CHENNAI: Movie franchises often run out of steam and “Housefull 4,” directed by Farhad Samji and produced by Fox Star Studios, is yet another senseless 145 minutes of bizarre theatrics with over-performing, over-dressed men and women. Not just that, the film goes back to the once beaten-to-death subject in Indian cinema — reincarnation. Imagine a love story, or several love stories, having taken place in the north Indian kingdom of Sitamgarh in the 15th century and all of them ending in one unimaginable tragedy orchestrated by a revenge-seeking rogue.
“Housefull 4” begins in present-day London. Harry (Akshay Kumar), Roy (Riteish Deshmukh) and Max (Bobby Deol) are getting ready to marry the daughters of a rich businessman. The boys are not in love with the girls, but the dowries they bring in the story that was written by Sajid Nadiadwala and Sara Bodinar. Harry, who has the same dream (or nightmare) every night soon realizes that the woman he is pretending to be in love with, Neha (Kriti Kharbanda), was meant to be his sister-in-law in the life he had centuries ago. The other two men also reincarnated are Roy (Rietesh Deshmukh) and Max (Bobby Deol) and their partners are played by Pooja (Pooja Hegde ) and Kriti (Kriti Sanon). The women look like identical triplets and I do not blame the reincarnated men who seem to have got thoroughly confused.
“Housefull 4” is silly to the core, with bird droppings on Harry (“call it luck,” someone quips) and other juvenile, slapstick jokes. But what is terribly worrisome is the sexist humor. The least that the writers could have done was to clean the script of such tastelessness. To top it all off, the extravagant sets influenced by the likes of “Game of Thrones” (with poor CGI) and the flamboyant costumes pull this Akshay Kumar-starrer into Arthur Conan Doyles’ Grimpen Mire of the famed Baskerville drama. But the point here is, why did Kumar, who has shown his acting caliber in recent times, choose to get into such a mindless venture? It beats me.