And as we have reached the fourth film in the Housefull series – budgets have increased, humour quality has decreased, story stupidity has increased and yet, the only thing constant are the cringy-yet-enjoyable jokes…and of course, Riteish Deshmukh!
Rating – 1.5 / 5 ⭐½
In a recent press conference, when Mr. Akshay Kumar was asked how he brings on so much zeal and energy in his performance, he answered saying that the size of his fee cheque resonates with the amplitude of his energy. Well, after watching the 4th franchise of this series, I’m convinced that is, in fact, Akshay’s energy that resonates with the entertainment level of the film. Without this lead actor’s impeccable comic timing and contagious enthusiasm, Housefull 4 was essentially a piece of nonsensical drama, especially given its totally irrelevant reincarnation plot premise!
Starting off with the year 2019 in London, three good-for-nothing men, Harry (Akshay Kumar, Roy (Riteish Deshmukh) and Max (Bobby Deol), running a failing barber shop owe a goofy-looking gunda a debt of 5 million pounds, which they plan to acquire by marrying their three hot & loaded girlfriends, Pooja (Pooja Hegde), Neha (Kriti Kharbanda) and Kriti (Kriti Sanon) respectively. But, as fate had it, Harry is soon reminded of his past life as Rajkumar Bala in the kingdom of Sitamgarh and realizes he must ensure all 6 of them remember this past life in order to end up with their destined true love.
As we’ve witnessed with the previous three Housefulls, this one too, offered multiple laughter-riot moments (the kind that really makes your tummy pain and your eyes water). With veteran comedians Chunkey Pandey as Aakhri Pasta and Johnny Lever right by Akshay’s side, the comedy aspect of this film was more or less nailed down. What stood out, though, was some of that oh-so-cringy humour that forces you to laugh anyway – making references to old Hindi songs, Bala’s disgusting black spider and perfectly timed one-liners with Riteish Deshmukh’s “arrey zara kone mein toh chalo…”
“Takhleya” – “Tera baap takhleya!”
This fourth Nadiadwala Grandson franchise could have been a total winner…had its makers decided to strictly stick to comedy (you know, like the first Housefull). But modern cinema, as we know it, is somehow compelled to aim at mass appeal and take things up a notch, eating away from the subtleties and artwork of a film as a whole. Housefull 4 spent a great chunk of its screen-time lost in the whole reincarnation madness – from a flying Kriti Sanon all set to fight with the bad guys to those three unforgettable pigeons, director Farhad Samji left no stone unturned in his attempts to induce mass appeal. Sadly, the Sitamgarh scenes were a bit too dragged and in-your-face, allowing less space to appreciate some of the quirky jokes and above-average acting witnessed along the way.
Speaking of acting, we had our Khiladi Kumar stealing hearts as usual, but the cherry on top was Riteish Deshmukh totally killing it in his feminine form as (that ada though!) With the girls, we had a battle of the Kritis – with Sanon definitely standing out in the lead, her experience across different genres of films was very very evident. Pooja Hegde, on the other hand, still has quite a way to go before she can join the Kriti-wagon! HF4 also did an impeccable job with their playlist – with unbelievably catchy tracks like ‘Chammo’ and ‘Ek Chumma’, a very witty Badla, and of course, BALA! The songs somehow kept the pace going, specially at times when the fake historic nonsense and certain cringy dialogues overshadow the humour. That being said, a hilariously clever choice on naming the villan ‘GaMa’ – this was a total game-changer! #GaMaMarega
To put it together, if you’re bored, stressed, tired, dying of FOMO or simply need a little bit of Akshay in your life, give this whacko movie a watch – you’ll definitely laugh, but you might just cry at how pathetic the Housefull brand name has become. To end with…ayyyy BALA BALA BALA (sorry guys, I’m way too addicted).
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