Sajid Khan is in love – no, it’s not what you’re thinking. The director of ‘Housefull-2’ is in love with the movies – especially 1970s Bollywood, all disco-balls, leering villains and hard-chested heroes. Khan mixes this with luscious English locales, PYTs in short shorts, cheeky jokes and star power – and lo. You have ‘Housefull-2’ – a castle full of mischief under a midnight-blue sky, lovers, fathers, imposters and ‘Prince Charles’. For those seeking Albert Einstein, step aside. For those who’d like an apple-pie comedy, all slapstick – and some slap and tickle – Housefull-2’s a breeze.
Khan follows Manmohan Desai’s funda – give the audience so much, so fast, they’ll be too dazzled to carp. It works – most of the time. Housefull-2 opens in London with sibling rivalry between, ahem, the Kapoor brothers (Randhir and Rishi), elder Dabboo ‘najayaz’ but given part of his father’s business, younger Chintu bitterly resentful. The resentment seeps across this house – Rishi’s daughter, Heena ( Asin) and Randhir’s girl, Bobbie (Jacqueline) at each other’s throats. Each brother wants to marry his daughter to tycoon JD’s son, ‘Jolly’ – Riteish who loves full-figured model ‘J’Lo’ (Zarine) but is too terrified to tell Daddy – Mithun Chakrabarty, striding across his English castle in a starched dhoti, a tycoon who smiles frostily only at Man Friday, Patil (a frothy Lever).
But the Kapoors engage ‘Aakhri Pasta’ – Housefull-1’s Indo-Italian, Chunky Pandey – still wearing skin-tight neon suits, delivering his ‘I’m-a-joking!’ line with creepy panache. Marriage-fixer Pasta brings an eligible match to Chintu, but playing a vinegary uncle with tang, Kapoor insults the father – with offensive ‘African jokes’ – landing him in hospital. His son (Talpade) swears revenge, begging buddy Jolly to romance Chintu’s daughter, then break it off – but jittery Jolly drags in muscular Max (Abraham) to have him play ‘Jolly’, employing sleazy Sunny (Kumar) for the other brother to get the same.
The rival Jolly-boys enjoy purani dushmani – but that’s forgotten with two hot girls, a crocodile and a desert island that, like a skit in British comedy ‘Little Britain’, has a luxury resort behind the beach. Yet, some starvation for the clueless girls ensures love and soon, there are four pairs – and four Jollys – hotting things up. With each Punjabi Papa – and one Batuk Patel (Irani, all dimples and nasal inflexion, father of Parul, Talpade’s sweetheart – Shahzahn, with more bikinis than lines) – vying for Jolly, the ‘dirty dozen’ reaches JD’s house. But they’re walking on water here. JD’s got a temper, a dark secret – and a gun.
Housefull-2 is a bag of laughs with eye-candy – Akshay in linens, Jacqueline in minis – and some crackling performances. Mithun commands with sheer presence while the climax belongs to rip-roaring Lever. Riteish plays ‘helpless’ with flair while a guest scene by ’70s veteran Ranjeet – “From rapist to therapist” – provides a vibrant stroke of colour on this house-wall. Abraham manages the muscle-man while Malaika Arora Khan sizzles in ‘Anarkali Disco Chali’ – and an oomphy little scenario later. But the film belongs to Akshay Kumar who carries off a sharp suit and ‘jhaari-mein-chalein’ jokes with glossy aplomb. And to Sajid Khan who, despite a smorgasbord of stars, ensures one prevails – the mad storyline. The music (Sajid-Wajid) could have been punchier while some scenes sag. But with cracks like, “Aasman se gire, Khajuraho mein atke,” as Akshay parachutes down on his mum-in-law, you can’t complain – unless you were looking for Einstein, of course.
Everyone’s chasing tycoon JD’s son ‘Jolly’ for their daughters – but when four Jollys appear, there’s a House-full of confusion!