As expected the trailer of Housefull 3 gives much of the film away. A rich Gujju businessman in London, Batuk Patel (Boman Irani), doesn’t want to marry off his three daughters because of the curse of broken marriages running in his extended family. All hell breaks lose when he learns that all the three sanskari girls – Ganga, Jamuna and Saraswati (Jacqueline Feernandes, Nargis Fakhri and Lisa Haydon) – have a boyfriend each. A car racer called Teddy (Riteish Deshmukh), a rapper called Bunty (Abhishek Bachchan) and a footballer called Sandy (Akshay Kumar).
The boys do manage to get an entry into the girls’ mansion but by playing blind, mute and crippled. The confusion gets confounded when this role playing has to get interchanged. The blind has to turn mute, the mute has to become crippled and the one playing crippled has to turn blind. All for the sake of the Indian Don, Urja Nagare (Jackie Shroff) to whom Batuk owes a royal sum of Rs 5000 crores. Well there is more but that will be telling it all.
So with the story out of the way all that’s left to follow in the film is whether the situations and gags are funny enough or not. Unfortunately they aren’t and a morning show in Mumbai hardly had anyone in the audience smiling, leave ROFLing away. No one would go looking for logic in the Housefull franchisee but inspired madness and sublime silliness is definitely worth demanding. No such luck. What you get are three silly, giggly girls who attempt to bring the house down by some inane, literal translations of English words to Hindi. So calm (kaam in Hindi) down becomes ‘naukri neeche’, hang out is ‘latakte hain’. The phrase, apple of the eye is turned into ‘aankh ka seb’. Kick the ass is gadhe ki laat; chill pill is thandi wali dawa and bygones is kaamwali gayi. Then there is Teddy who keeps mixing words because of the persistent slip of the tongue. So wife becomes tawaif (courtesan), jawab (answer) becomes julaab (laxative), virodh (dissent) becomes nirodh (condom) and we are all meant to laugh at this juvenile attempt at comedy that even a kid will find babyish. There was immense comic possibility, of the Andaz Apna Apna kind, in the wax statues climax but the film just fails to be zany enough.
One can’t quite go looking for political correctness in such a film. But Housefull3, doesn’t know where it wants to stand on issues. No wonder after cracking many a joke at the physically challenged its attempt to redeem itself in the end seems half baked and forced. The film’s stand on racism is also just as confused. Initially Indians and the blacks are seen at the same end of the racial slurs yet you have the Gujju empire of Batook Patel populated entirely by black maids and distasteful references made to their wombs. And not to forget the play with maa and behen in the lyrics. What are these songs trying to say?
It’s Askhay Kumar who gets the maximum play as the footballer suffering from dissociative identity disorder. The split personality has a patriotic reason. It’s all an aggression resulting from the depression he feels as an Indian on being mistreated by the Westerners. Kumar hams with abandon in two long sequences where he has to swing between his two selves and gets to speak the funniest line of the film: “such huge (Rs5000 crore) loans are not taken by individuals but nations”. His Paris-parrot-paragon-Paramount-pears routine is also funny.
Abhishek Bachchan has a natural flair for comedy but here he is toned down to the extent of becoming lacklustre. And can we please see him with an identity of his own rather than being burdened with his illustrious surname? He is certainly more than a “bade baap ka beta”. Even on the silver screen.
It’s left to Jackie Shroff then, gun in hand and blade hidden inside his mouth, who displays more charisma than the rest of the cast put together. Wish there was more of him.