Happy New Year
Happy New Year posterRed Chillies Entertainment

The eagerly-awaited Shahrukh Khan starrer Happy New Year has been released to mixed response from critics and viewers.

SRK's three-hour-long Bollywood extravaganza is being called "predictable", "a forced comedy", "bad copy of Ocean's Eleven" and "perfect family entertainer" among other things.

Here's what critics are saying about SRK's big, new Diwali release:

Plot

Charlie (SRK), with his suave English and blonde streak, has devised a heist. He gathers his team of Charlie's Angels, with Jag (Sonu Sood), the ex-military, muscle man. Tammy (Boman Irani), a safe-cracker who gets occasional epileptic attacks of 30 seconds. Mohini (Deepika Padukone), a bar-dancer and Nandu Bhide, the boisterous drunk who dishes out the best laughs in the film. There's also the nerd hacker, Rohan (Vivan Shah).

The game-plan is to participate in the World Dance Championship, on New Year's eve; but the ultimate goal is to break into the Shalimar vault to rob diamonds, from the closed fist of bad guy Charan Grover (Jackie Shroff).

"The story is simple, perched on a lavish canvas - glitzy, glamorous, gorgeous bodies (read: male torso) and with self-deprecating humour which stands out and entertains in parts (a recap of moments from SRK's own films!)," says Madhureeta Mukherjee in a Times of India review.

Talking about the movie's story and screenplay, film critic Rajeev Masand says: "The screenplay itself is painfully predictable, and the heist plan is explained repeatedly in long-drawn detail, just in case we're dummies. Logic is sacrificed at the altar of convenience in this script, and an overall feeling of been-there-seen-that hangs over the film."

Performances

In terms of performances, here's what Raja Sen of Rediff.com has to say:

"It's all about Indiawaale, and while Sonu Sood stays consistent and Deepika inevitably dazzles, it is Shah Rukh himself who appears the most out of place -- in a movie made to rest on his shoulders. Perhaps they piled too much onto him; perhaps the decades of raising those arms into that iconic pose have taken their toll... Either way, Happy New Year never gets to soar."

Overall Verdict

"What happens when Bollywood tries its hand at heist? Usually, the result is Don 2 or Dhoom 2 or 3 — a wannabe Hollywood-looking film with car chases shot in foreign locations minus the logic and plausibility. Full credit to Farah Khan for not going there and for choosing to embrace the genre with all that's truly Bollywood — song, dance and drama," states a Hindu review.

Imagine you are out with an old friend who isn't all that funny but you laugh anyway because you know he's a good guy and also because you have become used to his sense of humour. Watching Happy New Year feels exactly like that. It requires you to wear your bar mood and after that, it's not such a bad night," says Sudhish Kamath of The Hindu.