Humshakals Movie Review by Taran Adarsh

Humshakals Rating: 1.5

Seriously, it’s damn difficult to poke fun at oneself. More so, if the film-maker has delivered an unmitigated disaster in the past. But Sajid Khan has learnt to laugh at himself.

Sample this: In an important sequence in HUMSHAKALS, Satish Shah — who portrays the part of the warden in a mental asylum — decides to teach Saif, Riteish and Ram Kapoor [who attempt to flee the mental asylum] a lesson they’d never forget. “I am going to inflict the biggest torture on you guys,” he tells the trio, before proceeding to show them — hold your breath — Sajid’s own HIMMATWALA. In the end [while showing the footage during the end credits], Satish Shah takes out the DVD of Sajid’s sister Farah Khan’s TEES MAAR KHAN to inflict torture on the trio.

You can’t help but laugh at this genuinely funny jibe that Sajid cracks on himself and his sister. Unfortunately, the laughs are scattered and few and far between in HUMSHAKALS.

That Sajid Khan has a wacky sense of humour and makes zany, over the top entertainers is known to all and sundry. In his latest outing HUMSHAKALS, Sajid attempts a crazy entertainer yet again, but peppers it with inane, ridiculous episodes that makes you wonder, is this for real? I mean, there’s a drug that would make you behave like a dog for a day… a sneeze that could make someone so infuriated that he bays for your blood; the only way to calm him down is by offering him a lollipop… a spray can transform men into sex-maniacs… a comatose patient can be alright when people start fidgeting with the medical apparatus, thinking it to be some sort of a video game… oh yes, there’s a Prince Charles look-alike too, who breaks into Hindi in a bizarre climax.

Sure, we relish madcap entertainers, but what Sajid serves in HUMSHAKALS transcends all limits!

The story revolves around a greedy uncle [Ram Kapoor] of a tycoon, Ashok [Saif Ali Khan], who hatches a plot to usurp the riches unscrupulously. While the uncle connives with his doctor-friend [Nawwab Shah] to grab the fortune, complications arise when they discover the look-alikes of Ashok and his friend Kumar [Riteish Deshmukh].

Bollywood’s obsession with double roles [many, many films], triple roles [recall Amitabh Bachchan’s triple role in MAHAAN or Rajinikanth’s triple role in JOHN JANI JANARDHAN], even multiple roles [Sanjeev Kumar reprised as many as nine roles in NAYA DIN NAI RAAT] is too well known. But Sajid Khan’s HUMSHAKALS is, perhaps, the first Hindi movie that has each of the three male leads [Saif, Riteish and Ram Kapoor] reprising triple roles.

Like his cinema or not, Sajid’s laughathons have regaled the spectators since his big screen debut [HEYY BABYY; 2007]. Over the years, the HOUSEFULL franchise — HOUSEFULL and HOUSEFULL-2 — have only cemented his status as an entertainer who endeavours to make the audience flex their facial muscles in those 2+ hours. The only sore point in his career has been HIMMATWALA, but one expects him to bounce back with renewed vigour with HUMSHAKALS.

Handling a complicated screenplay is indeed demanding — an arduous task, frankly — but Sajid has, in the past, handled multiple characters in most of his films. Nonetheless, the script of HUMSHAKALS falls into a new terrain completely and the going can be slippery if it lacks the grip. Of course, the intent — providing laughs and offering entertainment — remains the same, but the triple roles have to ensure abundant entertainment for you to relish the ride. While Sajid keeps the storytelling simple and uncomplicated, the fun quotient is missing for most parts, appearing in bits and spurts only.

While HUMSHAKALS begins on a promising note — it’s a premise ripe with comic potential — the graph only spirals southwards barely fifteen minutes into the film. It’s not sacrilege to attempt a no-brainer — the audience loves it — but the smiles/guffaw/laughter should never be in short supply. With a run time of approx. 2.30 hours, HUMSHAKALS drains you at the end of it, despite the actors putting their best foot forward and trying so so so hard to make you giggle even when the gags are weak. The banal jokes and the lame PJs coupled with the muddled screenplay are clearly responsible for the royal mess.

It’s sad to see Sajid going wrong yet again. HEYY BABYY, HOUSEFULL and HOUSEFULL-2 weren’t path-breaking films, but they entertained. Period. HUMSHAKALS doesn’t.

The soundtrack is pleasant, with the composer belting out a couple of hummable tunes. The plush locales of London and the grandiose production design gives the film the required scale.

HUMSHAKALS belongs to Riteish, who proves, yet again, that he has an incredible timing for comedy. Watch him in all three roles and you’d agree, he adds so much to the sequences. Saif steps into a new territory with this one, but there are times when he looks out of place completely. Ram Kapoor too gets to portray parts that demand him to go over the top and the actor does complete justice to them. The leading ladies — Bipasha, Tamannaah and Esha Gupta — are pure eye candies. They don’t get much screen time actually. Satish Shah is hilarious and brings the house down. Nawwab Shah is efficient, as always. Chunkey Pandey is wasted. Ditto for Aakash Khurana and Suresh Menon. Darshan Jariwala is alright.

