Starring Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Diljit Dosanjh, Kiaran Advani
Directed by Raj Mehta
Good Newzz could have been our very own Only You, the British drama directed by Harry Wootliff about a young couple desperately trying to have a baby. Instead this Karan Johar production reeks of shallowness and a screenplay that clearly wants us to believe it has more to say that it actually does.
Good Newzz is basically a one-line joke stretched into two hours of quips and kicks, the latter happening in the wombs of the two female protagonists after they both get pregnant with the wrong man’s sperm. That’s the joke on which hinges the tedious torrent of tongue-wagging, most of it devoted to showcasing Akshay Kumar’s comic timing, which is no doubt admirable. But then there is a time and place for everything including comic timing.
So tell us, what is funny about two couples with the surname trying to have a baby?
There are endless “jokes” on the word ‘sperm’ being mispronounced by the goofy innocent Honey (Diljit Dosanjh) as ‘spam’. Honey and his loud god-fearing wife Monika (Kiara Advani) serve as contrasts to Varun and Deepti Batra, the urbane sophisticated couple who look down pn the loud couple from Chandigarh. Akshay Kumar sneers at his coarse neighbours the way Karan Johar would do if Rakhi Sawant were to move in next door.
I would go as far as to say Akshay Kumar plays Karan Johar, IVF baby and all. Class differences between the two couples is dealt with all the subtlety of a seer sneering at a non-believer.
There is this extended sequence where Honey and Monika come visiting while Varun is high on weed. He giggles each time Monika mispronounces an English word. He is clearly having fun. We are not. The episode is supposed to have us rolling on the (polished) floor with glee. All it does is to show the Akshay character as a terribly behaved arrogant human being who deserves a punch in the face.
I don’t think the film intended that. Throughout Good Newzz is a saga of misfired intentions. By the time the coarse Monika and the la-di-dah Deepti end up sharing gol-guppas on the street, the screenplay (Jyoti Kapoor, Rishab Sharma) has forgotten what it wants to say or where it wants to go.
The first-half has some smile-inducing moments , thanks mainly to Akshay’s smart one-liners. But the second-half is an unmitigated mess, with the two couples going all teary-eyed over newly-born babies.
The film has a polished look about it. But the gleam cannot hide its hollowness. The performances are suitably high-pitched with every actor trying to get into the skittish mood of farcical fertilization. Kareena Kapoor Khan looks stunningly beautiful. But most of her acting is done by her feet. I’ve never seen her showing her feet before, and that too in several ways including a yoga posture after sexual intercourse which Akshay rightly finds annoying.
There is plenty in this film that is plainly annoying. By the time the two couples go home with their babies we just want them to get it over with. Seriously, there must be better ways of conception and pregnancy. How about adoption?