In my past on NG I had written an article describing how the comedy worked in the good olden days of Hollywood.The comedy was less circumstantial but it was more choreographed. The two terms “choreographed” and “circumstantial” are the major recipes in the menu of comedy.Infact,you can call them bifurcations of the approach that film-makers take to depict comedy in motion pictures.Chaplin though had emerged like a figure who could perfectly amalgamate these two attributes of comic cinema.
Where does Housefull 2 stand in this respect? Before I begin describing it,let me put it forth that I did not like HF2 much.It was brilliant in parts but such moments were interspersed amongst highly irrational and stretched scenes. My aim here is to evaluate how movies like HF2 work in creating some humour.When I say movies “like HF2”..I include likes of HF,Welcome,Hey Baby,Partner and exclude real gems like Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron and AAA. I will explain my approach later in the essay.
Sajid may not be Capra or Godard but he certainly knows how to use the screen and screen time to suit a huge star cast and bring out whatever little humour he could manage according to his standards.This must be applauded.Your screen handling of actors describes your vision.Hitchcock had once remarked–” I want my thoughts to flow on screen and I cannot allow too many focuses on screen to destroy my flow”. To be able to manage a huge star cast and allow a decent flow of screenplay and making no mistake in transition from one scene to another is not everyone’s cup of tea.Sajid has done that beautifully making me remember some very old Italian movies where the comedy would be “choreographed” between a large number of people.[Remember the cake throwing scenes in parties in various film–that is a very small example of what I am trying to say here.]
The film might have inconsequential moments,some “my brain is in my arse” moments but one cannot fail accepting that it never leaves you irritated from within.You do not change your position on the hall seat too frequently.Sajid makes it certain that the simplicity of story telling is maintained.Many laugh at the fact that the story telling is a farce in such films and it requires no special effort to make such a film.To those souls,I would request to watch Dhawan classics and think could Anuraag Kashyap have managed it.The point I am trying to make is that every genre and the films within them-good or bad- require some special bent of mind. Not everyone can make everything.Housefull 2 evokes laughs but they are more at the silliness going around rather than the celebration of comic in a film.The sad fact is that HF2 and many other recent films rely on the aspect of “silliness’ to personify “comic’.But more sadly,it works!
Sajid seems to believe in the age old HW adage..”The comedy must require an error of judgement and lot of confusion”. Infact all such movies are derived from Shakespearean classics where Comedy Of Errors and Midsummers Night Dream appear to be major source of inspiration.The idea of “mistaken identity” appears to be a major thematic core around which the silliness is wound.I wouldn’t credit Sajid with the way he has wound the story but would certainly credit him in building the thematic core.He has done that aptly,where every confusion and every aspect of confusion is explained and made well known to the audience before going for the final unpacking. This was a Shakespearean trait and Sajid has imbibed that to a good extent same as Kjo/Johars/Chopras have imbibed the essence of Shakespeare’s Romio and Juliet and RGV has perfectly imbibed the various shades of “Julius Caesar”.Infact “The Tempest” and it’s mysterious ambiance remains the most untouched works of The Bard.
All in All,HF2 should work.Sajid will laugh on his way to the bank.But the question remains why movies like AAA and JBDY remain the epitome of comic we have.The answer lies in approach.JBDY was highly situational,satirical,coherent with the times whereas AAA relied on the simplicity of story and carving of each scene,choreographing it but with a middle class sensibility.That is the reason why you have a 3I working so much–the sensibilities introduced in the story telling are way too rooted.HF2 on the other hand goes past all such rationale and enters the whimsical world where anything is possible.Yes the approach increases possibilities but then you need a different director other than Sajid to be able to utilise and explore a major chunk of possibilities.
Milind/AnupamTags: Exclusive Housefull 2 Sajid Khan Shakespeare