What do you really expect when you walk in to a theater to watch a film like Housefull 3? If you have been aware of the previous two films of the franchise, then obviously, you will expect the silly and the dumb to play out in equal proportions, right? If you have not, then it might be nightmarish. But then Housefull is a genre film, created by Sajid Khan, who helmed the reins of previous two films as well. However, in this one, producer Sajid Nadiadwala has handed over the command to Sajid – Farhad, who have written many films for Rohit Shetty and directed the 2014 disaster, Entertainment. No big hopes, there! In my honest opinion, Housefull was a decent watch but Housefull 2 got excruciating. That apart, when the franchise is sort of successful and into its third film, one cannot continue complaining about the genre of it all. Yes, Housefull films rest on wafer-thin plots, lot of exaggerations, silly jokes, under-written female characters, cheap potshots on sensitive issues and a hell lot of caricature. But can they entertain? Because if they can, without crossing the line of humor of course, then the purpose is fulfilled. Intelligence may be insulted but the ticket price cannot be considered to have been completely wasted, no matter what you choose to believe.
Housefull 3 had a feeble pre-release buzz, mostly due to the tiredness attached to the franchise and its redundant nature. The songs worked only so much and most of the urban audience were not interested in watching another hair-brained bad film under the garb of comedy. We are too intellectual, you see. But then an informed trade analyst will tell you that Housefull 3 has opened in screens after a slump of business via mainstream films. Azhar tanked and so did Sarbjit. The path for Housefull 3 was clear. The audience needed a breather from underwhelming films and the makers of Housefull 3 left no stone un-turned to market the film they would want to see. I saw the film in a house full of non-multiplex audience and they laughed and cheered it, even as Sajid – Farhad doled out their sillies of jokes. The good part is, Housefull 3 is not painful, even though it is nothing great.
Ganga (Jacqueline Fernandez), Jamuna (Lisa Haydon) and Saraswati (a contorted Nargis Fakhri) have boyfriends, Sandy (Akshay Kumar), Teddy (Riteish Deshmukh) and Bunty (Abhishek Bachchan) respectively, much against the wish of their father, and London based millionaire Batook Patel (Boman Irani). When Batook threatens them with a family curse, all three boyfriends move in to their house pretending to have a disability to grab a share of the huge empire. Sandy becomes paraplegic, Teddy becomes blind and Bunty mute. As they go about hiding the truth from Batook, proceedings take an unexpected turn with the entry of Urja Nagre (Jackie Shroff), a Mumbai based ex-mafioso who apparently has a long standing relation with Batook. When Urja joins the house, he thinks of Sandy to be blind, Bunty to be paraplegic and Teddy to be mute. The boys take their time to fall for the girls and realize that they should not run after their money. To add some flavor to the confusion, Sandy has a split personality disorder in reality. He becomes a revengeful Sundi when he hears the word ‘Indian.’
Sajid – Farhad seem to have a lot on their plate but their screenplay goes about raking in a bunch of convenient turns to create humor. But their gags are good for most parts of the film, without being too insensitive and too physical. There are no gay jokes. There are no animals which are harmed. Black people are still insulted though. Even the disabilities are treated lightly and the characters show penance for their acts. By changing the shade of one of the lead characters, Sajid – Farhad get away with most of the evil here, including the pretense of disability. One of the best tracks of the film come from Akshay’s split character. Every time Sundi comes on screen and fights with Sandy, it is a lot of fun, specially a fight sequence between them with Akshay enacting it neatly. The jokes involving SMS puns do get tiring, also because they are mouthed by the inane leading ladies. The Music (Sohail Sen, Mika Singh, Sharib-Toshi, Tanishk Bagchi and Milind Gaba) is passable. There is a sad love song called Fake Ishq in the second half which is treated uniquely by the director duo. Vikas Sivaraman‘s Cinematography adds nothing new to what we have already seen. Steven Bernard‘s Editing is slow in the beginning but catches up during the second half, just like the film itself.
Akshay Kumar heads the pack once again in Housefull 3 and manages to be the best of the lot as well, largely due to his characterization by the writers. Akshay is closely followed by Jackie Shroff, who is in his own Bambaiya skin after long and makes an impact. Riteish Deshmukh and Abhishek Bachchan are strictly okay. Boman Irani and Chunky Pandey (as Aakhri Pasta) get extremely annoying in most scenes but they are heavily beaten in their act by Nargis Fakhri, who is the single most terrible aspect of this film. As the film is, the girls, Jacqueline and Lisa, have barely anything to do except look good, dance and say their lines like an NRI speaking in Hindi. But amidst a whole bunch of garbage, Nargis is unapologetically bad. She gives some weird facial expressions while speaking her lines or just being in the frame.
I recently read that calling Housefull 3 better than Housefull 2 is like saying Jaundice is better than Typhoid. But then Housefull 3 is like Gastroenteritis or Flu, which is definitely better than Typhoid aka Housefull 2. The film has taken a kickass start at the Box Office, collecting over 50 Crores during the weekend and I expect the film to catch on and do better with no big releases lined up. Akshay Kumar is on a roll after Airlift and it is about time, that he gets his due stardom for which he works so hard around the year. My best laughs during Housefull 3 were during his split character act, or the insider references Sajid-Farhad have incorporated such as a dig on Airlift, a gag involving Abhishek and Aishwarya in the wax factory and so on. Housefull 3 is not a complete bore at a run time of 134 minutes and one can say that the new director duo has handled the franchise well enough to fit into the pack. Go watch it if you have nothing else to do.
Rating – 2.5/5