Good Newwz: A smooth delivery

My first reaction when I saw the Good Newwz trailer was—How come Ayushmann Khurrana is not starring in this? After all, he has carved his niche in similar settings right from his debut film Vicky Donor. Despite the basic story being revealed in the trailer (this is a modern promo trend—either all or nothing) itself, there is no denying that the film has been much awaited.

Good Newwz kicks off in Mumbai and we are introduced to the urban couple Varun (Akshay Kumar) and Deepti (Kareena Kapoor Khan), aka the Batras. While the former works in a senior post at an automobile showroom, his better half is a renowned film journalist. Married for seven years, the couple has a near-perfect life, except for one major problem—having an off spring. This is a matter of concern especially for Deepti, given how the traditional Indian society reacts to women in her situation.

A suggestion from their close relative lands them at a reputed fertility clinic owned by Dr Anand Joshi (Adil Hussain) and his wife (Tisca Chopra). After an orientation session, Varun and Deepti agree to the recommended in-vitro fertilization. Unfortunately, an amateurish goof up from the clinic staff results in a swap of sperm boxes with another Batra couple, Honey (Diljit Dosanjh) and Monika (Kiara Advani), who are a typical loud Punjabi pair based in Chandigarh.

Right from their first meeting, Varun and Deepti are unable to bear their namesake couple, largely due to the diversity in their personalities. There is a love-hate relationship that develops instantly between the two couples as they go through a journey that will test their mental and emotional capacity. Right from the basic idea to what we see on screen, everything about Good Newwz is refreshing. Jyoti Sharma’s story is an interesting concept that she scripts meticulously with co-writer Rishabh Sharma and Raj Mehta (who is also the director).

A large chunk of the film’s first half goes about setting the premise and the lead characters. Akshay Kumar aces the one-liners while Kareena Kapoor Khan effortlessly turns the clock back with her physique and swagger. Their chemistry is crackling but also endearing. Diljit Dosanjh is a laugh riot, so much so that you can’t help laughing when you see him on-screen. His energy and comic timing is fab, as his symmetry with Kiara Advani who emotes well.

The casting is bang on, and it’s the diversity in the two couples that makes the film work smoothly. If Akshay’s humour is subtle, he is complemented by Diljit’s over-the-top mannerisms. The leading ladies are also quite diverse, like their respective partners. But the best thing about Good Newwz is how it syncs the inevitable emotional moments into the storyline.

The conflicts are gradually dealt with, and Raj Mehta’s direction is a perfect tango for the nicely blended screenplay. Akshay Kumar, to his credit, underplays his role extremely well, given that his character is nuanced.

Diljit Dosanjh is a massive star in the Punjabi film industry where comedy films rule the roost at the box office and he shows why he is an underused performer when it comes to Bollywood. The ever-improving Kiara Advani is also poignant in her portrayal and the two lead heroines take charge of the emotional scenes with aplomb. The director and his writing team have managed to deal with a sensitive topic in a comic undertone without compromising on the message that they wanted to convey. The run time of 134 minutes is also another plus. In his directorial debut, Raj Mehta manages to deliver an authentic entertainer that is sure to strike a chord with the audiences, especially in this festive season.

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