"Babloo Happy Hai" - Strong message, gently conveyed (IANS Movie Review, Rating: ****)

Editors' Picks

  • Rooney ends goal drought as United go third

    Rooney ends goal drought as United go third

    Rooney ends goal drought as United go third

    By Tom Hayward LONDON (Reuters) - Wayne Rooney ended his eight-game Premier League scoring drought with a brace as Manchester United climbed back above Arsenal into third with a 2-0 victory against a dogged Sunderland on Saturday. United were booed during stages of another underwhelming first half at Old Trafford but Rooney, restored to his favoured forward position, dispatched a 66th-minute penalty after Radamel Falcao was impeded by John O'Shea. …

  • Manchester United vs Sunderland – Player ratings

    Manchester United vs Sunderland – Player ratings

    Manchester United vs Sunderland – Player ratings

    Player ratings from Manchester United's 2-0 home win over Sunderland in the Premier League …

  • Man United missing '20-goal striker', says Van Gaal

    Man United missing '20-goal striker', says Van Gaal

    Man United missing '20-goal striker', says Van Gaal

    Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says his expensively assembled squad has not challenged for the Premier League title this season because they do not have a prolific striker like their rivals. Despite spending more than 150 million pounds ($231.48 million) in the close season, including a six-million pound season-long loan deal for Colombia striker Radamel Falcao, United have looked uncharacteristically subdued when going forward during the campaign. Van Gaal has come under scrutiny …

  • Manchester United doesn’t have a striker who can score 20 goals a season: Louis van Gaal

    Manchester United doesn’t have a striker who can score 20 goals a season: Louis van Gaal

    Manchester United doesn’t have a striker who can score 20 goals a season: Louis van Gaal

    According to Van Gaal, the lack of goals from strikers has cost Manchester United in the EPL …

  • Time for World Cup compromise not confrontation - Gill

    Time for World Cup compromise not confrontation - Gill

    Time for World Cup compromise not confrontation - Gill

    By Mike Collett BELFAST (Reuters) - Former Manchester United chief executive David Gill has welcomed FIFA president Sepp Blatter's suggestion that the 2022 World Cup final in Qatar cannot be played later than Dec. 18. Gill, who is now on UEFA's executive committee and walked out of a FIFA meeting last year after Blatter called the British media racist, was among delegates attending a meeting of the law-making International Football Association Board (IFAB) on Friday. The English Premier …

  • Rafael’s future at Manchester United under Louis van Gaal looks bleak

    Rafael’s future at Manchester United under Louis van Gaal looks bleak

    Rafael’s future at Manchester United under Louis van Gaal looks bleak

    Rafael da Silva may be playing his trade away from Manchester United soon. …

Film: "Babloo Happy Hai"; Cast: Sahil Anand, Erica Fernandes; Director: Nila Madhab Panda; Rating: ****

First, a question for the director: Why on earth has he given such a moronic robotic title to a film that informs, entertains and engages our attention? In short "Babloo Happy Hai" does everything cinema is meant to. And it does so with a transparency and sincerity that leave us...well, not quite enchanted, but decidedly involved with the lives of characters who seem to drift in and out of a haze of self-indulgence until their lives come to a stuttering halt.

There is a soulful fluidity to the narration even when the characters seem to be moving aimlessly through a series of misadventures designed to make them look prettier from outside than they actually are inside.

The "hero" is one of those spiritually frozen guys who lets himself be trapped in the wrong relationship for money and security.

Jatin (Sahil Anand, the 'duh' student in Karan Johar's "Student Of Year") is about to marry money and is not ready to let go even if it means bearing with the heiress Tammana(Preet Kamal)'s public bullying. His two friends ,the horny virgin Harry(Sumit Suri) and the gay Rohan(Amol Parasher) snigger behind and in front of his back.

But does Jatin care! He is one of slackers who would probably like to die in an Armani suit.

Enter the free-spirited Natasha(the dusky and expressive Erica Fernandes). Jatin and Natasha share a one-night stand at a bachelor's party on the eve of his wedding.

