies - Kishore Kumar, Jim Carrey and Peter Sellers. I need not be Sherlock to see more eyeballs rolling in disbelief.
Wait, it is not just these greats! This time it is also Prince Charles who could be left bewildered. Poor Prince of Wales actually has reasons to complain. For Humshakals attempting to turn him into a complete buffoon - including a comment on his first marriage!
Humshakals is about two friends Ashok (Saif) and Kumar (Riteish). Ashok is the owner of a huge business empire but during his time off work he tries his hand at standup comedy. His is particularly bad and all he manages to get as feedback is people's ridicule. And then he meets Shanaya (Tamannaah) who actually laughs at his jokes. He instantly falls in love with her.
Reminds me Sajid is single (apparently) and these days no one is laughing at his jokes either. Wonder if a girl could make her way into his heart by just faking her fondness for his films. Now, that could be a story. No? Ahem!
Back to the film, while love blooms there is the evil uncle (Ram Kapoor) who wants to take possession of the nephew's property and conspires to turn him into a dog. Yes, a scientist friend gets him a potion which could turn a man's DNA into a dog's DNA for 24 hours. Alice in Wonderland anyone?
And while the evil mama finds a way to get Ashok and Kumar to the asylum, a turn of events bring these three characters face to face with lookalikes - all diverse in characteristics. Thrown in is a fair dose of romance, songs and picturesque locales.
To be fair, it is not an easy job to write a screenplay with some many lookalikes. To keep the story moving and also keep the humour content high requires a lot of effort. Unfortunately whenever the story has been pushes, the humour falls flat and whenever you feel like laughing you realize the characters have actually stopped behaving like they were actually supposed to.
Well I did laugh during one scene where Ashok and Kumar are trying to escape the asylum. Riteish is outstanding in the scene and more importantly Sajid shows traces of the director that he could be.
The director also misses the target in his primary casting. While Riteish is an ace as usual, Saif Ali Khan looks out of place. And considering the film practically on his shoulders, that's a big problem. Ram Kapoor does well. The girls have little to do.
Slapstick as a genre is difficult to execute. It is something that many people do not associate with. However there have been enough films in the genre that have left me rolling on the floor laughing. This movie fails to do that. Though it is notches higher an effort from Sajid's last Himmatwala, Humshakals is not the film that would help him redeem his fate.
I could sum it best a reference to one of the scenes from the film. The wannabe standup comedian Ashok tries to crack a joke for his comatose father but Kumar stops him pleading that his father is already in coma. As an audience you involuntary seep into a state of comatose within half an hour of the film and after that you just don't react anymore.
Bottomline, Sajid Khan does not disappoint.
PS: Brownie points to Sajid Khan for being able to make fun of his Himmatwala. Good to see his accepts it was a bad film. Funny, he also adds his sister's Tees Maar Khan to the list.
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