Housefull 4

wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)

quick review:

Were it not for the general slapstickiness, the extra half hour, the flippant attitude towards writing women characters, Housefull 4 might’ve worked for the few laughs it brings.

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Director: Farhad Samji
Running time: 145 minutes
Genres: Slapstick
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Housefull 4 - Preview

My rating for every Housefull film has dropped from the previous one, leaving no more room to the south. This could have been good news in the sense that I have seen the worse. But, no one can really guarantee that, can they? Yes, I am that sceptical about Housefull 4

I do realise the writing seems to have improved a tad bit. This time, they at least have tried to have some method in the impending chaos. But would it entertain? Still unlikely. The brand of comedy seems more or less the same. 

Yeah, I know I sound like this is a chore I am waiting to be done with. Maybe I will work some enthusiasm up by the time I have to step into the theatre. If nothing else, as a challenge worth taking on in the name of cinema. 

Housefull 4 releases on 25 October 2019.

- meeta, a part of the audience

A destination wedding in Sitamgadh. Three brothers are getting married to three sisters. For the girls’ dad’s money. But it was all fate’s doing. To understand which, we will have to travel back 600 years. That’s when you realise the three women have to be switched amongst the three men. To be the same couples that they were in an earlier life. Why do the couples have to match across 6 centuries? To show true love is eternal, of course! Why else? To this unexpected effort in the writing department is added, a generous dose of slapstick, the usual casual approach towards non-male characters, some silly humour which works only a few times.

And hey, you get to watch Nawazzudin Siddiqui dance.

When it does work, the gag is repeated often enough to lose most of its effect. Anyway, most of the other jokes, including the play on words, the Hindi film references hardly squiggle a giggle out of you. Then there are instances of pointing out a flaw in the writing and going ahead and doing it anyway. Highlighting its own unoriginal sub-plots, for instance, doesn’t excuse the hack-y writing.

Similarly, the film’s superficial feminism is exposed because the intent is to blind you with large gestures. It has women saving themselves from goons and even protecting a man slow clap, while there is a thick layer of disrespect towards women in the writing. I am not alluding to Thakral’s (Ranjeet) yucky leching (tharkiness). The only three women in the main cast of over 10 people have no distinctive characters. You wouldn’t be able to tell one from the other. You wonder why Harry (Akshay Kumar) wants to get the pairs right across so many lifetimes. They are all the same! The writers couldn’t be bothered to think of names for the girls. Their screen name is the same as their real names. And the names from the ancient times are a play on words and references rather than a writer thinking hard about their characters’ names. To be fair though, so are the men’s names. But at least, Dharam-Putra as Bobby Deol’s name brought a half-smile.

Maybe this laziness could’ve been ignored as “personal choice of prioritisation”. But when you use false sexual harassment by a woman as a joke, especially given the real-life allegations against ex-crew-members Sajid Khan and Nana Patekar. The misogyny, under all the laughs, is as obvious as it is intentional. Even acid attack victims and use of pepper spray are targetted with a sly “not all men” flavour. The women are unreasonable, and the men misunderstood helpless do-gooders. The jokes around this theme are in bad taste.

And there is this whole confused writing related to an effeminate character who is assumed to be gay and a character who is transgender. These are obviously there to get cheap laughs out of the audience. Me? I get exasperated to the point of numbness and cannot think beyond.

When you see this happening on the screen, you don’t feel like complaining about a woman being announced pregnant the morning after. About maharajas using language that is possibly more suited to a badshah. But then again, the writers must have been sure that they could not be consistent with the language, so it is not really the distinguishing factor between the two time periods in the film.

They use costumes and set designs to make that distinction. That bit is done quite well. With calmer colours and better production values, the visual experience is a much more tolerable one compared to the otherwise loud nature of this franchise.

Highlighting its own unoriginal sub-plots, for instance, doesn’t excuse the hack-y writing.

On that front, while the women in the full-house have the same expressions and similar outfits to wear—across sixty decades—the men get a chance to experiment with their act. Akshay Kumar, in fact, stands out with his distinct personalities in the two periods. And hey, you get to watch Nawazzudin Siddiqui dance. How’s that for novelty?

Speaking of which, I did not expect symbolism in a Housefull film. A sword seems to come out of an effeminate man’s genitalia. So swords replace “manhood”? Intentional or not, within the film’s grammar, it is expected to get you to laugh. Eeky humour it is. Even in use of metaphors, Housefull 4 creeps you out. Sure, it covers some of it under the garb of “spoof”.

I am just glad for the play on words with ‘sa-re-ga-ma’ that I enjoyed. I am glad that I could be done with it in 2.5 hours.

