Sajid Khan's 'Humshakals' starts by introducing Saif Ali Khan's character Ashok Singhania, the multi-millionaire scion of the Singhania Empire, who, though, loves performing stand-up comedy but is awful at that. At one of Ashok's shows, "My 3-year-old niece cracks better jokes" chides one from the audience at a London club. And that, more or less, sums up the audience reaction after watching this film.
Yes, the Bollywood audience has been more than kind to brainless comedies over the years - the kinds that defy logic and rationality, but make us all laugh our hearts out, nonetheless. Why, even today we enjoy those Govinda movies from the 90s! A brainless comedy has and can work IF there, actually, is 'comedy' in it. But not only does Sajid Khan dish out a movie that is excruciatingly asinine, but it also fails to elicit even a semblance of laughter.
What is it about?
What's the story, you ask? Let's not call it 'story'! We are pretty sure Sajid Khan stopped using one after 'Heyy Baby'. But to give you a gist - Ashok Singhania (Saif Ali Khan) and his friend Kumar (Riteish Deshmukh) find themselves in a mental asylum, courtesy their scheming Mamaji, Kunwar Amar Nath Singh (Ram Kapoor), who wishes to take over the Singhania heritage. But Ashok and Kumar soon stumble upon their look-alike's triggering a series of confusion and pandemonium of idiotic proportions.
As if two sets of these muttonhead look-alike's weren't annoying enough, Sajid Khan feels compelled to introduce a third set of humshakals in the final few minutes of this 160-minutes-long plague.
What works and what not?
Nothing in the movie works. From utterly banal PJ's to cross-dressing complete with waxed legs, from a 'polyjuice' that makes men behave like dogs to numerous insensitive jibes at the homosexuals and the mentally disabled, from downright plagiarism (Remember this scene from 'Superhero Movie' of the spiderman with an uncontrollable bladder?) to girls strutting around in the shortest of dresses and making an appearance mostly for a song, nothing at all manages to count as even remotely entertaining.
Sajid Khan is surely living in a bubble. Many thought that 'Himmatwala' was his worst, his nadir. Sajid does the impossible and proves them wrong with 'Humshakals'. Saif Ali Khan's first attempt at wholesome comedy is forgettable, to say the least. Riteish Deshmukh fairs decently in a genre most familiar to him. Ram Kapoor's swimsuit avatar is sure to haunt you. The trio of Tamanna Bhatia, Esha Gupta and Bipasha Basu only play decorative pieces in this dim-witted disaster. Satish Shah as the Hitler-inspired warden of the mental asylum is bearable.
Ironically, there is a scene in the movie where the evil warden (Satish Shah) tortures his patients by forcing them to watch 'Himmatwala'. We believe, in 'Humshakals', the notorious warden may just have found an upgrade.
'Humshakals' is the ultimate no-go zone. Save your money, save your time but most importantly, save yourself and keep away from this one. If you still feel compelled, catch the repeat of the Humshakals team episode of 'Comedy Nights with Kapil'. Atleast, that won't feel like a punishment!
Have you watched 'Humshakals' yet? If so, then do share your reactions in the comments section below.