Housefull 4 movie review: Only Akshay Kumar is given sizeable screen-time in a film that champions crass humour
The three actresses don’t contribute in any substantial way to the plot of Housefull 4
castAkshay Kumar, Pooja Hegde, Kriti Sanon, Riteish Deshmukh, Bobby Deol, Kriti Kharbanda, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Rana Daggubati
Harry (Akshay Kumar), Max (Bobby Deol) and Roy (Riteish Deshmukh) have to pay back a vast sum of money to a gangster in London. So they decide that marrying the three daughters, imaginatively named Kriti (Kriti Sanon), Pooja (Pooja Hegde) and Neha (Kriti Kharbanda), of a wealthy man is the best get-rich-quick scheme. So far, so Housefull. But this time Batuk, or Batook, Patel is absent. In this reincarnation comedy, Ranjeet plays Thakral, the lascivious father of the unwitting brides.
Once the grooms have been approved, the next step is choosing a destination for this triple wedding and on every spin the trusted family globe picks Sitamgarh in India – a place no one has heard of before. From the moment of arrival at Sitamgarh (a town that’s a mash-up of King’s Landing and Umaid Bhawan Palace), Harry (Akshay Kumar) begins to feel a strong resonance with the place. This is confirmed by bellboy Aakhri Pasta’s (Chunky Pandey) over-enthusiastic and familiar reaction on receiving this wedding party.
The colour explosion of red, white, blue and neon in 2019 is replaced by pastels and brocade as we time-travel back to 1419. Kumar is now a bald, brutal and despised prince, a far cry from hairstylist Harry of the present. As Harry begins to recollect every detail of his past life, Deshmukh, Deol, Sanon, Hegde and Kharbanda, Ranjeet also show up, as Bandgu Maharaj, Dharamputra, and the princesses Madhu, Mala, Meena and the King of Sitamgarh respectively.
In the course of a long flashback, we learn of the events in Sitamgarh that caused them to return 600 years later. As the past life connection is revealed, almost overnight six people willingly flip allegiances and reconfigure their coupling. It’s next-level absurdity.
Farhad Samji directs and has also written dialogue for this story by Sajid Nadiadwala. So expect lines like, “Aaj mera fast hai is liye mein thoda slow hoon” (I am fasting today which is why I am a little slow) and, as hotel manager Winston Churchgate (Johny Lever), baits Rana Daggubati’s caveman, he says, “Gama, khul gaya tera pyjama” (Gama, your pjyama is undone).
Sharad Kelkar, Manoj Pahwa and Nawazuddin Siddiqui also pop up and you can be sure the three actresses don’t contribute in any substantial way to the plot of Housefull 4. Of the ensemble, only Akshay Kumar is given sizeable screen-time and, therefore, makes a modicum of impression.
The humour is tired, the gags with Pandey and Lever are hackneyed and the cross-dressing jokes are crass in Housefull 4. If you survive the 140-plus minutes of preceding inanity, the most fun is in the outtakes that play with the end credits.
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