Picture Post-Mortem: Happy Bhaag Jayegi

Cheerful, happy-go-lucky Punjabi girls are giving serious competition to Usain Bolt in long distance running. Geet ran away in Jab We Met. And Happy runs away in Happy Bhaag Jayegi, and keeps running around almost throughout the runtime of the film. One eventually gets tired, and pleads, ‘Ab rukk jaa yaar‘ – both to her, and the movie.

This movie shuttles between Amritsar and Lahore, with one of the lead protagonist sneaking illegally into Pakistan and living undercover while they await union with their lived one. So, aisa hai, Happy Bhaag Jayegi is basically Gadar in a candyfloss avatar. And yes, no handpumps were harmed during the making of this film.

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Diana Penty is back on screen after her debut in Cocktail, and this movie is a visual proof why she didn’t land any other role ever since. Once you overcome the forced expressions of this under-performance, you get to see a lot of tropes to fill the storyline. Penty is so ‘cheerful’ that she even terrorizes the terrorists. I feel their pain there! I was equally cringing. Ali Fazal is there as the vulnerable kid he’s often seen as.

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Often se yaad aaya, Jimmy Shergill. His women losing stint continues with this one. He should visit Munnabhai once again for a jaadu ki jhappi or something. But the man impresses with his acting chops of a frustrated man whose to-be wife runs away. An experienced expression. Jimmy should be really courageous to take up similar roles where the actress is running away from him (Jimmy Sher-dil?). But seriously, he should start sprinting away from such repetitive roles.

One repetition which doesn’t disappoint is Piyush Misra. The man who sang ‘Husna’ in one of the best episodes of India’s Coke Studio, plays an Indiaphobic police officer in Pakistan. Misra’s stammered dialogues have become a close identifier of his persona. He definitely lifts up this movie. And he shares the charm with Abhay Deol. Abhay plays a Pakistani politician in the making, who doesn’t wish to become one. This was a promising character, which suffers from an incomplete sketch.

Happy Bhaag Jayegi, directed by Mudassar Aziz, doesn’t offer anything fresh beyond that. A tried and tested formula of a cheerful woman distributing, what else, but cheer to disappointed souls, giving voice to the muffled, and hope for world peace (well, almost). The movie drags like a burden of guilt, though.

The movie is watchable for brief sparkling moments stuffed in a cliched story. Don’t keep too much expectations though, warna happiness bhaag jayegi.

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