Director (!) Sajid Khan’s ‘Humshakals’ begins with a note from him- “A wise man once told me.. err.. I forgot what he told me”… indicating his lack of interest in anything serious or intellectual. Nothing wrong in that but then we are informed the movie is dedicated to the ‘masters of mad comedies’– Kishore Kumar, Jim Carrey and Peter Sellers and one cannot help but laugh out loud at that, perhaps the only time you do so during those damned 159 odd minutes. Move over his ‘Heyy Babyy’ and the ‘Housefull’ series or even the disastrous ‘Himmatwala’; Sajid Khan’s new movie is not a test of patience but a punishment wherein he takes the audience for granted and makes them suffer every ridiculous (not in a good way) minute.
Ashok (Saif Ali Khan, terribly miscast in a terrible movie) is a rich businessman’s son who is all set to be the heir to the business empire since his father is in coma but his passion lies in stand-up comedy which he isn’t good at. His best friend is Kumar (Riteish Deshmukh). Ashok’s evil uncle (Ram Kapoor) wants to take up the business and uses a drug on Ashok and Kumar during a board meeting to prove they are mad. The two are sent to a mental asylum and it turns out their look-alikes are there itself and whoa… they are Ashok and Kumar too. By the end of the epic mess, we have all three in three roles. But what could have been a recipe for some crazy fun entertainment turns sour just fifteen minutes into the movie.
Dedicating a movie to masters of mad comedies and having no idea about comedy himself, Sajid Khan is the butt of all jokes here. Though it must be mentioned here that he is sporty enough to laugh at himself; in a scene, Satish Shah who is a sadistic warden at the asylum ties up Saif and Riteish and makes them watch ‘Himmatwala’ which he describes the utmost torture. But jokes like this are very few and you hardly laugh in a film that is meant to make you laugh. The gags fall flat like those PJs Ashok cracks in the stand-up acts while driving away the audience. You relate well because every minute here, you feel you should do the same. Sajid Khan’s (over)confidence while promoting all his movies is good and positive. Equally bad are his movies and with ‘Humshakals’, he takes his standard to a new low. So… while he continues to make fun of dwarves and physically/mentally challenged people, one set of lookalikes dressed as women are nearly raped by another set. If you find something like this funny, there are chances Sajid Khan might want to open a mental asylum for his audience. Four people punch and slap each other in a scene calling it a slapstick comedy- oh boy, this isn’t a loud, mad and slapstick comedy but an indicator just how close are you from being insane. Music by Himesh Reshammiya is poor. One of the songs (‘Caller Tune’) is pathetically choreographed. Farah Khan could at least help his brother in this if not giving him an advice to stop making movies.
Saif Ali Khan looks completely out of place here. This isn’t his kind of comedy either and you wonder what made him take up a role
like this. It is embarrassing to see the Nawab try to imitate a dog and he fails at that. Equally humiliating is it to see him try too hard to look pretty and funny when he is dressed as a girl. It’s like one of those horrible performances in terrible movies he did long back. This, I write even though I’m a fan but seriously… he should never work with Sajid Khan again. Riteish Deshmukh gets it all right where Saif doesn’t – he is convincing and funny when he plays a dog and pulls off the girl act well like he did in movies earlier. He is in comfort zone here having worked with Sajid Khan many times not to forget, his impeccable comic timing. Ram Kapoor is good enough. Bipasha, Esha Gupta and Tamannah are there just to look good (a little) and dance when there is a song. Dumb women… I tell you! Satish Shah is quite funny as the warden who literally worships the likes of Hitler and Saddam. The others are okay.
Watch it or not: Only if you want to shirk work by coming up with a genuine reason – migraine!
At the Box-Office: I’m not expecting it to make much money. It will open quite well but the extremely poor reviews and word-of-mouth will go against it. ‘Ek Villain’ releases next week. ‘Humshakals’ will do some business till then and should be wiped out after that. Yes- Sajid Khan should return to (mis)directing Akshay Kumar. ‘Himmatwala’… and now this… equally bad movies like the others but not money-spinners.