Featuring a quartet of pretty people whose fate gets entangled in the ovaries of two childless women, the film revels to be swimming in mediocrity. It strives hard to be funny but is never more than mildly amusing. Good Newwz banks on the belief that its audience will take all its drawbacks in their stride and warm up to the tedium that it shovels out of its womb for whatever it is worth. It is all arguably done in good humour, but there are elements in the film that is in variance with the modern worldview, that its principal characters are meant to convey. Besides perpetuating the myth of motherhood being the be all and end all of a woman’s life, Good Newwz peddles egregiously regressive notions about gender roles in marriage, divisions of class and education, and the nature versus nurture conflict.
Deepti (Kareena Kapoor Khan) and Varun Batra (Akshay Kumar) are a posh, high-flying married couple, living in Mumbai and are much involved with their respective careers. Deepti also has her heart set on having a baby and after trying for a few years and then, some prodding by the family, both Varun and she decide to consult one of the best fertility specialists in the city. The doctor advises IVF and they are ready for it. Only hitch, few days after the procedure is through, Deepti and Varun are told there has been a sperm mix-up with another couple with the same last name. Enter ‘the Batras from Chandigarh’ into their lives. Honey (Diljit Dosanjh) and Monika (Kiara Advani) are a loud Punjabi couple and now it’s a complete clash of sensibilities between the two sets of Batras. As both Deepti and Monika soon find out they are pregnant, the rest of the film forms how the couples come to terms and deal with this unusual situation.
The first half, which revolves around a successful entertainment journo who, seven years into her marriage, is so overwhelmed by the urge to bear a baby that she puts enormous, literally back-breaking pressure on her automobile industry executive-husband to get to work when she is ovulating, indeed wallows in utter banality. Parts of the second half, focussed on the aftermath of the mix-up that occurs in a birthing facility, are infinitely livelier, until the film ambles into tearjerker territory by the time it begins to set itself up for the climax. The erratic and abrupt tonal shifts sow seeds of uncertainty and undermine the comic timbre that the screenplay by Jyoti Kapoor strives for.
When Good Newwz is sharp, it generates a mild degree of hilarity, some of it emanating from the vivacity that Dosanjh brings to the table. When it is not, it is pretty pedestrian, wending its way through laboured moments that border on the silly and confused. But with Kareena plunging headlong into the madness that the plot rustles up and not holding back a whit, one can watch the film without worrying too much about the wobbles that tend to mar the ride.
The highlight of the film is in the writing. Jyoti Kapoor, Raj Mehta and Rishabh Sharma have done a fab job with the screenplay and dialogues. The first half is a rib-tickling one. You will not have a single full moment. The reference to the Delhi Noida Corporation is a hoot. Coming to the performances, Diljit Dosanjh is the shining star of the film. He makes you whistle with the comic lines and is a natural in the emotional scenes. Kareena Kapoor Khan looks fabulous and puts in a solid performance. Kiara Advani is perfect as the innocent Monika who believes that even a sperm mix up is a sign of good things from Mata Rani. Akshay Kumar is superb in the comic sequences. Raj Mehta holds the narrative effortlessly as the film reaches it’s emotional curve. Manish More’s editing is good. The songs are peppy but do not register as the content is far livelier. Adil Hussain again proves why we need to see more of him in mainstream Bollywood.
Overall: If you wanna feel witty, feel free and watch this flick.