A “Happy Ending” at SAIFF

Tonight, theatregoers nearly packed the house at the North American Red Carpet Premiere of HAPPY ENDING, the Hindi Romedy (Romantic Comedy) directed by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K. The Bollywood tale is about a Writer Yudi (Saif Ali Khan) who after 5 1/2 years  of living the glamorous Los Angeles lifestyle of fame, women and material possessions comes to a harsh and sudden reality check. After successfully publishing a best-selling book 5 1/2 years ago, Yudi has failed to followup on that success with a second book. He is broke and has been dumped by his publishing company for a hot new romance novelist Aanchal (Ileana D’Cruz), who is visiting from Mumbai.  The journey of this film takes us through the various and often complex relationships in his life from his women to his friends and his co-workers. The only writing job Yudi manages to secure is a collaboration with single screen Bollywood superstar Armaan (Govinda) who hires him to write the next hit Bollywood film by copying scenes from American favorites. Armaan’s only objective is to be the leading male in a film that makes him money (and makes himself look good) — story be damned. We explore Yudi’s fear of committment through the revolving door of ladies in his life. In the opening scene, Yudi and his “current” girlfriend are enjoying a night out at the movies where she breaks up with him for his refusal to say “I love you”. Then there is Vishakha (Kalki Koechlin), a former flame who obsessively stalks Yudi throughout the film. Probably the most structured relationship is that with his ex (and “love lost”) Divya (Priety Zinta) who after an argument with her caucasian husband Jason takes their three children and moves in with the bachelor for a little while. Although devoted to her husband, she is still able to be a good friend and source of advice for Yudi. Divya along with Yudi’s best friend Montu (Ranvir Shorey) help him realize his feelings for Aanchal. What starts out as a love/hate courtship between Yudi and Aanchal turns into true romance by films end. Although the film may seem a little bit long clocking in at approximately 135 minutes, it definitely is a romedy that you want to add to your must-see list.

The film premiered as part of the 11th Annual South Asian International Film Festival (#SAIFF) and was warmly introduced by the festival’s newly appointed Executive Director Joya Dass. If the name sounds familiar, it should. Dass is a longtime Television News Anchor and a familiar face especially to New Yorkers. Her South Asian upbringing and deep commitment to the culture make her a sound and fitting choice to fill the role. The Fest is the largest of its kind for showcasing the works of South Asian/Indian filmmakers in the United States. All of Bollywood’s best and brightest (newcomers and veterans) always come out in record numbers to support this festival and so should you (if you haven’t already). HAPPY ENDING is produced by Illuminati Films and distributed by Eros International. The film releases theatrically on November 21st. For more on HAPPY ENDING, visit www.facebook.com/happyending. For more on the South Asian International Film Festival (SAIFF), visit www.SAIFF.org.




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