Cast: Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor, Kiara Advani, Diljit Dosanjh, Adil Hussain, Tisca ChopraDirector Raj Mehta
Let’s give you the good news first– Good Newwz, a light-hearted urbane comedy that involves Varun Batra (Akshay Kumar) his wife Dipti (Kareena Kapoor Khan) plus Honey (Diljit Dosanjh) and Monika Batra (Kiara Advani), comes like a breath of fresh air after a spate of actioners and small-town India stories.
Varun and Dipti, a well-off, modern couple is trying for a child and is advised by the doctor (Adil Hussain) to opt for the IVF process. As is prone to happen in comedies, there is obviously a mix-up in the process bringing into the picture the other Batras-Honey and Monika. The two couples are as different as chalk is from cheese and it is evident that the twain shall never meet. Batras from Punjab are loud and unsophisticated and the last people that their namesakes want to associate with.
But the unusual circumstance of Dipti being impregnated by Honey’s sperm and Monika with Varun’s, brings them together, creating the perfect breeding ground for hilarity. Kareena Kapoor Khan and Akshay Kumar stand out in this one, striking the right notes. The junior couple is not bad either with both Kiara and Diljit playing their over-the-top parts with aplomb.
Writers Raj Mehta, Jyoti Kapoor and Rishabh Sharma gives us a sparkling light-hearted comedy in the first half of the film establishing a couple that is conflicted about parenthood.
Varun as the typical rom-com hero who is fun, attractive and specious besides the fact that he does not share his wife Dipti’s enthusiasm for starting a family makes him a welcome change from the perfect gentleman we are accustomed to. Dipti, as a modern, working woman who is not striving for the impossible perfect balance between professional and personal is well etched out too. That she knows her mind and is her own person despite being happily married makes her a pleasant departure from the cookie-cutter modern women roles we see in our films. It helps that dialogues are smart and keep away from preachy and oversentimental tripe, adequately enhancing the comedy quotient.
It is the second half of the film where the film falters. The writers do not satisfactorily resolve the situations they have built up so deftly in the early part of the film. IVF specialists –played by the delightful Adil Hussain and Tisca Chopra-who bungled up, is one such track.
Varun and Dipti’s reluctance to accept the other Batras as their accidental surrogates could have yielded more comic situations than are there in the film. To cite an example, of some genius writing in the family comedy space is Jane The Virgin, a hugely popular TV series based on the premise of a young girl mistakenly inseminated by her gynecologist when she goes in a for a routine checkup.
The newbie director, Raj Mehta, however, does well in keeping the film short and succinct, switching scenes before things get monotony sets in. He gets the flavor right and can safely be put on the list of directors to watch out for.
An urbane comedy with the fresh subject of a pregnancy switcheroo, Good Newwz may well be the family entertainer that city slickers opt for this weekend.
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