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

Editors' Picks

  • Hazard wins England's PFA player of the year award

    Hazard wins England's PFA player of the year award

    Hazard wins England's PFA player of the year award

    By Ken Ferris LONDON (Reuters) - Chelsea's Belgium forward Eden Hazard won England's PFA player of the year award ahead of Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane and Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea on Sunday. England striker Kane, 21, was voted young player of the year at the Professional Footballers' Association awards dinner with Hazard, 24, second and Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho, 22, third. …

  • We were out-fought by Everton, says Van Gaal

    We were out-fought by Everton, says Van Gaal

    We were out-fought by Everton, says Van Gaal

    Louis van Gaal accused his Manchester United players of being out-fought in a 3-0 defeat at Everton on Sunday that left the Premier League top-four door slightly ajar for Liverpool. Victory at Goodison Park would have all but guaranteed a return to the Champions League for United after this season's absence from Europe but they were picked off by a clinical Everton side despite hogging possession. A breakaway goal after five minutes by James McCarthy put Everton ahead and they doubled their …

  • Everton vs Manchester United – Player Ratings

    Everton vs Manchester United – Player Ratings

    Everton vs Manchester United – Player Ratings

    Analyzing player performance's from Everton's convincing win over Manchester United …

  • Man City's spirit and belief is back, says Pellegrini

    Man City's spirit and belief is back, says Pellegrini

    Man City's spirit and belief is back, says Pellegrini

    Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini hailed his team's spirit and belief after Saturday's 3-2 win over Aston Villa and said those qualities had been lacking in recent Premier League games. The champions let slip a two-goal lead, given them by Sergio Aguero and Aleksandar Kolarov, as Villa pegged the hosts back with second-half strikes from Tom Cleverley and Carlos Sanchez. Fernandinho then stabbed home the winner in the 89th minute to save City's blushes and help them leapfrog Arsenal …

  • Leicester keep up Houdini-style escape, Man City win

    Leicester keep up Houdini-style escape, Man City win

    Leicester keep up Houdini-style escape, Man City win

    By Sam Holden LONDON (Reuters) - Leicester City continued to do their best Houdini impression on Saturday as they escaped the Premier League drop zone for the first time since November while Manchester City went up to second spot with a thrilling win. A battling 1-0 triumph at bottom club Burnley gave Leicester their fourth consecutive league victory and lifted Nigel Pearson's side into 17th position, one point above the bottom three. Burnley's Matt Taylor slammed a 59th-minute penalty …

  • Hernandez’s patience an example for others, says Ancelotti

    Hernandez’s patience an example for others, says Ancelotti

    Hernandez’s patience an example for others, says Ancelotti

    By Tim Hanlon BARCELONA (Reuters) - Javier Hernandez will be an important player for Real Madrid in the remaining games of the season after scoring the goal that secured a Champions League semi-final slot, coach Carlo Ancelotti has said. The Mexican was a forgotten man only a few weeks ago at the Bernabeu but his late Champions League goal against Atletico Madrid in Wednesday's quarter-final second leg triggered calls for his loan deal from Manchester United to be made permanent. It may have …

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.