Movie Review: Housefull 3 (2016)
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Riteish Deshmukh, Abhishek Bachchan, Jacqueline Fernandez, Lisa Haydon, Nargis Fakhri, Boman Irani, with Jackie Shroff, and Chunky Panday in a special appearance as Aakhri Pasta
Writers: K. Subash (story), Jitendra Parmar (story),Sajid-Farhad (screenplay and dialogues), Rajan Agarwal (additional screenplay)
Rating: 1.4/5 stars
Housefull 1 was a very funny movie, no two ways about it. Unless you’re a really difficult person to please that movie would have made you laugh. It almost made us think that Sajid Khan, with all his shortcomings, could at least give us a decent laugh (then Himmatwala and Humshakals happened), and the film’s box-office performance sparked off a franchise. Housefull 2 wasn’t as funny, but it had its laugh-out-loud moments (courtesy Akshay Kumar and Johnny Lever), and you at least walked away from it amused. Housefull 3 is just one God-awful mess that even Akshay Kumar, Riteish Deshmukh, and Boman Irani, with all their impeccable comic timings, cannot salvage.
Let’s begin with the plot…wait a second – what plot, which plot, there is no plot. Comedy sketches on TV have better plots than this. Random gags (that are funny only according to Director-writer duo Sajid-Farhad and their cowriter K. Subash) and a few repetitive set pieces constitute the entire film’s screenplay, that’s it. Sample this – for some strange reason, most of the movie revolves around a massive garden lawn, the façade of a palatial mansion (not even the mansion itself), and a wax museum that looks straight out of a Dharavi ghetto, which bring you to the question, what was that massive budget of the movie utilized for?
The rest of the story (for lack of a better word) revolves around how Akshay, Riteish, and Abhishek feign being lame, blind, and mute to gain favor with Boman and marry his daughters Jacqueline Fernandez, Lisa Haydon, and Nargis Fakhri. Enter Jackie Shroff, and our three dudes have to interchange their disabilities to impress him because it turns out that he’s actually the girls’ daddy dear. In all fairness, this presented a recipe for genuinely funny comedy, but all that Sajid-Farhad offer up is one harebrained, unfunny gag after another.
As for the gags, they oscillate between three notes – unfunny, cringe-worthy, and pain-inducing. There are films where the jokes fall flat, and then there’s Housefull 3, which makes you want to break into an impromptu standup comedy act just so that your fellow viewers could leave with some small dose of laughter for the money they’ve paid. Thankfully, the makers have steered clear of homophobic jokes or below-the-belt humor this time. Sadly, they also have seemed to stay away from the jokes, too. And the songs, well, suffice it to say that they have a reputation to uphold in keeping with the rest of the film.
When a Director makes you miss Sajid Khan’s skills, or rather the lack of them, behind the camera, you know that something has gone terribly wrong right from the scripting stage to the final finishing touches. And, just so if you get lured into that pointless argument of leaving your brains at home and just enjoying some brainless entertainment, then ask yourself – how can something be entertaining if it’s already being declared as brainless. Jacqueline, Lisa, Nargis, and Abhishek, and Jackie Shroff wander aimlessly through the entire movie while Akshay, Riteish, and Boman do their best to salvage this mess, but when each line in a comedy fails miserably, the plot is in total shambles, and the jokes are something even six-year olds would find juvenile, then what could expect even good actors to do. Even Aakhri Pasta – one of the highlights of the first two films – makes this one look like an unfunny raasta.