It wasn’t laborious to watch Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor Khan’s comedy ‘Good Newwz’ born out of a freak fertility treatment mishap.
Two fetching married couples with the same family name, The Batras, find themselves sharing bodily fluids involuntarily when a technician at their common fertility clinic injects the wrong sperm into the eggs provided by the women, played by Kapoor Khan and Kiara Advani.
It’s a bizarre mix-up that appears fun only in films and director Raj Mehta extracts every bit of juice from this novel, insane idea.
Kumar is in his element here as Varun Batra, the hapless husband who can’t wrap his head around the fact that his accomplished wife is carrying someone else’s child in her womb. He’s spectacular in this role and seems to be genuinely having fun.
“Imagine having a child with that guy’s low IQ,” moans Varun, voicing his deepest darkest fears.
His humour is contagious as you find yourself invariably laughing with him and not at him. Matching him robustly in his comic stride is the consummate actress Kapoor Khan as an entertainment journalist who is perennially fretting about not falling pregnant. She is superbly well-cast and combines wit and waspishness with aplomb. Her sarcasm directed at her man-child husband, Varun, is comic gold.
Kapoor Khan is the portrait of a modern working woman who is perennially worried about her eggs drying up and her waning fertility. Her fears and frailty are endearing and instantly relatable. Their combined disdain for the flashy Punjabi couple with a heart shinier than their maroon velvet sweatpants — Punjabi singer and actor Diljit Dosanj and his adoring wife Monica played by Advani — feels raw and real.
From the outset, it’s clear that they aren’t the brightest bulbs in the box, but their country-bumpkin act is endlessly charming. The two couples have good chemistry between them and the jokes land in rapid succession.
While the first half is endearing, the second half, where the couples work at their frosty, reluctant relationships, isn’t wholly believable. Their change of heart seems contrived and not organic. Their altering dynamics from loathing to liking calls for a suspension of belief. It’s their sparring that has maximum impact.
The pace slows down in the second half as the comedy veers towards melodrama. Everything is neatly tied up towards the end and the intricacies of having someone else’s child — due to a freak accident — aren’t fully explored. The emotional strain is barely grazed upon.
But you shouldn’t abort the idea of watching the film based on those tiny bumps. There’s a lot of fun to be had in the splendidly-acted ‘Good Newwz’ featuring a clutch of accomplished actors who breathe life into this breezy entertainer.
The movie delivers the cinematic goods and ends 2019 with a big bang.
Director: Raj Mehta
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Diljit Dosanjh and Kiara Advani
Stars: 3 out of 5