You know exactly where this story is heading. Hint: in the direction opposite to the aimless alliance between Jatin and his overbearing fiancee Tamanna. But suddenly, out of the blue, the narration changes into a somber hue. We are led gently, as it were, by director Nila Madhab Panda into the world of HIV AIDS.

The second movement of the plot brings out a statement on the need for self-control for the "now" generation and the even more urgent need for compassion towards people suffering from the HIV virus. Where the film could have become unbearably preachy and sanctimonious director Panda opts for a light, though never frivolous tone.

The characters are connectible in a very Delhi noveau-riche way. The film is good-looking without sanitizing the underlying message. Panda looks at these soul-less characters with indulgent humour.

Never judgemental, but not quite forgiving either, the mood of narration constantly swerves from tongue-in-cheek to borderline tragic.

This is a film rich in texture and tonality. While it misses out on getting to a place of real greatness, it does display a substantial amount of harnessed energy in putting across the characters who are fatally flawed and fiercely pitiable in their pursuit of good times.

"Babloo Happy Hai" is fresh, breezy, naughty, nifty.It gives out a strong message without being weighed down by the social statement.

The film is neatly edited by Biren Jyoti Mohanty with the characters sometimes cut short in their self-indulgent activities and distracted babble merely because what they are doing ceases to be interesting beyond a point. The film's Manali snowscape and Delhi traffic are captured by cinematographer Subhransu Das with austere gloss.

While the film does want to look pretty it never gets carried away by a cosmetic conceit. The performances have a well-worked out "workshopped" quality. While some of the supporting is interesting, the real find of the film is Erica Fernandes who as the fey and feisty Natasha comes to grips with her character's doddering inner-world. And never mind the cop-out at the end when her audacious one-night-stand is turned on its head.

It isn't easy to put across a message on AIDS without making the film look like government-sponsored propaganda. Easy does it in "Babloo Happy Hai". It wears its social message on the perils of unguarded intimacy lightly. It is thought-provoking but not preachy, emphatic but not screechy. It makes a whole lot of sense in that disarmingly artless style we saw in the director's "I Am Kalam".

Don't know about Babloo. But main khush hua.

Most Popular Stories

  • Age gracefully, don't cover the lines: Kareena Kapoor

    Age gracefully, don't cover the lines: Kareena Kapoor

    IANS
    Age gracefully, don't cover the lines: Kareena Kapoor

    New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) Bollywood's fit and fabulous Kareena Kapoor is on her way to turn 35, and she's clear about not attempting to be 22! She feels the key to ageing gracefully lies in letting the "lines" be, especially when it comes to men. I hate it when I look at somebody and know that they have tried to cover the lines," Kareena told IANS in an interview on a recent visit to the capital. Looking svelte in a golden shimmering gown, exuding a rare glow and charm, Kareena shared her …

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    Associated Press
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • Cricket: Injured Shami out of UAE game

    Cricket: Injured Shami out of UAE game

    AFP
    Cricket: Injured Shami out of UAE game

    Perth, Australia, Feb 27, 2015 (AFP) - India's in-form seamer Mohammad Shami will miss Saturday's World Cup clash against the United Arab Emirates in Perth due to a knee injury, a media release from the team said. …

  • Cricket: Pakistan summon spirit of Imran Khan and 1992

    Cricket: Pakistan summon spirit of Imran Khan and 1992

    AFP
    Cricket: Pakistan summon spirit of Imran Khan and 1992

    Brisbane, Australia, Feb 28, 2015 (AFP) - Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq summoned up the spirit of Imran Khan and his 1992 World Cup warriors on Saturday as the strife-hit Asian giants look to salvage their 2015 campaign. …

  • Prime Minister Modi says willing to make changes in land bill

    Prime Minister Modi says willing to make changes in land bill

    Reuters
    Prime Minister Modi says willing to make changes in land bill

    The government is ready to make changes in an executive decree it had issued to make it easier for businesses to buy farm land for infrastructure and industry, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told lawmakers on Friday. …