Wednesday, September 10, 2008

more on Heyy Babyy

It could've been worse, but it could've been a lot better. The baby and the camaraderie of the three male leads make it watchable, but I had trouble making its pieces add up into anything coherent and reasonable in either story or message.

Let's investigate. First, the things I liked:

  • As noted, cutest baby evah (Angel, played by little Juanna Sanghvi).

    All movie children now have a new, impossibly high standard of charm to live up to. I thought the clips of her were very well integrated into the movie. They must have had a camera on her for aaaages to capture all those different expressions and gestures while wearing the proper outfit for the scene. I never felt like she was just on a sound stage away from the shoot - she always looked right for what was going on. The Angel's-eye view of the dads leaning over her and goofing around was fun too. I have to give the filmmakers many points for their handling of the baby, both as a character in the story and as a logistical concern. Update to post (September 11, 2008): Thanks to commenter Pessimissimo for reminding me about the "baby abandoned in the rain" scene, which made me totally ill. I think there were other, less horrifying, more realistic ways to show that the guys are stupid. I cried during it too, so not only was my intelligence insulted, I also had to admit that I am a giant softie who is easily emotionally manipulated. Rrrr! [Shakes fist at filmmakers and takes back some of the points previously awarded!]
  • Some energy was given to exploring and supporting the idea that non-traditional family structures 1) can be perfectly good environments to raise children and 2) can be full of fun and love. Fab!
  • It has two very satisfying songs (the title track and "Mast Kalandar," whose flappy stompy dance moves I also quite like).
  • Chupke Chupke reference!
  • If you have these three clowns as dads, at least they'll sing and dance for you!


  • They also seem to spare no embarrassment trying to amuse you. That's pretty endearing, and I chuckled a few times.
  • I don't even like babies (and in college I never had that black-and-white poster of the shirtless man holding an infant), but even to me this scene was a-dor-a-ble.

    DIL SQUISH.
    Similarly, Al (Fardeen Khan) tucks Angel in and says "Good night, not-my-daughter, good night." That's what I'm going to say next time I get to hold a baby for three minutes and then happily return it to its rightful owners.

  • Friendship is valued and delighted in! Right on!
  • No one makes a big deal about people having sex before they're married.
  • Al yells at the sports heroes who make commercials but don't deliver in their primary career.

    Cute, you former Mr. Provogue, you.
  • The rich Indians in Australia have white servants!


  • Contextless cheerleaders! It's been awhile since I saw any of them.
  • How'd they do the lean in the title song?

The things I most definitely did not like:
  • It's a Christmas miracle!

    And we'll name the baby Angel! Gag me.
  • The idea that an unconventional family structure can work is dropped in favor of a baby needing both her parents to be happy and both parents needing to present for a family to be "complete," as I believe Boman Irani's character phrases it. Apparently neither a man nor a woman should raise a child on their own, and god help any child who is raised that way.
  • I might be wrong about this, but I think that the movie implies that Vidya's character (Isha) should want to 1) forgive Akshay's character (Arush) for his utter lies and duplicitousness in Delhi (or wherever they were - I thought I heard "Dilli" but saw the Taj Mahal in the background, but whatever) and 2) want him heavily involved in their daughter's upbringing. I'd say she's quite justified in declining both of those options, at least while she gets to know the actual Arush. If someone creates a whole alternate personality just to get you to sleep with them, you get to be mad at them, and you also get to make a judgment about the workings of their moral compass. I'm not saying Arush should have no rights to the child, but I think we viewers were supposed to want Isha to forgive him really quickly and accept him into her daughter's life right away. Why shouldn't she get to have time to learn about him and his qualities before she's excited about him being back in her life and trying to be a part of Angel's? She also does not deserve his taunting in that song in which he follows her around Sydney making puppy-dog eyes and singing "Your anger is artificial, you're being rude." What do you expect, jerk?
  • Speaking of which, Boman Irani's character, Isha's dad, is such a nitwit. "Hahaha, I'll just pretend your child died and leave it on someone's doorstep! That'll fix everything!" However, it's a great nod to Aa Gale Lag Jaa, in which Om Prakash does something very similar to Sharmila and Shashi.

