‘Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi’ Review: Run From This One

[Photo Source: Eros International]

I spent two hours and sixteen minutes watching “Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi.” Try as I might, I can’t get those 136 minutes back, but I can try to save you a migraine.

Here’s my advice: Bhag jao. Do not engage.

“Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi,” the sequel to the surprisingly decent “Happy Bhag Jayegi,” not only does the first movie a disservice, but also to good actors such as Sonakshi Sinha, Piyush Sharma, and Jimmy Shergill. The highlight from the first movie was Abhay Deol’s grounded performance, and its absence from the second movie was increasingly felt with each passing minute.

[Photo Source: Eros International]
The trailer practically gives away the entire plot of the movie, barring some of the errors in what was surely intended to be a comedy of errors.

And that plot is the very definition of ‘contrived.’ One Happy is confused for another and kidnapped by some evil-doers, and the other Happy’s ‘friends’ are brought to China to help convince this Happy to do the bad guy’s dirty work.

What the trailer also telegraphs, is the sheer volume of bigotry that overflows from “Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi.” There is stereotyping of all flavors: Chinese, Punjabi, LGBTQ, and Pakistani. It’s a continuous assault of racism and homophobia that almost overwhelms the senses. As if that’s not enough, misogyny is the cherry on top of this prejudice cake. (Drinking game for those who hate-watch this movie: Take a shot anytime someone says “bronze.”)

The majority of ‘jokes’ in this film come from mocking one group or another, the highlight being one particular sequence in Shanghai’s red-light district that might be the most cringe-worthy that I’ve seen. They are mostly juvenile, insensitive, lowest-common-denominator jokes…with one exception. There is one, ONE joke in this movie that got a laugh out of me, and it was a Kashmir joke. Imagine that.

My hope that the main cast’s performance would save this dumpster fire were dashed pretty early on. Sonakshi Sinha shines much more in roles that are multi-faceted and complicated, such as “Noor” and “Lootera,” but here she falls short. Her character, the stereotypically bubbly Punjabi girl, is a pale imitation of Geet from “Jab We Met.” All she can do in “Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi” is shout and run, and occasionally look worried.

Additionally, what seemed charming in the first movie seems irritating in the second, the notable exception being Piyush Sharma’s chemistry with Jimmy Shergill. We’re a long way from “Mohabbatein,” kids, so be prepared to roll your eyes every time Shergill’s character, Daman Singh Bagga, refers to himself in the third person as someone’s bhai.

[Read Related: ‘Soorma’ Review: An Awe-Inspiring Real Story Turned Bollywood Melodrama]

My advice? Don’t watch “Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi.” It will not only give you a headache but seeing cheap jokes getting a laugh out of your fellow viewers will also make you sad.

Thanks, but no thanks.

By Shruti Tarigoppula

Shruti Tarigoppula is a graduate of SUNY Stony Brook and New York University who currently works in Digital Marketing. She … Read more ›

‘The Romantics’: Revisiting the Legacy and Grandeur of Yash Chopra With Filmmaker Smriti Mundhra

The Romantics

If you are a South Asian, born in the ’80s or the early ’90s, chances are your ideas of love and romance are heavily influenced by Hindi films — that first gaze, the secret love notes, that accidental meeting somewhere in Europe, over-the-top gestures and dancing around trees. While reality may have been far from what was promised on reel, you still can’t stop pining over a hopeless romantic, with chocolate boy looks, chasing you across the earth and many universes; in the life here and the ones after. Somewhere deep down, you still dream of that possibility despite your husband sitting and sipping his morning coffee right next to you. And much of the credit for weaving this dreamland, that we can’t resist happily sliding into, goes to the legendary Yash Chopra. Award-winning filmmaker Smriti Mundhra’s docu-series, “The Romantics,” that released on Netflix on February 14, chronicles Chopra’s prolific career; offering an illuminating look into the highs and lows of his journey, his unblemished vision for Hindi cinema and sheer love for filmmaking. 

I wanted to look at Indian cinema through the lens of it being a major contributor to the global cinema canon and Yash Chopra seemed like the perfect lens to explore that because of the longevity of his career and the fact that he had worked across so many different genres. His films, for so many of us, defined what Hindi cinema is.

— Smriti Mundhra

As “The Romantics” unveils, in a mere episode — a challenging feat in itself — Chopra did experiment with multiple genres as a budding filmmaker, initially under the shadows of his elder brother B.R. Chopra. From the religiously sensitive “Dharamputra” and the trendsetting “Waqt” to the action-packed and iconic “Deewaar.” It wasn’t until later on in his career that he set a precedent for a Hindi film having a wholly romantic narrative; though “Waqt” did offer the perfect glimpse into what would go on to become Chopra’s cinematic imprint. And then came “Chandni” which ushered in a new era for Hindi cinema; defying the formulaic approach to box office success and making love stories the golden goose.

In the words of more than 30 famous faces, a host of archival videos and interviews, and personal anecdotes, audiences get an extensive insight into the life and career of Yash Chopra and the evolution of his vision through the business acumen and genius of his polar opposite son and a famous recluse, Aditya Chopra. “The Romantics” is not a fancy portrait of a legendary filmmaker but an exploration of what goes into making a successful film family and a path-breaking production house. As viewers, we not only get a peek into the making of a fantasy creator but also learn of the many failures, hurdles and uncertainties that the business of filmmaking comes packaged in, the impact of socio-political shifts on the kind of content being produced and demanded, and just how much control we have as an audience over the fate of the film and the filmmaker.

For both the uninitiated and fanatics, there are some interesting revelations like Shah Rukh Khan’s lifelong desire to become an action hero as opposed to a romantic one and the creative conflict between Aditya Chopra and his father Yash Chopra on the sets of “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge” — a project that, surprisingly, did not seem too promising to the latter. Mundhra penetrates deep into the family’s history and industry relationships evoking some really candid conversations; almost as if these celebs were eagerly waiting for their moment to speak. With one appraising interview after the other, it’s a panegyric that does border on being a tad tedious but there is enough depth and fodder in there to keep one hooked. Kudos to Mundhra for managing to achieve cohesion despite there being more than enough material to chew on. In the process of bringing this project to life, Mundhra also ends up achieving a number of milestones: one that the series features the last of actor Rishi Kapoor’s interviews and two, it brings Aditya Chopra, who, it appears, can talk a blue streak contrary to popular belief, to the front of the camera after almost two decades. The moment when he puts the nepotism debate to rest by referring to his brother’s catastrophic attempt at acting is quite the show-stealer.


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At some point during the four-episode series, you might question if it’s fair to credit the Yash Raj family for being the only real changemakers of the Hindi film industry and for picking up the baton to get Hindi cinema the global recognition that it has. But then there is no denying the Chopra clan’s body of work, their ability to understand what pleases the crowd and their commitment towards growth and progress amidst changing times and technology — Yash Raj Studios is in fact the only privately held and one of the biggest, state-of-the-art film studios in India. Chopra’s career and legacy are in no way under-lit that Mundhra can claim to throw new light on with “The Romantics.” But what she really has on offer here are sheer nostalgia, some fascinating discoveries and an ode to a cinephile and his art with a bit of fan service.

In an interview with Brown Girl Magazine, Mundhra discusses why it was so important for Chopra to be the subject of her docu-series, her own learnings during the series’ research and creative process and her accomplishment of getting Aditya Chopra to talk, and that too, at length.

By Nida Hasan

Editor by profession, writer by passion, and a mother 24/7, Nida is a member of Brown Girl Lifestyle's editing team … Read more ›