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Upperstall Review


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Heyy Babyy


Hindi, Comedy, 2007, Color

The film looks at Aroush (Akshay Kumar) Ali 'Al' (Fardeen Khan) and Tanmay (Riteish Deshmukh) who share an apartment and the ultimate bachelor fantasy life in Sydney as they sleep around with gorgeous women of all shapes and sizes to their heart's content. Things take a turn when a little baby girl is left at their doorstep. At first the three are totally ill-equipped to handle a child. Tired of feeding the baby and changing nappies constantly, the three decide to abandon the girl leaving her outside a church. However it rains that night and the three rush to where they've left the girl and see her half dead and soaked in the rain. They take her to the hospital, filled with guilt as they realize what they've done. Thankfully, the baby survives, they get humanised in the process and start becoming ideal 'parents', their lives now happily centred around the little baby. Just when all seems well, the baby's mother Esha (Vidya Balan) comes and take her away...

Heyy Babyy is a so-so debut for funny man Sajid Khan actually having its odd moments of cornyness, wit, humour and goofyness but it is also latgely juvenile, stupid, loud and heavy-handed.

Though thought to be as a remake of Three Men and a Baby (1987), that it is not. However sequences and dialogues when the men are totally clueless about how to take care of this menace have certainly been 'inspired' from Three Men and a Baby - for instance when the three are totally exhausted after feeding the baby, Riteish moans the instructions on the baby food box says to feed the baby every two hours, but do you count from when you start, or when you finish? It takes two hours to get her to eat, and by the time she's done it's time to start again, so that she's being fed all the time! Though there is inherent humour in the situation of three bachelors stuck with a baby, the scenes are repitative and stretched far too long - in particular the potty jokes. Not just here, but throughout the film scenes and gags go on far too long unnecessarily be it the kids beating up Riteish or the Akshay - Vidya Balan flashback.

What works well is the easy rapport shared between the three men. They genuinely look like friends who know each other inside out. Actually post Dil Chahta Hai (2001), our filmmakers are managing to get the male-bonding aspect worked out pretty well in our films. The dialogue is easy going like the friendship of the three men with some pretty good smart one liners thrown in. Some moments too work well. Like initially no one admits or even wants to the baby's father. But after the pneumonia sequence, when the Doctor asks who is the baby's father, all three say it is them or the 'go slooow' sequence with Fardeen behind the wheel of the car driving ever so slowly that they are overtaken by people walking!

The film, thankfully, straightaway gets to the point as following the opening titles establishing the three men and their lifestyle, the baby is dropped at their doorstep. But the basic problem with Heyy Babyy is that it too over the top and lacks total subtlety in whatever it does. If it's comedy, it's extremely loud, boisterous and slapstick and often juvenile, if it's emotion, its high degree Karan Johar melodrama. The screenplay is uneven in its switching of moods back and forth. The only time it actually works is when the film shifts from its slapstick comedy to total seriousness the first time as the little baby is brought to the hospital, critically ill with pneumonia. But then the scenario has one cringing when the doctor says the girl may not survive and so Al, who Aroush says wouldn't have done namaaz five times his entire life till then, immediately does so and next morning the doctor says he's never seen such a miracle and that the baby would survive. Good grief! However the entire sequence does work to humanise the three guys so...

The film totally loses steam in the second half as the Akshay - Vidya Balan flashback takes over. Adding to this, the back story of Vidya finding out the baby is hers is the weakest scripting point of the film. In fact, talking about Vidya Balan's track: Our filmmakers also need to be careful with the messages they are sending out. True, one gets away with a lot if handled comically as is here but essentially the way Vidya Balan's character is treated by all the men around her and the way she is cheated and manipulated right through the film by all is just not done. And of course she has to forget everything she has gone through for the customary happy ending.

The performances of all the three men undoubtedly save the film - Riteish Deshmukh is the most natural of the lot, his sense of comic timing easily the best. Akshay is starting to look his age (he looks much too old for the kind of clothes and styling he has been given) and you do you feel the effort in the comedy scenes but his emotional scenes do carry a punch especially in the airport sequence. Fardeen Khan is fine and his Chupke Chupke turn as Parimal Tripati works quite well even if the entire sequence stretches on for too long. Vidya Balan is a disappointment but more for her much hyped 'make-over.' Adequate as an actress, her dresses (what's with all their designs???) and so called glam look just don't suit her at all. Vidya has a naturally beautiful Indian face that is a strong asset and looks best in Indian clothes and minimal make up as even here she looks best when in saris. The dresses and hair styling are a complete no-no. In particular, her introduction is just awful, as she undoubtedly looks her worst in the film. Boman Irani is wasted. He does what he has to efficiently and that's that but he's becoming repititive now and its high time he shows us what he's really capable of. Shah Rukh Khan brings life to the Dil ka Mamala Hai Dilbar matching steps with Akshay effortlessly even if his inclusion in the film is obviously a last minute decision and tackily done on the story level. The baby is cute enough and winsome.

Technically, there is not much to write about the cinematography which is by and large static, frontal and eye level just to record the proceedings rather than creatively use the camera. The overdose of Digital Intermediate (DI) to 'correct' the look of the film, lends it an artificial synthetic look that is jarring at times. As mentioned earlier, several of the scenes and comic gags outlive their usefulness as they are extended and milked to the extreme but one cannot really blame the editor as he has to wait for the logical end of the scene before cutting. It's the in between that's stretched. The music by Shankar - Ehsaan Loy works well for the title track with the various actresses and in particular the Ankhon Pe Mohabbat Likhde and Dil ka Mamala Hai Dilbar songs, the last picturised with much liveliness and energy. The Production Design of the film is suitably lavish and rich.

All in all, the film is average in its best moments and that's about it.

Upperstall review by: Karan Bali aka TheThirdMan

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