Review - Housefull: full of non-stop non-sense

wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV (?)
quick review:

We are happy. We are just a bunch of 'mango' people who are happy to be in a theater after a long hiatus. So happy are we that there is at least something to watch, to draw us to the halls, that we don't mind the "open head; keep brain aside in safety; close head; watch film" drill. Yeah-yeah-yeah the comedy is not bad, or let's just say it's better than what one would expect from this team. And it’s the sight of an oasis in a desert. And thirsty we were.

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8.30 AM. 600-seater theater. Housefull. Ok-ok almost housefull, but it was mandatory to use the name, right? So, now that we are done with that, let me tell you, I'm not kidding. The theater had barely 10-15 vacant seats. And the other 585-590 seats were laughing/hooting/whistling/clapping - basically being happy they are in a theater and there is something half-half-decent on the screen.

Of course, there was this one person who was just thoroughly relishing the fact that people around her were completely involved in the chaos and enjoying the experience to the hilt - yours truly. I'm not saying I didn't like the film at all, but I couldn't call the film engrossing or 100% entertaining. It was just about alright. I laughed really hard a few times. But, not as much on a mind-blowing, insides-rattling joke as I did due to the silliness of it all. I mean what else can you laugh at when people suffer an electronic shock and that, moves on to become a dance.

The nutty absurdity is not restricted to one-off incidents. While the first half introduces characters and builds relationships, the second half is spent in rewiring all the connections. Whose wife is whose sister is whose daughter is whose wife…or something like that. Yeah, such comedy of errors and mistaken identities have potential for loads of laughs. Housefull is neither devoid of them, nor…well, full of them.

Of course, it's the standard loud, is almost a tolerable variety of over-the-top and it defies logic at every chance it's given. Out-of-job characters or characters with presumably low-paying jobs spend money like they are Midas. Other characters who are supposedly rich, make you wonder how such low-IQ people could get so far.

Oops, look at me getting caught up in trivialities. The idea is to have fun, and well it is not a complete loss on that count. Had the performances been a little more subtle and a little more consistent, it could have easily been a fun ride through the run time. But, as usual, while the dialogues are on a consistent roll, the events are rather sporadic. Similarly, while the comic timing of most of the actors is brilliant, the individual scenes are not necessarily strong enough.

The three men do their usual thing. National award winner Arjun Rampal, in his bit role, looks very uncomfortable trying his shot at comedy. The women on the other hand look good, alternate between shrieking and sort-of superficially expressing a sad/romantic emotion. I love the way Deepika Padukone carries herself in the skimpiest of clothes. Yep! There's loads and loads of that. And those who are going there for Jiah Khan, well, bother not. She barely has a cameo.

I know it's been a famine of big-profile releases. I know you want to rush to the theater given the slightest excuse. But though it has those mindless, silly laughs, I don't have the heart to recommend that you spend money and time on what it takes for a family to go to the theaters. Time spent on it when it's out on TV/DVD though might be well worth it.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Generic slapsticky slapping around.
  • Language: more or less clean, with a couple innuendoes here and there.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: There are a couple of 'bedroom' scenes and loads of skin show.
  • Concept: That of lies being too overwhelming to sustain.
  • General Look and Feel: Light and fun.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 2
  • Story: 2
  • Lead Actors: 2.5
  • Character Artists: 2
  • Dialogues: 3
  • Screenplay: 2
  • Music Director: 2.5
  • Lyrics: 2.5

Housefull - Movie Details

Housefull - Trailer

Comments (35)

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meetu:

Well, Sumit, like I said, it is a tad better than regular slapstick. But then again, I'm glad I helped you stick to your books :P

Sudhir Nair:

Arjun Rampal is easily the best guy suited for comedy. After all he single handedly made a joke of the entire industry by becoming a National Award winning guy.
Am expecting the movie to be as charming as a migraine, par kya kare aur kuch hai hi nahi dekhne key liye :(

meetu:

@Sudhir That's the thing. And it does have a couple of laughs. But only so much you can tolerate in the name of not having anything else to do :P

meetu:

@mayur oh well...i laughed a bit and it was a little better than the standard slapstick

Bollyfan:

Wow...you laughed a couple of times and it becomes watchable. What about the other 2 hours 28 minutes of the movie? Guess you were having fun watching the others laugh. Cuz. that was the only way I could have a semblance of a smile on my face, coming out. :D

Actually, I've presented a perspective on the "leave your brains home" argument in my review. And I didn't like it a bit.

Bollyfan:

I meant I didn't like the movie^^^

Rahul:

Yeah, the movie is watchable simply because of the dearth of even half-decent Hindi movies released recently. It is no more than what you expect, but somehow it still manages to make you laugh a few times. And yes, Deepika looks amazing. :)

meetu:

@Sumit waiting to know what you thought...

