The intensity of a strong romance gets diluted among the five stories, none of which manage to deliver a powerful emotional core.

Review Happy New Year is a mix of romances that could be summed up with an Archies cardFacebook/Happy New Year
Flix Film Review Friday, May 05, 2017 - 15:56

It’s a hard task to take a cast full of recognisable and popular actors in the industry and make a boring film. But that’s precisely what Pannaga Bharana has managed with Happy New Year. The best thing that could be said about the film is that there’s nothing particularly exceptionable in the film.

Just look at the cast list of this film – Dhananjaya, Vijay Raghavendra, Diganth, Shruti Hariharan, Sonu Gowda, BC Patil, Margarita, Sai Kumar, Sudharani, and Rajshri Ponnappa. Between them, these actors frame five stories of five relationships.

There’s an RJ caring for his sick partner in the hospital, a policeman struggling between family and work, a middle-aged manager facing a mid-life crisis and drawn to a young saleswoman, a local strongman who falls for a foreign philanthropist and a young couple who fall in love on vacation in Pattaya.

At first glance, there seems so much variety on offer, as love and desire strike across diverse ages, classes and backgrounds. As you watch the various stories unfold though, little of this diversity actually infiltrates the stories.

In the dialogues they spout or the reactions they have to circumstances around them, there’s nothing that sets these many relationships apart. The main problem is that none of the five stories have a strong emotional conflict driving them. Instead, they all play out the most tepid portions of romantic comedies we’ve all seen in the past.

Still, Happy New Year isn’t a total loss. Thanks to the cinematography of Shrisha Kuduvalli, who casts the film in a warm and rich colour palette, and music by Raghu Dixit, the film maintains a pleasant, enjoyable tone throughout. Shruti Hariharan, Dhananjaya, Vijay Raghavendra and Sonu Gowda manage to infuse a bit of soul in their relatively flat characters.

Happy New Year works if you’re an incurable romantic who is happiest when love trumps all. Otherwise, it’s just a bit of fluff that you could miss out on without losing all that much.

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