Nila Madhab Panda who touched base with Indian cinema through endearing children films, I am Kalam (for which Harsh Mayar won the National Film Award for Best Child Artist 2011) and Jalpari, takes it upon himself to strike a chord with the audience with a commercial yet socially-poised film. Embracing a heartfelt and a raging social issue, the film, Babloo Happy Hai comes out as a close to reality yet a very mushy movie.
Opening with a bachelor’s party, the film revolves around the life of a bunch of characters – Jatin, Harry, Rohan, Tammy and Natasha – who with time get involved in very fragile social matters. Belonging to a highbrow society, Tammy aka Tamanna is a spoilt brat. As a girlfriend she is nagging, irate, over-reactive and highly-insecure. She keeps a tab on Jatin, time and again pulling on the leash. Jatin’s friends, however, are a happy-go-lucky lot consisting of a gay friend, Rohan and a desperate-cum-vestal virgin, Harry (towards the end although Harry does meet his Sally but it hardly matters to the story). Jatin on his bachelor’s party drinks a lot and the situation goes out of hand when he finds himself in bed with an unknown chick he just met during the party. Although the one-night-stand affair gets sorted quite quickly and promptly, yet the horrors of it lurk throughout the story and begin to spill the storyline way too hastily. Moving on… to enjoy his last days of bachelorhood, Jatin along with his two friends embarks on a road trip which also involves spending time with his fiancé to help her in a social project. But he unexpectedly meets some people from the past who change his life and outlook forever.
A good storyline with loose ends; the film irks you with some cheesy dialogues and incomprehensible sequences – a constantly blabbering girlfriend and always stuck in some snow-storm gabru pehelwan boys – to name a few. With a nice tempering of Salsa and Belly Dance, the film keeps you from falling off to sleep. Highly predictable, this 1 hour 53 minutes long film starts to look prolonged. The climax may placate the viewers, but then again we knew it was coming! There remains a certain void in several spaces which can be overlooked considering that the cinematography of the film is eye-catching or perhaps it is the picturesque Manali that allures our minds. However, here again a viewer might feel that the filmmakers could have added a tad extra to the whole scenic part! The twists in the tale are good, but there always seems a room to improvise. The songs of the film will not appeal to you or the sequences it is used in.
Acquainting the audience with a topic as vital as this has been a courageous step on the part of the filmmakers; however, there have been films that have ladled on this topic and which have connected a chord with the viewers in a much simpler, toned down and loving fashion! Anyone who has seen (or even not seen) the Marathi film Popat shall realize that this film misses the much-needed emotional connect with the audience. The film puts together a bunch of boys running helter-skelter, a Ileana D’cruz look–alike actress, slapped with an irksome supporting starcast. Pravin Dabas is possibly the only one who looks good enough amongst the gang of boys.
Despite all the flaws, the film gives away an essential social message and in a much mature way handles the issue of LGBT, all the while stressing on the importance of relationships. One point five rating only for the way it handles the social issue without tampering it a bit!