Director/choreographer Farah Khan (“Om Shanti Om”) serves her revenge Masala style, hot and spicy; “Happy New Year” is a Bollywood romp reminiscent of “Ocean’s Eleven”, “Italian Job” and a plagiarized version of Hollywood’s 1987 “Happy New Year”, starring Peter Falk and Charles Durning; Shah Rukh Khan is at his “abs”olute best as “Charlie”, seeking revenge for the false imprisonment of his father by “Charan” (dashing, devilish Jackie Shroff, needed more screen time); his gang of thieving troubadours consists of a quirky, mama’s boy, safecracker, “Tammy” (Boman Irani), hacker nerd, “Rohan” (Vivaan Shah); an inebriated, regurgitating reprobate “Nandu”(Abhishek Bachchan in dual roles, also the lame son of Charan); hulk-like, “Jag” (Sonu Sood, runner-up in the 8-pack abs contest).
Deepika Padukone as “Mohini” adds love, spunk, fire and grace to the mischievous madcaps ; she is their dancing instructor, training for the World Dance Championship to be held in Dubai where the “heist” will transpire. The dimpled duo’s (Khan/Padukone) galvanizing dance numbers, especially “Indiawaale” dish the full -fledged Bollywood bang and Director Khan “disses” the male-gaze as the camera covets, caresses the perfectly-honed, slippery, sculpted male torso.
“Happy New Year” aims to satisfy, entertain; for three hours viewers are surprisingly captivated by the ingenuity of the heist; breathtaking scope of Dubai’s architectural landscape; scintillating, scrumptious musical sequences; skilled actors having the time of their lives: dancing, crying, flying; exuding electrifying energy, providing a whimsical jaunt down a winding road to a predictable happy ending.
TWO & 1/2 STARS!!