@moviebhakt yeah...more or less...difficult to be as succesful as him though

@Saurabh yeah...laughed hard at the silliness in a few places, so...

Dear @!@#$%^, Uhh...i can't believe I'm using this as my defense...i liked 'housefull' better than 'hangover'

@bollyfan well...i give movie credit for what i think it's aiming to do and whether it succeeded in that perceived aim for me, which is the same way each one of us decides whether or not we liked a film. So, yes, I liked it better than you.

@Rahul THANK YOU! that's what i was trying to say...

Bollyfan:

@Rahul & Meetu : Could the success of the film be ascribed to the timing more than anything else? The last few weeks have seen some terrible films come out due to the IPL & people were starved. The film has enough star power to draw the initial crowds...and the verdict from the masses is euphoric. The one thing nobody realises is that the verdict is relative to recent films and that matters a lot when it comes to guaging the mettle of a film.

@Meetu : Not very sure if you too succumbed to the same relativity conundrum here. Would you have rated Housefull similarly had it followed films of a better quality than it actually did?

Rahul:

@Bollyfan: Yeah absolutely. In retrospect there is really nothing in the movie, but then most insane comedies are supposed to have nothing. There was nothing in "The Hangover" either - which is supposed to be brilliant and all that.

Sadly, there is no masala movie releasing till Kites hits the floor on the 21st of May - I expect Housefull to mostly live up to its name till then. Maybe Badmaash Company can sneak up and deliver something - sadly YRF doesn't have a stellar record in recent times (in terms of market revenue).

Hindi Radio:

I have heard for this movie that its too much comedy and must watch movie. Unfortunately I was not able to get time for this in weekends but sure would look at it within couple of days.

Bollyfan:

@Rahul : There's a major difference between Hangover & Housefull...though let me state that I'm not a big fan of the former either. In Hangover, the characters were consistent...in Housefull they weren't. Inconsistent characterisation, with characters changing to suit the situation in the film is the prime hallmark of dishonest filmmaking, IMO. How can the chief of the Indian Military Intelligence be such an easy target of schoolboy pranks? How can Lara Dutta's character hate Akki's intrusion one moment and then become a mother figure for him the very next? How can Akki fumble so badly with a vaccuum cleaner one moment and then redo the house so nicely in a matter of a few hours in the very next sequence? And all these points go on to build the plot of the film. That's what I hated about Housefull the most...the dishonesty in characterisation. And each "funny" moment of the film was just built on these lies.

The biggest problem is that the success of Housefull will spur several other filmmakers to make such tripe. The excuse of producers that Indian audiences just want this kind of stuff will be further strengthened. Hmmm...but to think about it, don't they?

By the way, Sajid Khan has gone on record saying that the climax of Housefull will do to comedies what Matrix did for action films. I don't know whether to laugh or cry at that.

Rahul:

@Bollyfan:

I am not Comparing Hangover and Housefull per se - I am merely clubbing them together as films which club together an improbable chain of events. That said, I agree with you that in Hangover, the director stays true to the characters while the same can definitely not be said of Housefull. If you ask Taran Adarsh he would tell you that you are supposed to leave your brains at home for films of this kind ... I am prepared to leave my senses at home but if the director takes liberties with the story line that insult my intelligence then I do have an issue with the film.

All flaws aside, Housefull is only working because there is nothing else on offer right now. The ICC T20 WC is turning into a "dance to please the rain Gods" and I don't think the soap operas on TV have improved one little bit. :P

As for Sajid Khan and the band of copy cats he might inspire - Bhagwan Bachaye Inse.

Bollyfan:

@lovebollywood : I didn't mention real characters anywhere. I mentioned inconsistent characters. There's a difference. You had Amar & Prem in Andaz Apna Apna...as unreal as one can get. But they were consistent. They were introduced as dumb wannabe losers...and stayed so throughout the film. Not the case with Housefull. Each character's mentality, intelligence & motivations changed as per the situation...and in a haphazard manner. Just to suit the convenience of the scriptwriter & director. I don't expect logic from screwball comedies...they're meant to be illogical. What I do expect is consistency...which was missing in Housefull. That's why I've called it dishonest filmmaking. In fact, a reviewer has hit the nail bang on its head by remarking about the difference between no-brainer entertainment & no-brainer filmmaking. Hope you get the point. If you haven't, I give up.

Bollyfan:

Consistency of characters doesn't mean that there shouldn't be a character progression graph. It means that character progression should be explained through some events. In other words, characters should evolve OUT OF situations rather than change FOR them.

"By your standards, then all magic realism in fiction would be inconsistent, as the characters do not follow a clear and consistent path in terms of their actions."

That depends on the tone set for a piece or art, be it literature or cinema. Housefull is inconsistent even in its tone.

By the way, what do you smoke? You're comparing Milan Kundera with Sajid Khan...I'd love to lay my hands on your stash man. :)

Anyways...to each his own. Let's agree to disagree here.