- meeta, a part of the audience

30 reviewers(?) - 2 yays 9 so-so 19 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by R.M. Vijayakar, India West : ...Among the actors, special marks go to Riteish Deshmukh, Kriti Sanon, Ranjeet and the 21st century Johny Lever. The rest do the needful. Just like the film for the audience that needs pure entertainment that once in a while.... full review

Thumbs up, by Umesh Punwani, koimoi : ...All said and done, Housefull 4 is unabashed, crazy, insane fun. A proper out-and-out comedy, without a mashup of any other genre, after ages. Perfect festive watch!... full review

So-So, Behindwoods : ...Housefull 4 does have some cheeky humour, like the hilarious movie references and the stretch where Pappu (played by Rana Daggubati) unknowingly threatens the boys with a qawwali song. In the acting department, Ritesh Deshmukh does his best to salvage the film. But these instances are few and far in between and seldom compensates for the sea of generic situations. Overall, Housefull 4 is a forgettable fare that tries to bite off more than it could chew.... full review

So-So, by Devesh Sharma, Filmfare : ...All-in-all, watch the film if you like watching leave-your-brains-behind kind of comedy. It's three hours of silliness served without pretence. Go without expectations and you'll come out happy.... full review

So-So, by Madhuri V, Filmi Beat : ...'Housefull 4' disappoints you big time when it comes to the songs. With absurd lyrics and bland music, they simply add minutes to the run-time of the film.... full review

So-So, by Monika Rawal Kukreja, Hindustan Times : ...Housefull 4 is quite the comic extravaganza that offers you a heavy dose of laughter this festive season if you can keep your expectations in check. Watch it if you are a fan of Housefull franchise and, of course, Akshay Kumar, who seems to be getting better with age.... full review

So-So, by Ambika Sachin, Khaleej Times : ...If you are in the mind for a totally mindless entertainer, set against a majestic backdrop then Housefull 4 could be for you. But if you don't count yourself among those who find the sight of a pigeon pooping on an actor hilarious we advice you to stay out of this 'House'.... full review

So-So, by Karan Singh Chilotreeepa, Movie Talkies : ...The film will definitely will be a Diwali Dhamaka, an entertainer for which you need to keep your brains at home and have a hearty laugh over the film. Taking all these points into consideration, I will give it a rating of 2.5 out of 5 Stars.... full review

So-So, by Namrata Thaker, Rediff : ...Many of the funny scenes will remind you of the comedy from the 1990s. They are crass and will not make you laugh at all. Chunky Pandey, Johnny Lever, Ranjeet and Rana Daggubati have cameos and they do well. Rana is like the desi Khal Drogo and his look is impressive. His role and acting, not much! Johnny Lever does his best but it is frustrating to see him do the same thing again and again. Nawazuddin Siddiqui, also in a cameo, is absolutely amazing. He will remind you of Sacred Games' Gaitonde.... full review

So-So, by Shivani Dixit, Times Now : ...On the whole, watch Housefull 4 for Akshay Kumar, and nothing else.... full review

So-So, by Sreeparna Sengupta,, Times of India : ...Overall, Housefull4 ends up as a complete mad caper. Which, if you're a fan of the Housefull brand of comedy, might appeal to you. But if you are not, then proceed with caution.... full review

Thumbs down, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...On a concluding note, you may try watching HOUSEFULL4 on the online portals soon as a time pass, but not in the theaters for a ticket sold at all inflated prices. But then, there are too many good things to watch on the online portals too moving over this silly mess.... full review

Thumbs down, by Subhash K Jha, Bolly Spice : ...House Full 4 is packaged like a Diwali mithai ka dabba layer after layer of temptation that you can’t help binging on. But it finally leaves you sick at the pit of your stomach.... full review

Thumbs down, Bollywood Hungama : ...In fact there’s an in-your-face reference to the film later. However, several sequences are weak and the jokes fall flat. The writing is also to blame but the director should have hidden these shortcomings with his execution. Sadly that doesn’t happen.... full review

Thumbs down, by Pankaj Sabnani, Bollywood Life : ...Housefull 4 had the potential to be a lot better, but with only a few good and funny moments, it turns out to be average at best. There are surely better things to do this Diwali than watching this one. We're going with 2 stars.... full review

Thumbs down, by ARNAB BANERJEE, Deccan Chronicle : ...If you have nothing better to do, and must watch a film, go watch a repeat of your favourite television show, no matter how taxing it may get. Wasting your time, money and energy on a film like Housefull 4 will possibly make you swear to be off cinema for some time at least!... full review

Thumbs down, by Prathyush Parasuramanhyush, Film Companion : ...Housefull 4, of course shouldn’t be dismissed as a cultural product of its time. But when the whole is far less than the sum of its parts, it is time to introspect. You are probably thinking that this movie is not made for critiquing, not meant to be taken seriously. But in saying that aren’t you dismissing the very thing you seek value from?... full review