  • NO. You wouldn't get to say that even if you had been an ideal partner.
  • It is not cool to call your daughter or her mother "bitch."
  • I'm going to skip over the poo jokes and talk about sexual conquests. You heard them. You know.
  • There is no chemistry between Vidya and Akshay, and I'm not convinced their characters loved each other at the end. It was convenient and "right" for them to be together, so they were. The best pair in the movie is Al and Tanmay (Riteish Deshmukh). Vidya's character is neither interesting nor pleasant, and I didn't care about her at all. And, sadly, Boman was unable to save the film (not his fault). Anupam Kher's character did not help matters any, and the DDLJ jokes were too clunky.
Final verdict: a luke-warm mess. As most commenters on my previous post have said, Heyy Babyy has a few enjoyable bits, but overall it's dumb. Much of it was stupid in that "let's not bother with logic or reasonable behavior - or legal codes" way and made me feel sort of juvenile. And more importantly, I was really disappointed that it didn't follow through with full support of some of its more unconventional and very refreshing depictions of family and love.

One more of squooshy-wooshy baby cheeks?

Awwwwww!

11 comments:

houseinrlyeh said...

I hate the kind of "happy end" that's only there to reinforce conventions and betrays the characters. It always makes me think of artificial birds with bugs in their beaks (sorry, obtuse David Lynch reference again).

ajnabi said...

I think the film's makers don't give the audience enough credit. One of the things I liked about Three Men and a Little Lady was that the little girl's bio parents *didn't* end up together.

Aspi said...

What about that contract Boman Irani draws up in the second half of the movie - that was pretty funny. I might have embarrassed my friends because I absolutely laughed loudly for a long time when Boman solemnly announced the terms.

Pessimisissimo said...

Beth, I agree that Heyy Babyy dissipates whatever good will it builds up by a slack, unfunny and disappointingly conventional second half. (And you're right, too, about Vidya and Akshay's lack of chemistry.) Incidentally, I hated the baby-in-the-rain scene, which was seriously distressing.

I will say that in addition to the two songs you mentioned I enjoyed "Meri Duniya Tu Hi Re" (the lullaby/joys of fatherhood song)--maybe I'm just a big softie.

Beth said...

house - You're quite sure you want to watch more Bollywood?

ajnabi - I hear ya. I wasn't a bit surprised, though.

Aspi - He was good at being solemn about it, wasn't he? Ah Boman.

Pessimissimo - That's very well stated.

Ack! The baby in the rain! Oh my god, how could I have forgotten that. I have to amend my post immediately. I actually cried at that, though. Stupid heart strings.

I too liked that song a lot. Color me soft!

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

That kid IS v v cute- omg.

your post reminds me of Ritesh Deshmukh, and how he, along w/ Boman, was definitely decent in the movie. I loved him in Bluffmaster too- but havent seen anything of his in a very long time- must imdb.

houseinrlyeh said...

Heh, I am a little masochistic. Obviously.

Amrita said...

Oh, Beth, we already knew you were a softie when you decided to be so kind to this horror. :) Take the baby away and you're left with three douchebags, one crazy lady, and her crazier father.

They knew what they were doing with that baby when they cast her!

Nicki said...

Hey Beth! Your reviews crap me up every time. Thanks for this. I actually found myself liking Heyy Babby more than I thought I would. I guess going with very low expectations and waiting longer to see it, I actually found myself liking it.

Silent Melody said...

This is perhaps one of the worst movies I have seen..This is one of those rare movies I could not complete..And u are so right about the lack of chemistry between Akshay and Vidya..Surprising because Akshay usually manages a good on-screen chemistry with his heroines..Waiting for "Chandini Chowk to China" to see how his chemistry with Deepika is..

call me tapan said...

well i dont undestand why always three dadies. first in hollywood and after bollywood there is also a funny korean drama called three dadies with one mommy. its based on sperm donation. and it dont got any sex except one too long funny kiss scene. hey wanna watch korean dramas.i am givin some links. ok

www.aznv.tv
www.mysoju.com

for aznv you need an winamo. while mysoju got youtube videos. in aznv there are someny drmas and movies for asia pacific . (well there's no bolly movies)
but you can get tv dramas and movies from korea, japan, china and otehr countries