On the whole, HUMSHAKALS tries too hard to make you laugh, but fails miserably.


  1. Baba 8 years ago

    “In the end [while showing the footage during the end credits], Satish Shah takes out the DVD of Sajid’s sister Farah Khan’s TEES MAAR KHAN to inflict torture on the trio.” humshakals 2 , sajid will use HNY to inflict torture.

  2. aryan 8 years ago

    Humshakals Movie Review by Rajasen

    Two nights ago, I had a dream. I dreamt (I kid you not) that I watched and didn’t actually loathe Sajid Khan’s Humshakals, which led to me waking up disturbed and profoundly confused. Is it possible that the most puerile filmmaker (in an industry not known for very mature films) did something half-decent? Could it be…


    No, it couldn’t. Humshakals, a film I watched the following night, turned out reassuringly enough to be bilge of the lowest order, the kind of thing we expect from Sajid Khan and yet even more harebrained. I sat in the theatre cringing and sighing, actually feeling the stultification: by nightfall I’d lost so many brain-cells I (almost) rooted for England in a football game. Shudder.

    In a particularly painful hat-trick, the last three Fridays have seen me review the silly Holiday, the absurdly amateurish Fugly, and now this pathetic ‘film’. But there is one vital difference between those two turkeys and the one Sajid Khan has just dished out. Those are mediocre films basking in their own incompetence; Humshakals is a work of cruelty.

    I’m not buying it, Sajid Khan. No director, I believe, can be senseless enough to think this is fine or remotely funny. Monkeys could direct a better film, and, going by what I’ve watched over the years, some have. But Humshakals couples its crude farce with a certain aggression, as if daring the audience to stay in their seats while it repeatedly spits at them.

    This is not filmmaking, this is sadism.

    Khan hints at it himself in a scene where an asylum warden tortures inmates by showing them Khan’s own flop, Himmatwala. We all relate, strapped into our seats, luduvico luddites assaulted by that which must not be watched. Every minute — and there are a hundred and fifty seven bleeding minutes — is so brutal it will make you want to give up your deepest secrets in exchange for escape.

    The idea of having three actors in three roles apiece sounds like an ambitious one, but ambition is a concept foreign to Sajidland, where every time there is the slightest scope of a misunderstanding between the doppelgangers, the background score spells it out. Just how dumb do you think our audiences are, Sajid? Or were you trying to make Judwaa appear nuanced? This is a racist, sexist, equal-opportunity offender of a film, which wouldn’t have been awful in itself were it not also patently unfunny. Seriously, if you run into anyone who claims to have enjoyed this film, step away slowly.

    For this is a film where Ritesh Deshmukh humps Suresh Menon’s leg; a film where parathas are made of cocaine; a film where Saif Ali Khan gets rapey with Deshmukh in drag; a film where two black men appear just so Saif can mouth a line about kaali daal; a film where virtually everyone looks identical and has the same name; a film where people who have hair wear wigs anyway; a film where Ram Kapoor romances himself; a film where characters who have the mental age of children nevertheless start talking like Ranjeet when aroused; a film where Saif Ali Khan, Nawab of Pataudi, drools and barks; a film where a mention of North Korean fascist Kim Jong Un is prefixed by the word “chinese chowmein”….

    And so on.

    hums1The biggest casualty from this monstrous effort is, in my eyes, Saif Ali Khan, who may well be disowned by friends and family. Khan gamely tries to embrace Sajid’s hammy script, but the results are grotesque: he overplays it, out on a limb far from the acting tree, and it doesn’t make for a pretty picture. Especially since he spends a significant chunk of the film dressed as a waitress, looking not half as effeminate as he did during his early, dupatta-chasing years — he’s now more like the wicked witch of the west. Ritesh Deshmukh, normally the better part of a Sajid film, spends this one making faces while peeing from the roof. Ram Kapoor, an otherwise fine actor, looks more like Shrek than ever, and is let down by a film that has cast him cause he’s fat. Even the great Satish Shah — who has aged remarkably well, casting directors across the nation — shows up as an ill-conceived neo-Nazi warden who is, unforgivably, slapped around by these morons. Ugh.

    What other Sajid Khan staples? There are three trampily dressed women — of whom Esha Gupta stands out, for it takes a special kind of talent to be that glaringly awful as an actress — and, of course, the inevitable Chunky Pandey with a silly accent.