Thumbs down, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ...It’s really hard to care about these three sets of tiresome twosomes. Their antics are wearying and tedious and the direction feels rather heavy-handed. Neither the loud acting, the badly timed slapstick nor the lacklustre helming allows for any relief!... full review

Thumbs down, by Josh, fullhyd.com : ...We admired the fearless matron (mentioned in the first paragraph) wishing she adopted the other gullible children in the hall and dragged us out of the evils of Housefull 4. Because this bunch of willing men in the audience were clapping and hooting when an elderly king sampled a dollop of pig faeces imagining it to be an aphrodisiac. Each single one of us in the hall needed a mother desperately.... full review

Thumbs down, by Vishal Verma, Glamsham.com : ...HOUSEFULL 4 – The reincarnation of the ‘chichora’ Akshay Kumar we never wanted is a snore bore. It’s like being with a group of friends who are having crackling fun with each other doing absurd bizarre things, while you stand aside and keep scratching your head unless you become bald but they refuse to stop.... full review

Thumbs down, by Nairita Mukherjee, india today : ...Sajid Khan was directing Housefull 4 initially but had to be removed after #MeToo allegations surfaced against him. Farhad Samji took the baton post that, took the film to completion.... full review

Thumbs down, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...Akshay Kumar starrer is a failure on all counts.... full review

Thumbs down, by Sonil Dedhia, MiD DAY : ...The actors definitely seem to have had a blast. After his streak of patriotic films, Kumar sleepwalks through this. Deshmukh, blessed with comic timing that never fails, is a treat to watch. Although he puts up a fair act, Deol brings little to the table. Daggubati as the desi Khal Drogo seems to be a miscast, and the three girls, Kriti Sanon, Pooja Hegde and Kriti Kharbanda, merely add to the glam quotient. This Diwali, you'd rather enjoy a house full of guests instead of this film.... full review

Thumbs down, by Vinamra Mathur, MiD DAY : ...I wasn't expecting anything great as that would have been a sin in itself, all I aspired for is a good time.... full review

Thumbs down, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...Director-dialogue writer Farhad Samji should be pinned for samji should be pinned for summarising a bald, motherless man’s predicament as being deprived of “maa ka saaya and baal ka chaaya”. The sensibility and treatment is analogous to those trashy TV comedies with jarring canned laughter that sometimes even eclipses the punchlines.... full review

Thumbs down, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...The misunderstandings that the rigmarole causes are neither funny nor logical. A film so thin has never been so confusing. With little to offer by way of truly effective slapstick, Housefull 4 falls back on the usual complement of Bollywood cross-references.... full review

Thumbs down, by Rohit Vats, News18.com : ...Despite all this, two brilliantly placed things in script cracked me up. The first is three pigeons named Neil, Nitin and Mukesh, and the second is this dialogue: “Agar main badshah hoon toh tu kya Honey Singh hai (If I am Badshah then who are you? Honey Singh?).”... full review

Thumbs down, by Nikita Roy, Pinkvilla : ...All in all, Housefull 4, a-so-called-tale-of-three-brothers is a potpourri of dull gags, scenic songs, inconsequential scenes with VFX and glam which provided very shallow entertainment. For me, it is has created no dhamaka this Diwali in theatres. Watch the movie only if you feel it's good enough for you.... full review

Thumbs down, by Nandini Ramnath, Scroll.in : ...Housefull 4 was to have been directed by Sajid Khan, but he was dropped from the project after a series of allegations of sexual misconduct. The direction has been credited to Farhad Samji, who is also one of the writers. Fortunately, the material is too flimsy, whether in this avatar or the earlier one, to be truly offensive.... full review

Thumbs down, by Namrata Joshi, The Hindu : ...Worse are the crass jokes directed at the queer community. Sample: an effeminate guy is referred to as the one “jisne gender ka tender nahin bhara”. What’s most troubling, however, is that you could be the only sadu (grumpy), traumatised aunty in the multiplex desperate to make a dash towards the exit at the end the film, while the rest of the audience could well be having a jolly good time. Your feeling of being held hostage could well be another’s volitional captivity.... full review

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

1 readers - 0 yays 1 so-so 0 nays

So-So, by Mohit Kumar : Great coverage as always & its always a delight to check out latest bolly news on this web. This alo

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: A few fist and sword fights. Nothing too strong though
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Nothing overt. However, leching and unpleasant attitude towards women and transgenders in some scenes.
  • Concept: Three brothers want to lure the three daughters of a rich man into marrying them. And then there is a problem. Because of the wedding location.
  • General Look and Feel: The usual Housefull 4 mayhem but with softer colours and less noise.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

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