Farah Khan
Writer - Director

Althea Kaushal

Mayur Puri

Film Review
Happy New Year:Happy New Heist

Happy New Year yes

Thali Indiawali, Spoon-fed cheeky

Spoiler Warning – Though this film’s plot is in a way spoiler proof, but more than that such films are also review proof. So this review, which is basically analysis of Screenplay is merely a formality. The film is enjoyable if you take it easy. Writing per se is not very strong. Naturally the analysis of writing won’t be very much favourable too. But within the givens of Bollywood the film works. “Writing ho gaya, par Picture abhi baki hai mere dost”, kind of! laugh

FACT – On the festive occasion of Diwali may I present, this 175 min huge Pure Veg Bharatiya Thali..
fact – Sir, why Thali this time?

FACT – Because the idea is to spoil the eater, thoda khao thoda phenko. That’s what Thalis are made for..you know.
fact – So much for stomach & so little for head.. There are a few foreign delicacies too, then why call Bhartiya Thali?surprise

FACT – See the curry, the sweet everything is tricoloured, so we have taken every care to make it obviously Indian.
fact – More Indian explicitly than intrinsically. Mera title hai Englishtani, New Year bhi hai Firangi, Dance Sequences Western, yeh locations hai Emirati, phir bhi core hai Indiawali..devil

FACT – That’s like being Indian despite everything non-Indian.
fact – Effect of Globalization..World is our Oyster.

FACT – We have also ensured that everything is so obvious that you don’t need to strain your thoughts to figure things out.
fact – Great. That’s like real spoiling of the eater. Not only we over-feed them we also spoon feed..

FACT – Our patrons are real gourmands they love indulgence, like this..
fact – Hum, so it’s time for full dining instead of fine dining.

Let’s begin with the PLOT -
It seems like our films are getting back to formula age. In 70s this happened to be lost & found, followed by revenge in 1980, terrorism in 90s - now it seems ‘heist’ is the mantra.yes

Formula - An impossible mission of stealing bigger-than-thou (read previous block-buster) treasure – Hero being wronged by the Person/Institution/Gang who is custodian of given treasure – So the heist is also a sort of revenge – Hero then achieves the impossible – Chase follows if required.

If we fill in the blanks, we get PLOTS OF THE THREE BLOCKBUSTERS OF THE THREE SUPERSTARS viz. DHOOM3, KICK & HAPPY NEW YEAR. Formula remains same but packaging varies.

I have already begun writing a script on this formula with hopes of cracking script of another 300 cr film. And I am sure there are 300 cr scripts already like this but unfortunately only 3 Khans!!

Ok back to Plot -
Charlie SRK’s Dad (Kher) was cheated by Grover (Jackie Shroff). Since you know Gulshan Grover as a baddie, this name probably spoon-feeds the badness. Grover assigned a job of making high security vault “Shalimar” to Manohar Sharma (Kher) (Again Sharma name spoon feeds goodness because you know Sharmas are good people, e.g. me). Grover then cheated Sharma by stealing his own diamonds from “Shalimar” and accusing the latter of theft. Dooming Sharmaji for life..
Cut to: 12 years after, Now Grover is the custodian of an ‘invaluable’ diamond consignment in the same “Shalimar” vault and Charlie wants to do a Tit-for-tat on him. Charlie makes his gang which comprises of Jag (Sonu) & Tammy (Boman) who were architects of “Shalimar”. He takes along Nandu (Abhishek) who is a look alike of Grover’s son Vicky (another Abhishek) and Rohan (Vivaan) who is an infallible hacker. This heist is in some way connected to some World Dance Competition (so there is enough material available to make a good 3 hour long film). To make it to the WDC they get Mohini (Guess who?) as Dance teacher.. wink

Analysing the Structure - If we see it linearly the First Act is betrayal of Sharma and Charlie forming his gang. Ideally the preparations for the heist and hits & misses should have formed the body or second act, but could be so that the makers did not have enough interest or material to flesh out the second act majorly with the heist which is achieved bit easily in the film, so to add meat to the plot, World Dance competition is padded as a sub-plot which dominates most of the second act providing the much needed ‘entertainment masala’. The heist’s main plot just keeps popping up in between at times. The last act is about the execution of the heist and winning the competition, which happens without much issues as such.

Characters – Barring Charlie & Grover, all characters are more or less like caricatures, with sole intentions of creating fun at every available opportunity, this includes the bouncers at the bar who are more jokers than fighters. Charlie and Grover are also like normal good and bad characters. Grover like old times Prem Chopra, is hater of India with assumptions.

