Starring Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone. In Hindi with English subtitles. Rated PG.
Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar, who is currently shooting a comedy called Thank You in Vancouver, plays another lovable loser in the meandering and mildly amusing comedy called Housefull, the first big Bollywood release of the year.
The ensemble farce, set largely in London, England, has Kumar playing Arush, literally a big-time loser. His luck is so bad that the only job he can hold on to is that of a “cooler” in a casino, or someone who is sent by the manager to break a table’s winning streak.
Watch the trailer for Housefull
You would think that such a quality would be enough to hang a comedy on with hilarious results but filmmaker Sajid Khan uses it as just another throwaway device to get his pedestrian plot moving along.
The only way Arush believes he can change his bad luck is to find his true love and marry her, which is a Catch-22 since his bad luck has the honeys running away. After his latest break-up, Arush heads home to London to seek solace in the company of his best friend Bob (Riteish Deshmukh), a casino-dealer.
After some initial hiccups that involve an out-of-control vacuum cleaner and a talkative parrot, Arush settles in. He gets an arranged marriage to Bob’s casino boss’s daughter (Jiah Khan) only to have his newlywed wife run off on their honeymoon in Italy. And so it goes until he meets Sandy (Deepika Padukone) and silly games of deception begin.
Housefull’s characters and sight gags are largely borrowed from both Bollywood and Hollywood films. There's nothing fresh or original here in spite of workman-like performances by the entire cast, including some good chemistry and funny bits between Kumar and Deshmukh as best friends. With the exception of some well-orchestrated physical comedy in the vein of Charlie Chaplin, Housefull is excruciatingly painful to sit through.