wogma rating: Watch when on TV/online (?)
A story different from the norm gets short-changed because it is treated with a loud dose of melodrama.Read more
The plot places Good Newwz right in the Hrishikesh Mukherjee territory. But, I will have to stop myself right there. With Akshay Kumar at the helm of affairs, it is hardly going to be about the story. Not to mention most of it is given away in the 3+ minute trailer. Since the situation itself is comical, it seems like not much time is spent in actually getting the details to be witty other than poking fun at accents and the big-town-small-town divide. Not the kind I usually find funny anyway.
I am going to count my blessings where I get them. One of them is certainly that there is a high chance that Akshay Kumar will not be sermonizing. Or is it wishful thinking? Anyway, we will know soon enough.
Good Newwz releases on 27 December 2019. There is a chance the review will be delayed by a couple of days.
Music Reviews: Biz Asia - "The album is a mix and match with a whole load of producers, lyricists, singers and musicians coming together to end the year with a banging music album." MusicPlus - "4/10"
- meeta, a part of the audience
The only thing novel about the film is the novelty of the basic premise. Neither the story nor the film has much going for it except for what we have already seen in the trailer. This is at the core of why a Good Newwz based on a comedy of errors during a goof-up in IVF treatment isn’t half as entertaining as a Vicky Donor or a Badhaai Ho, other films that deal with taboo/unspoken of topics.
It is the subtler take that is actually more problematic.
Sure, there is some above-average amount of work on the characterisation than in a typical Akshay Kumar film. The characters are not monochromatic, even if their greys take on shades that are convenient to the story, at that particular time in the plot.
Also, it is refreshing to see a film that has moved on from love and the honeymoon phase of a relationship. It even goes past the “doesn’t clean up after himself/herself” phase to take on more serious stuff. The complexities of making a marriage work. From simpler things like a common adversary puts any argument between a couple on the back-burner to the fluidity with which honesty is seen in these relationships, Good Newwz shows occasional maturity.
It also picks on some of the social nuances. Like the prying questions and taunts and unasked for advice that childless women have to face. Especially—goodness forbid—if they are working. All this while the man is enjoying his drink in the same room.
Along similar lines, the movie takes jabs at many an experience that all too common in urban life—from the commercialisation of the baby-production process to talkative cab drivers to stock photos of non-Indian people used by Indian businesses right to the reluctance of the common man to accept the objectification of women. In that vein, though, the pro-life versus pro-choice argument is skewed.
Interestingly, the wave of fitness consciousness in both urban and small-town India is touched upon. Almost like its the film’s way of keeping up with the times. I guess the next movie wanting to show-off its social awareness would slide in a comment on the Dixit diet or intermittent fasting.
Of course, Good Newwz also often takes cover under over-simplification. Like that of the small-town-big-city divide. The former are simple-minded, good-natured and garish in their taste. And the big-city folk are judgemental and unforgiving.
Good Newwz shows occasional maturity.
The overtness of this divide is clearly to induce laughter. Unfortunately, most of it is at the expense of personalities rather than situations. For instance, I don’t see why a person asking for a refund for service not provided well is funny. Similarly, I don’t see the humour when a physically underdeveloped person is made fun of. Some of this in-the-face writing feels like signalling too, like the spiel by Deepti (Kareena Kapoor) on how unfair the whole child-bearing process is to the woman—from conception to delivery.
It is the subtler take that is actually more problematic. Stereotypes such as communication resolves barriers between women but doesn’t work its charm with men seem as misplaced as any stereotype. I am not sure if it was intentional, but the privilege of the man in the child-bearing process was transparent. Clearly, the one who is interested in the process gets extra marks for doing what should be the norm. Another instance was when a doctor protects a man’s medical history from the woman who she has accidentally inseminated with the man’s sperm. And the same doctor flippantly gives away a woman’s history of miscarriages.
It is interesting that through all of this, I found neither any complaints against nor awe for the performances. That would mean they all did what they were asked to do, though I could have done without Akshay Kumar’s overacting in some bits. Fortunately, it surfaces only in some bits. Kiara Advani brought the most smiles and laughter, and I loved Kareena Kapoor’s spunk. Sure, the former seems to be just continuing with the submissive routine in her characters and the latter appears to be playing herself from real life, only brought down notches financially. Diljit Dosanjh is as adorable as a loud character like his can be.
Indeed, the performances are the main reason you are engaged for most of the two hours. As you walk out, you realise it wasn’t as satisfying an experience as it could have been.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by SUPARNA SHARMA, Deccan Chronicle : ...Kabhi-kabhi, under all the glitter and banality, wrapped in lots of silly, filmy situations and guffawing, Bollywood does something smart, significant and delightfully daring.... full review
Thumbs up, by Madhuri V, Filmi Beat : ...the screenplay loses its sheen at few places and little more effort in the writing post interval would have raised up the entertainment quotient by several notches.... full review
Thumbs up, by Devansh Sharma, FirstPost : ...Writers Jyoti Kapoor, Rishabh Sharma, and Mehta not only know how to build a narrative with the perfect pace and precision but also pen some hilariously witty lines for the characters.... full review
Thumbs up, by R.M. VIJAYAKAR, India West : ...The film’s consistent note of humor, with a bit of needed satire, and the whole ambience with the crisp length of 133 minutes makes it a perfect family entertainer despite the obviously passion- or humor-filled lines that are rather bold for conservative Indian audiences, but not unpalatably so.... full review
Thumbs up, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...Good to see Akshay Kumar a) not being a flag-waving-nationalist-patriot b) owning up to grey-stubble-on-chin, and c) reminding us just how funny he can be.... full review
Thumbs up, by Joginder Tuteja, Planet Bollywood : ...Later, when Diljit Dosanjh and Kiara Advani arrive on the scene, the ‘sur’ of the film becomes a bit ‘desi’ and it takes a little time to adjust from cool to rustic here.... full review
Thumbs up, by Nandini Ramnath, Scroll.in : ...Good Newwz is orthodox about the necessity of childbearing (compared to a blessing from above) and abortion (treated on par with murder), but also speaks up for the right of women to bear children no matter who the father is.... full review
Thumbs up, by Vinayak Chakravorty, Sify Movies : ...The film picks a contemporary urban story with characters that will appeal to modern mindsets, and crafts a conventional entertainer out of it without resorting to cliches.... full review
So-So, by Deepa Gahlot, cinemaah : ...When this class war runs out of steam too, there is another turn to melodrama, which simply extends the film’s running time without adding much to the already existing turmoil.... full review
So-So, by Priyanka Sinha Jha, News18.com : ...The newbie director, Raj Mehta, however, does well in keeping the film short and succinct, switching scenes before things get monotony sets in.... full review
So-So, by SREEHARI NAIR, Rediff : ...In a film where everyone else alternates between parading their comic chops and trying to knock you down with the force of their sentimental acting, Kareena’s is a performance of more than just surface pleasures.... full review
Thumbs down, by Rahul Desai, Film Companion : ...In its attempt to tackle the misconceptions of artificial conception, the film ends up reiterating the divides defined by social artificiality, elitism and classism.... full review
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