Thoughts on the Happy New Year trailer, and anointing the new King of Kitschy Entertainment
You will have to excuse us if our eyes are a bit bleary from watching the same two 3:00 minute videos on loop all weekend. But we promise there’s a reason for that.
At MBRB we have made no secret of our long standing Khan love. We have even lost credibility points in intelligent company by insisting that Main Hoon Na is a near-perfect movie and that the Farah Khan-Shah Rukh Khan collaboration is the gift that keeps on giving.
But the latest trailer for Happy New Year left us cold- and we weren’t sure why.
We love a good heist movie, the overall production quality seems top-notch, the ensemble looks like it has great chemistry (whatever else Shah Rukh Khan’s faults are, he is extremely generous in sharing the screen with his co-stars), plus there’s a nice flash back to our youth with Jaggu Da being all menacing and stuff.
But everything seemed a bit off…
And then we saw this
And now we know why Happy New Year doesn’t work for us.
In the absolutely insane, trippy, borderline vulgar and over-the-top advertisement for Ching’s Hakka Noodles (of all things), Ranveer Singh looks happy to be there.
We worried for a moment if there was a bit of racism at play in his weird affected Chinese shtick, but he is first and foremost Ranveer Singh, and then anything else.
Look at him contort his face in a million ways -with no regard towards showing his best angle or look. He is not afraid to play the fool or to play for the galleries in a blatant demand for love just like an early Shah Rukh Khan.
We are often left bemused by the need for celebrity endorsements, but in this case it looks like Ching’s got its bang for the buck! Even the background dancers look happy to be dancing next to him, and we find ourselves suddenly craving some hakka noodles and gobhi manchurian.
On the other hand, the “King” himself in the HNY trailer looks jaded, box office figures running in his head, every sentence and gesture a tad tired and old. He seems to be spoofing his own image and we aren’t sure if it’s quite as tongue-in-cheek as he wants us to think it is.
The face is a strange amalgam of bad photoshopping and 50-odd years of rough living added up to the living embodiment of a midlife crisis.
And there is an unwillingness to be the butt of the joke, coupled with a perverse insistence on being romantic and action hero to much more “believable” co-stars. (Deepika Padukone is positively radiant in our favourite part of the HNY trailer, and Sonu Sood deserves Salman Khan’s career.)
Unlike others, we do believe that Shah Rukh still has a few good movies in him. He has a sound business mind, and is capable of tight, if not brilliant, performances. But he is no longer an “entertainer”. There’s too much calculation in every move, too much awareness of the repercussions to every line, and too much automation in what was once an effortless charm.
The new uninhibited, all-id, entertainer is Ranveer Singh. He is the last true original.
And that’s why this Fall, we are more excited about Kill Dill (where he is directed by the same Shaad Ali who made this video) than about Happy New Year.