Eros International and Illuminati Films’ Happy Ending (UA) is the story of a struggling writer in Los Angeles, who wears his heart on his sleeve. Yudi (Saif Ali Khan) is a writer who is struggling to make his mark. He falls in love with girls very easily but is petrified of commitments, because of which he has never been able to settle down in life. He had written his first and only novel some years ago but has not written anything other than that. Then, one day, he meets a writer, Aanchal Reddy (Ileana D’cruz), with whom he starts falling in love over a period of time. Aanchal is a successful writer and her latest romantic novel is also a success. He woos her and even has a physical relationship with her. This time, it is the girl who is averse to commitments and she treats her fling with Yudi as just that, to be forgotten with time. In fact, Aanchal soon leaves the country and comes to India.
Yudi is so smitten by her that he can’t forget her. In fact, he misses her so much that he wants to be with her. His ex-girlfriend, Divya (Preity Zinta), who is now married and a mother of three kids, prods him on to meet Aanchal and tell her about his feelings for her.
Does he muster courage to approach Aanchal and tell her that he loves her? If yes, does Aanchal accept him or not? Do they get married?
There is also a sub-plot of film star Armaan (Govinda) assigning the work of scripting of his next film to Yudi and how he (Yudi) has to literally struggle to come up with an acceptable piece of work. In fact, Yudi connects with Aanchal in the hope that she’d help him with the script.
Raj Nidimoru, Krishna DK and Sita Menon have written a story and a screenplay which are very disappointing and very class-appealing. Their drama is like a parody of a romantic comedy film, which concept would be enjoyed only by the elite and not the masses. The constant reference to the kind of scene unfolding on the screen, in the form of super-imposed words on the screen, is again a very elitist thought which would actually irritate the general masses. But these points aside, the comic drama itself entertains only in parts. No doubt, one section of the audience would enjoy the comedy but that section would be very thin. For the average audience, the comedy would evoke laughter only at a few places. The concept of Yudi talking to and taking advice from his alter ego, Yogi (Saif Ali Khan), will not really work for many among the viewers as the track has been stretched too much and, what’s more, it is not even funny. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the entire track of Yogi is silly and irritating.
The drama moves at a leisurely pace, testing the audience’s patience. The comedy is the best in the scenes of Armaan and although there are too many film industry-specific jokes in those scenes, they are enjoyable all the same. Yudi’s friend, Montu (Ranvir Shorey), also has a comic role and his jokes are equally enjoyable.
The film, at the end of the day, is a love story and because the viewer’s heart doesn’t really go out to Yudi and/or Aanchal, its impact does fall short of expectations. What was needed was a very effective love story which, unfortunately, is totally missing. While the first half is fairly good in parts, the post-interval portion drags at several places and is not as good. Climax is below the mark and ought to have been better. Dialogues, penned by Hussain Dalal, are quite funny.
Saif Ali Khan does a fair job as Yudi and is not quite upto the mark as Yogi. Also, the need of the character was a much younger hero. Since age has begun to show on Saif’s face, he doesn’t fit the character too well. Ilea na D’cruz is very earnest in her performance but she doesn’t have too meaty a role. Govinda is excellent as film star Armaan. He makes every scene in which he appears, so entertaining that watching him is a veritable delight. He remains with the viewer long after the film is over. Kalki Koechlin is okay as Yudi’s girlfriend, Vishakha. Ranvir Shorey is wonderfully entertaining in the role of Yudi’s friend, Montu. Rahul Nath makes his presence felt as Gary. Shivani Tanksale is adequate in a brief role as Gauri. Preity Zinta makes a mark in a special appearance as Divya. Jay Shankar Tripathi is rather effective as Armaan’s secretary. Chandra Pemaraju is alright as Armaan’s helper. Kareena Kapoor Khan adds star value in a special appearance. The others lend ordinary sup- port.
Direction by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK is not quite upto the desired standard. While the light scenes have been well-handled by the two directors, they are found lacking in the romantic portion of the drama. Their direction is class-appealing like the script. Sachin-Jigar’s music is good. A couple of songs are very nice. ‘G phaad ke’, ‘Paaji tussi such a pussy cat’, ‘Jaise mera tu’ and ‘Mileya mileya’ are already popular. ‘Khamma ghani’ is a lovely melodious song but it loses its impact as it comes in the end rolling credits, that too, without visuals. Lyrics (by Amitabh Bhattacharya, Priya Saraiya and Ashish Pandit) go well with the mood of the film. Remo D’souza’s choreography is eye-pleasing, especially in three songs. Cinematography (by Chase Bowman, Yaron Levy and Mahesh Limaye) is very good. Pauletta Georges and Rupin Suchak’s production design is of a good standard. Editing (by Arindam S. Ghatak and Akiv Ali) is not crisp enough.
On the whole, Happy Ending is a dull fare, meant mainly for the good multiplexes in the big cities. But its fate in the ordinary multiplexes, in single-screen cinemas and in centres other than the big cities will be far from good. Overall, it will entail heavy losses to all concerned.