Happy Bhag Jayegi

by P Sinha

 Posted on 20-Aug-2016 02:43 AM

I have a theory - Producers in Hindi film industry are too busy to listen to the full story before approving a project. So the writers work hard on the first 45 minutes or so of the narrative to share with the bosses and worry about the rest of the film once it gets the green light. That could explain why we have so many films where the story starts out great and then peters out in the second half making it look as if the makers are somehow filling the mandatory 140 minutes of running time. It may be hard to believe this theory and it is probably not true, but so is it hard to believe all that goes on in Happy Bhag Jayegi.

Happy (Diana Penty) is a happy-go-lucky Punjabi girl in Amritsar who lives life on her own terms. When her wedding is fixed to a small-time politician Bagga (Jimmy Shergill), she decides to run away with her lover Guddu (Ali Fazal). Her plans go awry when she jumps into the wrong truck and goes to Lahore, landing in the house of an ex-governor (Javed Shaikh) and his son Bilal Ahmed (Abhay Deol), a budding, though reluctant, politician. Why Bilal and the rest of the household want to hide Happy’s presence from his father is never explained.  This is even more puzzling because a large part of the film is focused on Bilal trying to hide Happy from his father.




Anyway, Bilal takes upon himself to sort out Happy’s predicament, aided by policeman Usman Afridi (Piyush Mishra). They get Guddu into Pakistan. Bagga and Happy’s father (Kanwaljeet Singh) follow suit. There are contrived situations and confusion once all the characters land in Lahore, so much so that even the viewer sometimes can’t figure out what is going on in the film. What happens to Happy and Guddu’s love story forms the rest of the film.

Of the cast, three stand out for their performance. Jimmy Shergill, reprising his act of a local tough in Tanu Weds Manu, is excellent. Even though his is a short role, he leaves an indelible mark with his act. Abhay Deol after a two-year hiatus gives a measured and endearing performance. Last but not the least is Piyush Mishra, who gets the best lines and lifts the film with his performance.

Momal Sheikh, as Zoya, Bilal’s fiancée makes an impressive debut. Diana Penty, however, is unconvincing as a typical Punjabi kudi. She lacks the earthiness that her character demands. She is miscast as the titular character. There are some scenes which are genuinely funny. Bagga’s running lament that he has already distributed wedding cards, so Happy has to marry him; Usman Afridi’s chaste Urdu and its misinterpretation by Bagga bring a smile. However, the chuckles are too few and far between. In the later part of the film, the supposedly “funny parts” are actually irritating.

It takes intelligent writing to make a funny film on confusing situations. Unfortunately, writing is not this film’s strong point. Like Happy’s botched escape plan in the beginning of the film, the screenplay botches Happy Bhag Jayegi’s potential.


Rating : 2/5

Starring: Abhay Deol, Diana Penty, Jimmy Shergill, Ali Fazal, Piyush Mishra

Director: Mudassar Aziz

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