Happy Bhaag Jayegi: Yay or nay?
What’s the formula for an entertaining movie? Whisk romance, comedy, drama, emotions and relatable characters together, and there you have it; an entertaining movie. Happy Bhaag Jayegi is a combination of all the aforementioned ingredients, plus another ingredient; a comical Indo-Pak angle.
Happy Bhaag Jayegi is about Harpeet aka Happy (Diana Penty) who, on her wedding night, plans to ditch her groom, Bugga (Jimmy Shergill) and plans on eloping with her boyfriend Guddu (Ali Fazal). Thanks to a carelessly formulated runaway plan, things take a chaotic turn and Happy ends up jumping off her balcony, into the wrong truck, which takes her to Lahore, Pakistan.
This particular truck was carrying a cargo of special gifts from India to Pakistan for the former Governor of Lahore, Ahmed Javed (Javed Sheikh), and his son Bilal Ahmed (Abhay Deol). Bilal was returning to Pakistan as well that night. The morning after reaching Lahore, Bilal notices one of the fruit baskets moving around and upon inspecting it, he finds Happy in the truck. What follows is the main story line of Happy Bhaag Jayegi.
Apart from being a rom-com, the movie is filled with political and socio-cultural satire. After having directed movies such as Dulha Mil Gaya (2010), I feel Mudassar Aziz did a commendable job with Happy Bhaag Jayegi.
Despite the impractical elements thrown in to create humour, I found the movie to be funny and entertaining. The dialogues are amusing, although sometimes tedious, and serve as a nostalgic reminder of Tanu Weds Manu Returns (2015).
As for music, even though the director tried to add a Pakistani touch by playing instrumental forms of the famous Pakistani song, Dil Dil Pakistan, he somehow missed the mark.
Performance wise, Happy Bhaag Jayegi rests on the shoulders of the male protagonists, not on the female lead, Diana Penty. Her characterisation is half-baked.
In the performance department, Abhay Deol had a more profound role and delivered a decent performance. Jimmy Shergill stood out in his portrayal of a character suffering from singledom. It appears that Bagga’s character is an extension of Raja Avasthi from Tanu Weds Manu Return – it is high time for Shergill to avoid typecasting. Ali Fazal played his part with dedication and managed to impress the audience in bits and pieces.
After her debut in Cocktail (2012), Diana Penty returned after a hiatus of four years. It was an ideal role to bag, in contrast to what she had done previously. Since Cocktail was crammed with various characters, she failed to get much time in the spotlight.
Our very own Pakistani actress, Momal Sheikh, marked her debut in Bollywood with poise and confidence. It is not easy to get noticed in a crowd of prominent actors, but she manages to do just that. Momal Sheikh is great with expressions, gave a mature performance and it looks like she’ll go a long way – provided she keeps selecting scripts that compliment her acting skills.
Piyush Mishra is simply outstanding; he doesn’t allow his audience to get bored, even in potentially disastrous scenes. Javed Sheikh, as Abhay’s father, performed well, but the veteran actor was unnecessarily loud in some scenes.
Happy Bhaag Jayegi is nothing like Raanjhanaa (2013) or Tanu Weds Manu Returns. If you’re in the mood to not think and enjoy a good laugh, I’d recommend this movie.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.