Humshakals follows three sets of best friends, all played by Saif Ali Khan and Riteish Deshmukh.
The first set are Ashok (Saif Ali Khan) and Kumar (Riteish Deshmukh), who are rich businessmen from London. Ashok, whose father is in a coma, runs the family business. However, his uncle (Ram Kapoor) is vying for ownership of the company as well. With the help of his scientist friend, he formulates a plan to make Ashok and Kumar appear mentally ill. The duo are admitted into an asylum, where there are two other notable patients – Ashok (Saif Ali Khan) and Kumar (Riteish Deshmukh). Mistaken identities and bad timing lead to confusion, chaos and of course, comedy. Things are further complicated when more humshakals enter the picture, creating nine times the madness.
Saif and Riteish carry the film on their shoulders. They share a rapport and comic timing that makes even the cheesiest of jokes work. In fact, Riteish might just have delivered his best performances in years.
Though the leading trio are good, the supporting cast adds a special charm to the movie. Satish Shah manages to garner the most laughs, even though he has very few scenes in the film. The women (Bipasha Basu, Tamannaah Bhatia and Esha Gupta) are wonderful, albeit underutilized. In fact, they serve as little more than eye candy, which is a shame.
One of Saif‘s characters is a struggling stand-up comedian. His bad jokes are repeatedly mocked, making them the butt of most of the film’s jokes. This is exactly what makes Humshakals work. It isn’t a highbrow comedy filled with intelligent jokes. It’s simply a movie that takes many tried-and-tested comedic formulas and brings them together in two-and-a-half hours of silliness. The best part of the film is that it acknowledges this fact and plays along with it. Special props to Sajid Khan, who also managed to fit self-depricating jokes in the film!
Even so, a lot of scenes that start off funny fall flat because of the repetition of each gag. It doesn’t help that very few of these jokes are original, leaving viewers disappointed.
To add to that, Humshakals also has a lot of distasteful jokes. The film has way too many homophobic and sexist jokes and makes a mockery out of mental illness, ruining many potentially funny scenes.
All things considered, Humshakals isn’t nine times the fun. However, it’s a silly and entertaining film that is best enjoyed with a large group of friends. You’ll be hard pressed not to elbow each other and snigger every couple of minutes.
Why should you watch this film?
Humshakals is a funny film, made for every Bollywood buff who loves goofy comedies. So if you want to enjoy a couple of good laughs this weekend, grab your friends and watch this film. The silly gags and jokes are bound to keep you entertained, even if you won’t rave about them once the film’s over.