By Gayatri Sankar
Mumbai: ‘Humshakals’ by Sajid Khan is an attempt to tell the tale of three men and their lookalikes and a situation where their misplacement leads to confusion and purported comedy.
But the film turns out to be nothing but an unimpressive, boring two-and-a-half-hour long journey, where the traveller desperately awaits some entertainment.
The multi-starrer featuring Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh, Ram Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Esha Gupta and Tammanah Bhatia, sadly, has absolutely nix to offer to the movie goer.
Ashok Singhania (Saif Ali Khan), who happens to be a business tycoon, has a strange desire to become a stand-up comedian. His childhood friend Kumar (Riteish Deshmukh), has no other business in the world, but to stand by his buddy 24 X 7! Ashok’s father, the founder of Singhania Petrochemicals, who has slipped into coma, has no one but his son to look after his business empire. And wait... let us introduce you the villain of the story - Kunwar Amar Nath Singh aka KANS (Ram Kapoor), Ashok’s maternal uncle, who desperately needs the power of attorney of the business empire in his name. And the clichéd Bollywood trend continues - the villain has an accomplice in the form of a scientist- Dr Khan. And as if he wasn’t enough, Sajid “blesses” Dr Khan with two gay assistants- Chinku & Pinku!
Dr Khan specialises in making behavioural changes in the human DNA to change people into dogs by giving them a dose of a solution that he has prepared.
The “supposed” story of ‘Humshakals’ revolves around KANS’s malicious desire to take over the Singhania Empire and Ashok-Kumar duo’s attempt to save it. But wait, there’s a lot more to unfold. You have 2 more Ashoks (Saif), 2 more Kumars (Riteish), one Balwinder(Ram) and one Johnny (Ram)!
The leading ladies - Bipasha Basu, Esha Gupta and Tamannah- make appearances here and there during the course of the film. But hardly have any more to do. However, they do look gorgeous!
Saif has delivered commendable performances in films like ‘Hum Tum’, ‘Dil Chahta Hai’, ‘Omkara’ etc. But people wouldn’t really want to see Saif in a film that has absolutely nothing but yawns to offer. Riteish has mastered the comedy genre. But as the actor himself reportedly said recently, there is a lot more than comedy to be expected from him. And Ram is a fine actor. He can explore more in the future and definitely deliver in the comedy front.
Bijlani (Chunky Pandey) as the Sindhi guy is a forced character in the movie. But one must applaud him, for he has perfected the Sindhi accent.
Sajid’s love for London, ‘House of Commons’ and Prince Charles seem obvious. ‘Housefull’, ‘Housefull 2’ were both shot in the English capital. After a rustic ‘Himmatwala’ shot in India, the filmmaker chose to fly to London again to shoot the supposed “comedy of errors”. But sadly there’s no comedy but only an avalanche of errors.
‘Humshakals’ comes across as nothing but a desperate yet failed attempt to tickle the funny bone. The filmmaker must understand that even slapstick comedy needs to be funny enough to be entertaining.
The sequences where the trio (Ashok, Kumar & Johnny) disguise as women to woo their lookalikes are somewhat hilarious primarily because the three men actually look amusing in their feminine garb.
The music composed by Himesh Reshammiya doesn’t do any good to the film either. The songs make the sagging plot even more pathetic. Technicalities come into the picture only when the film has something worthwhile. But when the plot itself is this messy, any other merits of the film are hardly noteworthy.
Sajid Khan’s ‘Humshakals’ promised to be a much better product than his previous venture - ‘Himmatwala’. But sadly, ‘Humshakals’ will do severe damage to your understanding of comedy.
If you really don’t have much to do this weekend, try taking your kids for the movie to check if they succeed in finding humour in the film.