The Housefull franchise is known for its slew of screwball comedy films and the latest installment Housefull 4 is directed by Farhad Samji stars Akshay Kumar, Bobby Deol and Ritesh Deshmukh as male leads while they are paired up with Kriti Sanon, Kriti Kharbanda and Pooja Hegde.
Housefull 4 furthers the silliness and brings a reincarnation angle into the proceedings. The story revolves around Harry (Akshay Kumar), Max (Bobby Deol) and Roy (Ritesh Deshmukh) as they woo sisters Kriti, Pooja and Neha so that they can con their future father-in-law to pay off the sum they owe to Michael, a ruthless gangster.
But fate has its own plans for them, as they are interconnected in their previous births (circa 1419) and they have to realign their present relationships with respect to that of the past (turns out the men are in love with women who were supposed to be the sisters-in-law of their pevious birth) The mind-numbing premise is overpowered with tacky visual effects, off-colour humour and much more.
The first half delves more into the period piece, where Harry’s previous birth, the bald prince Bala Dev Singh, gets banished from his kingdom for plotting to murder his father. Though the makers’ intention of juxtaposing period film and comedy genre is laudable, the execution somehow misses to translate it on screen. The humour is dated and the characters come across as caricatures, whom we never root for.
The individual quirks of these characters are not complemented by a tight screenplay, hence the jokes are less engaging. In the second half, Harry attempts to evoke the past memories within every character. Housefull films work to an extent due to the ‘comedy of errors’ that arise between characters. But this film takes too much time and executes it through a convoluted screenplay.
Housefull 4 does have some cheeky humour, like the hilarious movie references and the stretch where Pappu (played by Rana Daggubati) unknowingly threatens the boys with a qawwali song. In the acting department, Ritesh Deshmukh does his best to salvage the film. But these instances are few and far in between and seldom compensates for the sea of generic situations. Overall, Housefull 4 is a forgettable fare that tries to bite off more than it could chew.