Characters have their fortes & flaws & motivations – which is also spelt out for you (spoon fed) by way of narration and used as per the convenience of the makers. You will not find the flaw coming in way of the mission anywhere, but rather to make you laugh. The motivations are also ‘mentioned’ as motivations too, so that there is no confusion. These motivations are super-added to convince each of the characters to join the mission which happens in jiffy.

Screenplay then boils down to carrying the film cracking gags to lead to the final heist. 

While some other recent heist films show Heroes directly coming out successful inspite of tough security; this film indeed spends time in explaining the challenges and shows how they are overcome actually. This works majorly in favour of the film because that’s what one expects from a heist film. But then even this film is not devoid of its own logical issues. Honestly though less than others, but it does have them and in a good number. surprise

  1. Manohar (Kher) falling for an easy trap of Grover is too convenient. In such businesses there are systems, contracts, legal hand-overs and take-overs of locker/vaults/safes. But we have granted Bollywood Carte Blanche when it comes to technicalities of trades. So no questions on that.
  2. As mentioned above the WDC subplot doesn't gel organically with the main plot. The idea is that way to the vault goes from a certain room which is booked by the WDC organizers. So they participate in the WDC to get that room.. that too comes to them by a trick. So it looks far fetched that people who don't know ABC of dance choose this longer route to execute a heist when they have an ace hacker with them who never fails. Why not just hack the hotel system and allot the rooms to themselves?
  3. Characters and their fortes and flaws are too conveniently used. Jag is conveniently deaf, Tommy epileptic etc. There is no big or real threat anywhere due to anyone’s flaws. Minor problems do surface but solutions also come in handy. When we see how characters’ weaknesses and flaws are weaved, it becomes highly predictable as where the next action will go!!
  4. There is an additional safe within Shalimar introduced as a surprise twist but frankly that confused me. Was its password known to Grover? If it was why didn’t he change it? If he couldn’t change the password, why he used such safe which wasn’t foolproof? And it is so easy to crack this password that when Charlie is trying it out; kids in the hall start prompting him letter by letter! Kids even wonder why Charlie is taking so long to solve a simple riddle!!
  5. Nandu is a look alike of Vicky whose biometrics open Shalimar. When Nandu is dancing on the stage – seen on TV screens, why Grovers or anybody else don’t notice him? If they know him why don't they tell police about him or their own security guards to be wary of a duplicate Vicky?
  6. Moreover there is also a Plan B which is referred as “Plan B” precisely to spoon feed. According to this, if there is a danger they will escape in the International Waters (Is that so easy? In a simple steamer with 300 cr diamonds on you?) but no questions on any technicality; but just a question within the film’s logic. Had they followed Plan B it would prove that it was a theft and Grover would become innocent. So even that half revenge of trapping Grover would not have been achieved. So what was the idea of Plan B? Was stealing more important than revenge?frown 
    Accidentally they have to go impromptu and that sudden unplanned activity achieves their revenge precisely & comfortably. Conveniently too.   surprise
  7. Again Grover Sr. (Jackie Dada) getting arrested looks too easy, given his status.
  8. Also there is an issue with such revenge of doing a Tit-for-Tat to the villain. Don’t we need to prove the innocence of wrongly implicated father?
  9. This Thali also lacks sweetness of romance. The way Charlie deals with Mohini appears like he is just using her for his mission. Ok, he is not interested in romance may be because he has revenge on mind, but then this negative romance is sort of turn off. The chemistry between the two is also absent, so it is fed through different spoon, deflagrating spoon. Whenever there is romance between them, actual fire ignites. That’s literally chemistry (yellow phosphorus with oxygen). But actual reason for this could be Producer Mrs. SRK who must have been controlling the chemical reactions..(leading to unwanted combustions). wink
  10. Comedy is derived from whatever situation/character they could use. At times it sounds pretty insensitive when jokes are cracked over deafness, epilepsy etc. Now even Saroj Khan controversy has popped up.

    FACT – Whatever I enjoyed this thali very much..
    fact – I too, besides all my analysis. Thali is as such a popular option for Indians especially when hungry for long. So it seems like those who want pure entertainment are gobbling it up asap with whole family. The heist is done much better than other films, so it keeps you hooked. The gags are fresh and performed very well which also works a lot in favour of the film. Dialogues are funny and come as a very big support for the performances. Another important thing is SRK who lets others do things and remain as a pivot himself. Kudos to him for this. While superstars remain insecure and try to take max footage here SRK takes the backseat and lets others do the masti. But with his charisma he still shines like sun among stars. That’s truly like a King. If fun is your idea, then HNY is a game..cool

    FACT – So folks just go and indulge..   yes

   Sanjay Sharma

Critic who loves to appreciate. https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1754709196

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