    It’s all bad. All of it, every last instant, every single word. (The lyricist even rhymes “junoon” with “caller-tune.”) Which makes me wonder exactly what Sajid Khan’s motives are for savaging our audience thus. Is he the real neo-Nazi here? Is he trying to make the country stupid? Is he suicidally trying to see how far people — producers, audiences, actors — let him go before someone assassinates him? Is this all some subversive meta-joke being perpetrated on us for not having applauded his acting in Jhooth Bole Kauwa Kaate? Is he turning his whole life into one gigantic “ham scene of the week”?

    Your guesses are as good as mine. Because a filmmaker he ain’t.

    Rating: No stars

    • Baba 8 years ago

      “Is he the real neo-Nazi here? Is he trying to make the country stupid? Is he suicidally trying to see how far people — producers, audiences, actors — let him go before someone assassinates him? Is this all some subversive meta-joke being perpetrated on us for not having applauded his acting in Jhooth Bole Kauwa Kaate? Is he turning his whole life into one gigantic “ham scene of the week”?

      Your guesses are as good as mine. Because a filmmaker he ain’t.”

      LOL. this is a true heartfelt reaction

  3. Baba 8 years ago

    Humshakals Review by KRK

  4. Author
    sputnik 8 years ago

    Humshakals Movie Review by Rajeev Masand

    Rating: 0.5

    June 20, 2014

    Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Ritesh Deshmukh, Ram Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Tamannah, Esha Gupta, Satish Shah, Chunky Pandey

    Director: Sajid Khan

    Years ago when I was in my twenties, I woke up one night with an unbearable pain that was later diagnosed as a kidney stone. The damn thing had lodged itself somewhere in my intestines, and it was literally the worst pain I’ve felt in my life. Watching Sajid Khan’s Humshakals, I was reminded of my helpless, miserable state from so many years ago.

    This singularly unfunny film plumbs the depths of comedic bankruptcy by a director who quite frankly, hasn’t delivered anything funny in a long time. Unless the sight of two dwarves, their faces buried in Saif Ali Khan and Ritesh Deshmukh’s crotches, dangling off the actors’ pelvises as they try to shake them off, is your idea of a good laugh. Or a lip-smacking, lecherous Ram Kapoor trying to rape Ram Kapoor-in-drag is your definition of entertainment.

    The plot, if you can call it that, is noodle-thin. Saif Ali Khan is Ashok, the heir to a vast business empire. Ritesh Deshmukh is Kumar, his best friend. Get it? Ashok, Kumar! Anyway, Ram Kapoor is Ashok’s uncle, Kunwar Amar Nath Singh or Kans, and he wants to take over the business. So he recruits lookalikes of both men, a pair of crazies from the local asylum, to achieve this. Eventually we get three sets of doppelgangers – three Saif Ali Khans, three Ritesh Deshmukhs, and three Ram Kapoors – and we also get a migraine in the process.

    In keeping with the standards set by Sajid in his previous films, the jokes in Humshakals are uniformly low-IQ. So dwarves and gays continue to be easy targets, and he can’t resist making fun of the mentally challenged, the disabled, or the obese either. Nothing is sacred, no joke too offensive in Sajid’s world. The problem, unfortunately, is that most of the jokes just aren’t funny. The film, in fact, is really a series of gags that misfire. Your heart bleeds for Saif as the Nawab barks, sniffs and growls when a mind-altering drug sends him into full canine mode. The scenes in which the three men go undercover in drag to seduce their lookalikes are so embarrassing, you have to wonder just how well the actors were paid, or perhaps if they were blackmailed into sacrificing their dignity.

    The few moments that do work are the throwaway jokes, and they invariably involve Ritesh or Ram Kapoor’s characters. During a tense brainstorming session, Ram, playing a germ-fearing loony passes around hand-sanitizer casually. And unlike Saif, Ritesh pulls off the dog routine amusingly, including a bit in which he humps the leg of another actor. To be fair, Ritesh is the only actor here who doesn’t entirely disappoint, once again revealing a knack for physical comedy and some sharp timing. Sadly, the opposite is true for Saif, who is completely out of place here, trying very hard to carry a joke, the effort always visible.

    The actresses – Bipasha Basu, Tamannah and Esha Gupta – have precious little to do but look good in short skirts, and shake a leg in the song sequences. Satish Shah shows up as a sadistic asylum warden who counts Saddam Hussain, Idi Amin and Hitler as his inspirations. He gets the film’s best joke, when he ties up our heroes and subjects them to what he describes as the ultimate torture – he’s going to make them watch Sajid Khan’s Himmatwala.

    That bit of self-deprecatory humor aside, this is essentially a tasteless, overblown affair that plods on for 159 brain-numbing minutes. I’m going with half out of five, yes just half out of five, for Sajid Khan’s Humshakals. I’ve never had one, but I imagine a ruptured appendix would hurt less.


  5. Author
    sputnik 8 years ago

    Qissa Missing Dimaag Ka : C.I.D Qtiyapa – Episode 1 of 2

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