In a scene in the film when Kriti Sanon tries to fight an opponent, Akshay Kumar interrupts and tells her, 'Yeh tumhara kaam nahin' and takes the sword from her hand. Another sequence has a female protagonist crying false rape and saying, 'Main abla hoon, tabla nahin'. If that isn't enough, one of the dialogues goes like, 'Iss ne gender ka tender nhi bhara' to explain someone's effeminate behaviour.
Welcome to the world of 'Housefull 4' where cringeworthy dialogues are passed off as humour.
What's Yay: The concept of reincarnation comedy
What's Nay: Some of the borderline offensive and sexist jokes, direction, editing, songs
Popcorn Refill: Whenever the characters break into a song
Iconic moment: None
Harry (Akshay Kumar) works as a barber in a shop named 'Hulk Cut' in London and often experiences flashes from his past life. He and his brothers, Max and Roy (played by Bobby Deol and Riteish Deshmukh respectively) owe a huge amount of money to a gangster after Harry accidentally washes off the gangster's money owing to his bouts of short-term memory loss.
To repay the money, the trio hatch a plan to marry Kriti, Neha and Pooja (Kriti Sanon, Kriti Kharbanda and Pooja Hegde), the three daughters of a billionaire, Thakral (Ranjeet). Things go as planned and everyone heads to Sitamgarh for the wedding.
As soon as they reach the destination, Harry recalls everything from his past life. The film travels back to the year 1419 where Harry was Rajkumar Bala and Kriti was Rajkumari Madhu, his love interest. Max was the royal bodyguard Angrakshak Dharamputra who was in love with Rajkumari Meena (Neha in present life). Nartaki Bangdu Maharaj (Roy) and Rajkumar Mala (Pooja) were a couple.
Owing to an evil conspiracy, the three pair of lovers had failed to complete their love stories and breathed their last. Now in the year 2019, the couples have been reborn. But there's a glitch. The pairings are wrong. Will Harry and his brothers finally get a happy 'ending' for their love story? The rest of the film holds an answer to that.
The 'Housefull' franchise is known for its slapstick laughs. Helmed by Farhad Samji, the fourth film too serves you that. Only if the makers had gone low on the borderline offensive and sexist jokes, this could have been more rib-tickling fun!
The film borrows a few scenes from its previous instalments as well. Strangely, Akshay's Harry reminded me of Johnny Lever's Bhoola act from 'Golmaal'. Also post interval, 'Housefull 4' loses some of its goofiness and the climax looks hurried.
If you find yourself chuckling at some places, the credit goes to Akshay Kumar. The actor adds some dignity to an obnoxious character like Bala. Riteish Deshmukh who has a terrific comic-timing, too evokes a few laughs. Bobby Deol looks a bit lost in the crowd.
Speaking about the girls, Kriti Sanon gets the meatiest role and performs well. Kriti Kharbanda and Pooja Hegde put up a fair show in their lazily written roles.
While Rana Daggubati impresses in his menacing avatar as Gama, things don't work out the same way when he switches to Pappu Rangeela. Johnny Lever and Chunky Panday impress you in bits and pieces; blame it on the inconsistent writing. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is wasted in his cameo.
Sudeep Chaterjee's cinematography works fine with the theme of the film. Rameshwar S. Bhagat's editing looks disjointed at places, making us wonder how much the film was snipped on the editing table.
'Housefull 4' disappoints you big time when it comes to the songs. With absurd lyrics and bland music, they simply add minutes to the run-time of the film.
If low-brow humour is your thing, 'Housefull 4' might appeal to you. The rest can simply pick up the DVD of the first film to revisit a few laughs. I am going with 2.5 stars.