Bollyfan:

@Kaiser & Tasnim : Rajneeti looks quite promising. Let's hope Prakash Jha gets it right this time too. :)

Hindi Radio:

what a waste of time and money! I am not sure why Akki is selecting these type of useless movies?

I also did not understand, why Boman irani never asks for Lara's son in the end? what was the need of chunky? what was the need of the tiger in house? .....

Oh sorry last question... what was the need of making this movie?

Bollyfan:

@lovebollywood : A lot of people consume adulterated food. That doesn't make it healthy. Mass acceptance of a product is no certificate for its quality. Something appeals to people in Housefull...all I can say is that they don't really have a sense of humour...let alone good or bad. My opinion though...and I stand by it. If made to pick one by force, I'd pick The Great Indian Laughter Challenge over Housefull in the funny stakes.

Bollyfan:

And I find this "Before criticizing, make a movie yourself" argument laughable, to say the least. So, if you don't know how to drive, you can't criticise a driver for rash driving? How lame!!

Navin:

I am commenting on this site for the first time.....you have a pretty diff style of writing these movie reviews...

went to Housefull......just because I had no other movie to watch....didnt enjoy much of it though......would have been better on a DVD...

Bollyfan:

@lovebollywood : By that logic, even praising a film is just as lame. Do you even realise how much of a fool you're making of yourself?

Bollyfan:

If you had cared to read that comment of mine where I said "To each his own...let's agree to disagree", we could've avoided this message. But then you had to write an essay on life, opinions and intelligence. Tum karo to chamatkar, hum karein to balatkar?

Bollyfan:

And to explain consistency to a dummy like you, try thinking about these examples...

1. The vacuum cleaner scene could have been a classic scene...showing a bumbling, clumsy Akki wrecking havoc. But a minute down the line, he's set the entire house in order. Now, if he was really that organised and methodical, how did he end up making such a mess in the first place? And if he was a bumbling idiot after all, how did he manage to set things in order?

2. Deepika Padukone throws a fit when she has a misunderstanding about Akki having lied to her. A couple of scenes later, she sets in motion the train of lies (most of them coming from herself) that the movie is built upon. Does it add up?

And these are just two examples out of the dozens that the film proudly wears on its sleeves. Does CONSISTENT & DISHONEST FILMMAKING make more sense to you now?

Bollyfan:

And before you make a lame comback like "That's what is brainless entertainment", I'd want you to show similar disconnects in characterisation and script in films like Hera Pheri, Andaz Apna Apna, Dulhe Raja and the likes. Those are films I would enjoy even today...after multiple watches. That's brainless entertainment. Housefull is brainless filmmaking.

Bollywood Tourism:

Lara is looking damn hot in the movie. The movie is great.

meetu:

Woah! i go away for a few days and look at how you guys interact! AWESOME! Should I go more often?

@Bollyfan very likely that I liked the film because of the circumstances. But each film is like that. It is humanly impossible to keep the environment and viewers personality away from his likes/dislikes.

"Something appeals to people in Housefull...all I can say is that they don't really have a sense of humour...let alone good or bad."

Dude, that's considering yourself superior to others when not one of us really is. I'd say something appeals to people in Singh is Kinng, all I can say is that I don't have that something in me and I'm fine doing without it. But then again, to each his own, as always!

@lovebollywood it's a little unfair to say don't expect any reality in films. Unreal films are called fantasy films. 'leave your brains behind films' should be a genre by itself.

Again, saying "walk the talk", means you say nothing good or bad about anything ever! Then you certainly are a saint who loves discussing films. More power to you

@Bollyfan and @lovebollywood thanks for making wogma an interesting place to hangout at! I love such discussions, let's keep them going.

@Hindi Radio that's how the cookie crumbles dear...

@Navin thanks!

Bollyfan:

Meetu : Accepted...and words taken back. :) The intention wasn't to put anything down but the film.

And reg. your views on housefull, the environment was exactly what I was pointing towards. I feel that the timing of release was a masterstroke on Sajid Nadiadwala's part.

meetu:

@bollyfan Interesting that the team has brains enough to time the release but not enough to make a brain-more film :D

Bollyfan:

Not really...timing the release doesn't require any creative acumen...does it? :P

meetu:

@Bollyfan that as supposed to be a joke, dude!

Bollyfan:

@Meetu : The title of this page brings out the worst in me. Maaf kar do. :)

meetu:

@Bollyfan :P

dizi izle:

thank you a lot for this usefull article. I like to read this kind of things, keep writing more relevant subjects and i will be loyal visitor of your blog.

Oreck xl Vacuum:

So characters must EVOLVE and not CHANGE, ha,ha, yes, the sounds are sophisticated all right!! And CONSISTENT, this is a beauty!

mediafire movies:

its crap movie

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