Date her before
it is too late!

Mudassar Aziz
Writer - Director

Movie Review
Happy Bhag Jayegi:Catch it before she does!

Happy Bhag Jayegi

Catch her before that! wink

Amidst the pomp of big budget films many times good small films go unnoticed. HBJ is close to such an example. So before Happy elopes from the theatres please date her if laughter is your poison. devil

Though the film is centred around a bride-on-run; it’s different from earlier such films. yes

The plot kicks off with good old idea, probably of the earliest era of films i.e. - A girl getting married against her wishes, escapes suddenly, right before her wedding.
What’s different with HBJ is that, the girl ‘Happy’ jumps in a wrong lorry and instead of going to her destination lands in Lahore at ex-Governor’s house. She escapes from there to and gets caught by the cops, after an unsuccessful attempt to fool around. Happy doesn’t panic, whatever the situation she tries to do something smart which mostly turns out foolish, but in wake of all this you enjoy the laughter that comes your way. laugh

Men in Happy’s life are Guddu, whom she loves and elopes for; Bagga who wants to marry her and she’s escaping from; Bilal Ahmed, the Pakistani Politician whose house she lands in, he tries to help her initially to get rid of her but later out of genuine urge.  All the male characters have interesting backstories and proper NEEDS to justify their actions. The difficult comical situations in which they land or get entangled one after another also work till one point. smiley

To tell the story linearly; Happy (Diana Penty) falls in love with good-for-nothing guy of her college Guddu (Ali Fazal) who is a musician. Remember Fukrey where Ali Fazal played exactly this character. Only difference there you could see him play guitar and sing, here it’s just mentioned. Her Dad (Kanwaljeet) doesn’t like it and falls for the tall-talks of a local councillor Bagga (Jimmy Shergill) and tries to marry her to him. As per the plan chalked out by Guddu, Happy elopes from her house right before the wedding, but instead of boarding Guddu’s truck she jumps into a different truck and comes to Pakistan, to find herself at the house of Bilal Ahmed (Abhay Deol). Bilal’s fiancée Zoya (Momal Shaikh) reads too much when she finds him running with Happy in his car.. and so on. One situation leads to another as gags are built up. Now Bilal faces a double whammy of uniting Happy with her boyfriend to save his neck and also prove his loyalty to Zoya. To spice it up further, we have Bilal’s father Javed Shaikh who must not know about Happy and Bagga is also closing in after her. So we have Bilal, Guddu, Bagga, Happy's Dad, Lahore Police, Lahore Goons - everyone chasing Happy at one point or other. cheeky

Things rock till the midpoint, but after the intermission the plot meanders, situations become repetitive; actors seem groping or improvising because the script didn’t have well-defined action/agenda for them. Towards the third act HBJ turns into a chaos. Our suspension of disbelief breaks when we see characters reacting disproportionately to some situations or actions of other characters. frown

Some sitcoms look deliberate, so the characters reactions to them become inorganic. The entire love triangle between Guddu-Happy-Bilal is superficial, unconvincing and also comes as an unwanted serious detour on the light-hearted journey. Similarly Happy’s father roaming in Lahore, chasing Bilal and Bilal handling him tactlessly, all is a sheer distraction that detriments the fun and kills the disbelief. sad

In the acting department, Abhay is simply the cut above the rest among the leads. Even in the shots where he is just populating the frame, he has the right expressions. In retrospect, the film seems to belong to him than Happy. Diana’s Happy is a pivotal character who mostly remains running or screaming so that doesn’t give her much scope of acting and also she isn’t convincing as a Punjabi damsel in distress. Ali Faizal’s Guddu is also just functional. Jimmy Shergill on the contrary, is impressive – probably such roles for him are now like second nature. Javed Shaikh and his daughter Momal are flawless – mostly due to perfect cast. Piyush Mishra is funny in his usual style and here that comes with dash of khalis Urdu. cool yes

Overall Happy Bhag Jayegi, is worth watching twice till the interval than once till the end. Don’t ask me what does that mean, but that’s exactly I feel. surprise    


   Sanjay Sharma

Critic who loves to appreciate.

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