The last Bollywood release of 2019 is anything but good news. First-time director Raj Mehta’s Good Newwz – yes, that is the spelling that the title adopts, presumably to signify wild and wiggly in one go – is a sterile, still-born comedy that hinges on a fertility clinic mix-up that sends two culturally dissimilar couples into a spiral of despair and confusion. Both states of mind are likely to spill out of the film’s pulpy universe and rub off on all but the most generous of Mumbai movie fans who may be inclined to fall for its gossamer veneer and full-of-beans star cast. But that is of course the least one expects from a movie that has Karan Johar on board as a co-producer.
Featuring a quartet of pretty people whose fate gets entangled in the ovaries of two childless women, the film revels in swimming in mediocrity. It strives hard to be funny but is never more than mildly amusing. Good Newwz banks on the belief that its audience will take all its drawbacks in their stride and warm up to the tedium that it shovels out of its womb for whatever it is worth. It is all arguably done in good humour, but there are elements in the film that is at variance with the modern worldview that its principal characters are meant to convey. Besides perpetuating the myth of motherhood being the be all and end all of a woman’s life, Good Newwz peddles egregiously regressive notions about gender roles in marriage, divisions of class and education, and the nature versus nurture conflict.
The first half, which revolves around a successful entertainment journo who, seven years into her marriage, is so overwhelmed by the urge to bear a baby that she puts enormous, literally back-breaking pressure on her automobile industry executive-husband to get to work when she is ovulating, wallows in utter banality. Parts of the second half, focussed on the aftermath of the mix-up that occurs in a birthing facility, are infinitely livelier, until the film ambles into tearjerker territory by the time it begins to set itself up for the climax. The erratic and abrupt tonal shifts sow seeds of uncertainty and undermine the comic timbre that the screenplay by Jyoti Kapoor strives for.
Diljit Dosanjh and Kiara Advani embody two uncomplicated individuals who are the exact opposites of Deepti and Varun. They don the garb of a loud, naive Punjabi couple, Honey and Monica. For Honey, sperm is spam. For Monica, English honours is English horrors and Gulzar’s Raat Pashmine Ki is Raat Pasine Ki. The world they inhabit is far removed from the one that the other Batra couple occupies.
Akshay, shedding his patriotic change-agent garb for once, makes the most of the bearable lightness of the plot. The roles essayed by Dosanjh and Advani are reduced to Bollywood stereotypes. The man is a small-town version of a yokel, his wife is frivolity personified. The duo is painted into a corner from where they can only react to the mayhem swirling around them rather than drive the narrative. The two actors do the best that they can.
Unfortunately, the complexity and depth inherent in the principal plot point remain beyond the ken of a screenplay that thrives on broad strokes. Good Newwz is a film that can be watched nonetheless as we prepare for the advent of a new year and, hopefully, a better deal from Bollywood’s hitmakers.
‘गुड न्यूज ‘ की कहानी मुंबई के सोफिस्टिकेटेड कपल वरुण बत्रा और दीप्ति बत्रा की है जिनकी शादी को सात साल हो चुके हैं लेकिन वे माता-पिता नहीं बन पाए हैं. दोनों काफी सोच-विचार के बाद आईवीएफ से माता पिता बनने के लिए तैयार होते हैं. फिर एंट्री होती है देसी कपल हनी (दिलजीत दोसांझ) और मोनी (कियारा आडवाणी) की. दोनों कपल्स के स्पर्म इंटरचेंज हो जाते हैं, और फिल्म इसी टॉपिक को लेकर गढ़ी गई है. डायरेक्टर राज मेहता ने फिल्म को बहुत ही क्रिस्प रखा है और खींचा नहीं है. फिल्म के शुरू से लेकर आखिरी तक कॉमेडी का भरपूर टच है. ‘गुड न्यूज’ कहीं भी बैड न्यूज में तब्दील नहीं होती है.
‘गुड न्यूज ‘ में एक्टिंग की बात करें तो अक्षय कुमार ने वरुण का किरदार बढ़िया ढंग से निभाया है और करीना कपूर ने भी शानदार तरीके से उनका साथ दिया है. दोनों बतौर कपल फिल्म में खूब जमे हैं. दिलजीत दोसांझ और कियारा आडवाणी के देसी कैरेक्टर स्क्रीन पर आते ही कई रंग भर देते हैं. उनका बिंदास अंदाज और डायलॉग भी चेहरे पर हंसी ले आता है. इस तरह एक्टिंग के मामले में इन सभी सितारों ने दिल जीता है.