Happy Ending: despite a literally formulaic plot, it is sort of revolutionary

There is nothing new about Happy Ending. Everyone has already seen Saif Ali Khan playing a shameless sadak ka kutta, fucking a whole bunch of dumb white girls until he finally finds a desi woman who makes him feel grounded but still has enough of those slutty western qualities to peak his initial interest. There is absolutely NO WAY I can believe that Saif was actually surprised his crazy white ex was lying about her pregnancy, because I’ve seen this happen to him five hundred million times before, and Happy Ending didn’t even let me think something different might happen this time around, because they literally said, “okay, audience: here is the part where the guy is fucking a white chick, here’s where he meets the desi girl, here is the part where he stalks her until she gives in, here is the part where he literally kidnaps her, here is the part where they fall in love, here is the plot twist where everything is sad until wait! airport-wala scene! here is the happy ending.”

Somehow, though, this in itself is a twist. Farah Khan makes films that are awesome because she calls herself out on doing the same exact thing everyone else does. Happy Ending is awesome because instead of pretending it isn’t using a formula OR calling itself out, it calls out it’s audience. Happy Ending knows you came to the theater because you want something light-hearted where you already know at the beginning of the film that you’re getting a happy ending. It also knows that afterwards, you’re going to go home and live in this fantasy state where every guy you meet is Shahrukh Khan who will spend his entire life trying to woo you and only you, and every girl you meet is some sort of sexy Katrina Kaif who is the perfect demure wife type in public but lets her sexy side out just for you. Happy Ending straight up says that love isn’t two people who are born for each other, or two people who are complete opposites who perfectly complement each other in every way. Love doesn’t just happen to you and then stay with you forever. And it also says that that’s perfectly okay.

This film shows us how easy it is to make your real life into a Bollywood love story. After all, if you end anything at the right time you’ll get a happy ending. We all try to find our love stories reflected in films, but a film can end whenever it wants, and unless you commit a double-suicide, your life can’t. The two characters who expect their perfect Bollywood love story are the ones who are literally insane. One of them is so obsessed with becoming a hero that he gets plastic surgery, and the other manipulates and lies because she thinks love only happens once and with one person and if to keep that person you have to trick them into marrying you then that is exactly what you should do. Happy Ending has a lot of problems: it drags on a bit, there’s a lot of incongruity, I still don’t really know who or what this Yogi character is, there are completely superfluous and stereotypical gay jokes, and they really didn’t need to perpetuate stereotypes of foreigners by casting Kalki (who despite being/playing a desi does always appear foreign) in the crazy bitch ex-girlfriend role. But despite them literally pulling out a pre-written formula to make this film, there’s no other film like it.

Happy_Ending_2014_Hindi_film_posterHighlights: 

  • Kalki is an amazing actress, I’ve missed Preity, this is an amazing comeback for Govinda, and it turns out that Ileana actually can act!
  • The scene where they are sleeping super awkwardly in the same bed and then Saif goes “wanna make out?” and Ileana pushes him out of the bed and then deals with the idea for like 10 minutes before saying “ok.” That whole first hook-up scene is just the most perfect film depiction of that awkward emotional state of pushing someone away but only because you’re scared shitless of actually falling for them.
  • How they literally say “wait you have to do the airport-wala scene!” and Saif calls all of Bollywood out on totally ignoring how airport security actually works and Ileana calls all of Bollywood out on pretending that stopping someone from using the airplane ticket they bought would actually work.

If you want more…
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