Directed by Sajid Khan, "Housefull 2" stars Akshay Kumar, Asin, John Abraham, and Jacqueline Fernandez. — Courtesy Photo

Housefull 2 is “less” of many things: Mindless, aimless, at times artless.

Probably the best scene in Housefull 2, the new comedy continuation starring Akshay Kumar and Hritesh Deskhmukh, is left on the cutting room floor.

The scene, an outtake, happens in the end credits of the movie. It features old-Bollywood villain Ranjeet as Akshay Kumar’s dad “Ranjeet Vasnaa K. Pujari”, a rascally Therapist (the sign above his head wordplays his profession as “The-rapist”), whose deportment stinks of B-movie nastiness. His scene, though laugh-out-loud spoofy, recalls the kind we used to fast-forward during the long-gone VCR days.

In director Sajid Khan’s satirical homage to Bollywood, and bad-movies in general, such intelligent subtlety is speckled across the tapestry that is “Housefull 2”.Structured on a feeble, harebrained plot we open with warring “Kapoor” cousins Bobby and Henna (Jacqueline Fernandez and Asin Thottumkal in over-tinted makeup and fake shiny contact lenses), raiding a circus for animal cruelty.

If the viewer hasn’t picked up on subtleties of the Kapoor analogy, then the scene after drafts things in vivid perspective. Chintu and Daboo (real-life pet names for Rishi and Randhir Kapoor) are warring step-brothers who, after a lackluster introductory scene of would-be-wit, resolve to find the richest mates for their daughters.

Their groom-finder is Chunky Pandey aka. Aakhri Pasta – who up until now, is the only one who works his timing.

Pasta bringsJai (Shreyas Talpade)’s parents to Chintu, whose predisposition for spontaneous cruelty gives Jai’s father a heart-attack. Jai, a fashion photographer, bred on old-school family values, vows revenge. Pretty soon, his scheme to humiliate Chintu drags (Ritesh Deshmukh), the meek son of billionaire J.D. (Mithun Chakraborthy), a smooth swindler (John Abraham) and his once-friend, now enemy, (Akshay Kumar) in to the fray.

Although designed as a comedy or errors, “Housefull 2” isn’t as tortuous or loopy as Priyadarshan’s Shakespeare-inspired farces. The plot coils and recoils within the framework of a ’90s David Dhawan movie; and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because here, as opposed to recent films by Anees Bazmee, the unfettered Bollywoodized-haywireness works.

The overbearing influence of this almost-dead cliché is so evident that even the songs (by Sajid-Wajid) feel stuffed. Almost all of them – save “Do U Know” (Shaan, Shreya Ghoshal providing the vocals) and “Anarkali Disco Chali” (vocals by Mamta Sharma, Sukhwinder Singh) – are unbearable.

Rated U/A. Sajid Khan’s flair forslapstick has graduated with honors. The movie is ridiculous, and still family-friendly. It features makeshift-acting bymost of its cast. Given its breakout box-office performance the audience preferred inanity over sanity today.



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