Film: Good Newwz
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Diljit Dosanjh, Kiara Advani, Adil Hussain, Tisca Chopra.
Director: Raj Mehta
Rating: 4 Moons
In 2 hours and 12 minutes, debutant director Raj Mehta’s Good Newwz brings 2019 to a rib-tickling, thought-provoking and happy-sad end. There’s comedy, drama, song and dance, the gaiety of Indian festivals, hilarious situations with boisterous families, and plenty to laugh and cry about at the end.
The story tackles a very relatable 21st-century lifestyle problem. What do couples unable to naturally conceive a baby do? They seek help from a five-starish In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) clinic and then suffer the consequences of trusting the holistic doctor and his lovely assistant (Adil Hussain and Tisca Chopra) to deliver the customary ‘Good Newwz’ to them at the end of their treatment.
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Only thing, the sperm and eggs of these couples get interchanged because their surnames are Batra. So you have a stressed-out Varun Batra (Akshay Kumar) and his gorgeous but highly strung wife Deepti Batra (Kareena Kapoor Khan) in this terrible but funny good-up with a colourful and crazy Honey Batra (Diljit Dosanjh) and his cute but dim wife Monika Batra (Kiara Advani) at the centre of things. Both couples, and each of the four respective partners, handle the IVF experts’ goof-up in delightfully different ways. Their agony is riotous rather than being agonizing. And their coming to terms with the wives conceiving babies of mixed parentage is as uproarious as it is sensitive.
Situations such as this are known to have happened, the IVF doctors say, but only in the rarest of rare cases. In the west, it would have been a major legal row, they would have been sued and stripped of their license perhaps. Here in India, how to deal with the social shame and family stigma comes first. And what to do with the artificially inseminated baby planted in the woman comes next. One couple wants to drop the baby. Meaning abort the pregnancy. At least the man does. The other couple wants to not only see their pregnancy through the full term, but also stake claim to the other baby and make sure it turns out to be an athlete like Milkha Singh! The funny situations pile up hysterically until they sort of bring everybody down to their knees in a tearful climax of acceptance over the birth of new life.
Everybody excels in this film. Akshay is brilliant as the harassed husband who will indulge his excitable wife’s insatiable demands on her fertile days even when if it means joining the mile high club when they are flying to Delhi. His comic timing is better than ever before. And he looks sexy with greying hair. Kareena is the ultimate seductress, a master actress who conveys her emotions with just a look, a twitch of the eyebrow or a pout. Diljit is Punjabi dum and masti uncanned. And Kiara innocently charming. Together they rock the film till its pulsating end.
There are four tracks that effectively break up the film and they are jiggy dance numbers when their lyrics are not being soul-stirring and sad. The fifth song with the credits is the chart-busting Chandigarh Mein in which co-producer Karan Johar makes an appearance as do Badshah and Harrdy Sandhu. The film has all the situational glamour that only a Dharma Production can have because this is lifestyle people aspire for so why not give it to them? The film is educational and entertaining. Good Newwz brings the curtain down on a year that has had more Bad News than anything else. It renews faith in the belief that going to the cinema can be a delightful escape from the nonsense that life often troubles people with.
PeepingMoon gives 'Good Newwz' 4 Moons