<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Krishna DK and Raj Nidimoru. Starring Saif Ali Khan, Ileana D’Cruz, Ranvir Shorey, Kalki Koechlin, Preity Zinta, Govinda
I went to see Happy Ending because it had Kalki in it. She’s a wonderful actor but alas, has been reduced to a mere caricature in this film and only really gets to show some real emotion at the end.
It’s supposed to be a romantic comedy or ‘romedy’ as Govinda says in the film but it isn’t really. The comedy part is decent enough I guess but the romance half of it is a big ol’ yawn. Zero chemistry between Saif Ali Khan and Ileana D’Cruz has something to do with it.
Yudi (Saif Ali Khan) is a ‘one time fluke hit’ author who stays in Los Angeles and is a serial dater. He runs when the girl tells him she loves him. A man with writer’s block who is also afraid of commitment. Not very original but the script does balance this out with Yudi’s best friend played by Ranvir Shorey. He’s married and is pretty hen pecked and you understand some of the reasons why Yudi isn’t too fond of commitment and marriage. They’re pretty strong reasons.
Kalki plays his clingy (ex) girlfriend who still thinks she’s dating him. She installs a tracker on his phone to trace his movements and likes to believe she knows him better than he knows himself. Something a lot of women are guilty of doing.
Then Yudi meets the writer who is replacing him at his publishing house. Aanchal (Ileana D’Cruz) writes romance novels but secretly doesn’t believe in her work; she’s only doing it to please the masses. But Yudi likes her and his slob of an alter ego, imaginary friend Yogi (also Saif) encourages him to go for it after some preliminary fact checking – ‘Is she married? Is she pregnant?’
I got the feeling through the film that the writers and Saif were trying to make a point. That it’s the women who really want the commitment, not the men. And the women who manipulate men into marriage and relationships and then end up complaining that they’re not happy with their husbands/boyfriends. There’s a little bit of male empowerment happening for sure especially when Ileana’s character says that it’s strange that women want equal rights but then they also ask to have special treatment.
These insights resonated with me for various reasons and maybe I’ll write a book about my opinions on women and their sometimes-deceitful and domineering ways when it comes to men and relationships.
There’s nothing in Happy Ending that’s new or exciting. During the comedy bits you’re awake but when romantic montages pop up your eyelids begin to drop. It would have been so much nicer had Saif and Preity Zinta been the objects of each other’s affections. Sadly, Ileana is a huge yawn. Govinda fans may be happy but I thought the film could have done without his storyline since it never even really reaches any fruition.
Relationships and marriage don’t work anymore. Yes, we get that. Women need to stop manipulating men. I doubt they’ll ever get that and this film certainly won’t change anything.