Film Review: ‘Good Newzz’

By Neha Bora

Good Newwz is bad newz for Hindi Cinema. The Raj Mehta directed story is set in Bombay and revolves around the story of two couples, both with the last name Batra. The first couple of Varun and Deepti Batra played by Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor Khan seem like they are at war throughout the film.

Their main quarrel is about producing a child, Deepti wants one and Varun couldn’t be more irritated. After an unnecessary ‘Laal Ghargra’, the two decide to go to a fertility specialist. A certain semen collection takes place.

Talks of ovaries and embryos happen and finally the much awaited couple of Honey and Monika Batra arrive is the stereotyped Punjabi style. They are loud and full of bling as is evident from the trailers and work really hard to make the already senseless plot, entirely unbearable.

The friction between Varun and Deepti is sharp to the point where one wants to scream at them to get a divorce. Writers Jyoti Kapoor and Raj Mehta have done a very sloppy job and this lack of effort shows clearly on screen. Rishabh Sharma’s jokes are like nails on a blackboard.

One of the characters cracks a joke and we are forcefully informed if this by simplistic background music. There is a scene where Monika farts as a result of her pregnancy bowels and the fact that she farted is made into a joke. No one is the audience laughs. Then the joke is cracked gain, and still nobody laughs.

Then a few seconds later the joke is brought to attention again with no body except Akshay Kumar laughing. After a point the audience is irritated because bad writing is being covered up with loud acting, ‛unoriginal’ sound track and excited laughter at senseless jokes. 

Monika played by Kiera Advani barely speaks up during the course of the film, and whenever Honey (Diljit Dosanjh) speaks, it is to reassert the cliche of a rich Punjabi boy.

They both are supposed to be stupid and Varun calls them “jaahil” and “joker” on more than a few occasions. The evidence apparently is a difference in class and culture. Varun’s character assumes the role of a typical entitled man, pronouncing judgement on everyone around him, including his wife.

He is angry, upset, inappropriate, decent and desperately trying to be funny. He comes across as a ‛douche’ of a husband who couldn’t be more ‛insensitive’ and even after the film specifically calls his insensitivity to question twice, he isn’t a  redeemed character in the end. Deepti is nagging and stubborn.

The sheer force of her irritation towards the world around her is the only understandable feature of the film. The creative possibilities of an incident like the event of a sperm mix-up are many and most intriguing but the film can’t move beyond the narrow perspective provided to it by its makers. The film talks of “apna khoon toh apna hi hota hai” in a society where several children of their fellow celebrities are a result of adoption and surrogacy.

The film even mentions the right of the mother as being superior to that of the right of the father without even discussing the reason for the Punjabi Batras travelling miles from Punjab to Mumbai to ensure that their genes are safe. They two expecting mothers are greatly attached to the ‘hearts beating inside them’ but their husbands have divided priorities. The reason for these divided priorities is unaddressed. 

The reason for Varun’s insensitivity and detachment towards the child in his wife’s womb is left to the winds. The attraction Varun feels for “Dr Mrs Joshi” is left unaddressedafter the initial intimation. Dr Mr(?) Joshi likes to pray before procedures for no rational reason. 

The actors have done no extraordinary work. Akshay Kumar is not funny, Kareena Kapoor is playing Kareena Kapoor, Kiera Advani is playing ‘there-but-insignificant’ and Diljit Dosanjh is disappointingly playing Bollywood’s stereotyped idea of a rich Punjabi man. Adil Hussain is replaceable and Tisca Chopra seems to have been replaced by another actor.

The songs of the film are like the songs of every Bollywood film today. The background score is disturbing and takes away from the story instead of adding to it. 

I can’t think of any reason to spend your weekend watching this film.

FF Ratings: *

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