Hania Amir, Kubra Khan, Iqra Aziz at Parde Mein Rehne Do premiere

Thank You
Directed by: Anees Bazmee
Producer by: Ronnie Screwvala, Twinkle Khanna
Starring: Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor, Bobby Deol, Celina Jaitly
Music Dir: Pritam Chakraborty

Okay, now here's the first biggie of the season. Major studio, super-successful director, mega budget, ensemble star cast, lotsa glitz-n-glam... Besides, after the stupendous success of films like Welcome and Singh Is Kinng, the Akshay Kumar - Anees Bazmee jodi teams up for the third time, promising to complete a hat-trick of enjoyable laughathons. The expectations, therefore, are humungous.

There's talk that Thank You is an extension of Shaadi No. 1, No Entry and Masti, besides the Hollywood film The Seven Year Itch. The commonality is that all these films talk of philandering husbands and extra-marital affairs. But Thank You is more of a cat-n-mouse game between philandering husbands and a detective, incidentally hired by both the sides - the husbands as well as the wives. Lots of scope for humor and fun moments, right?

Bazmee has successfully followed the magic mantra over the years: Garnish light moments with spice [sex], gloss [panoramic locales], a bit of pulsating action and of course, hip-swinging music. Sprinkle gags and punches. Throw logic out of the window. Pack a number of stars in the enterprise. VoilĂ ! The recipe for a paisa vasool entertainer is ready.

But Thank You is as inconsistent as the roads of Mumbai. Sometimes, the ride is as smooth as silk. But there are times when one encounters potholes aplenty during the course of this journey. In fact, like Game last Friday, the two halves of Thank You are as diverse as chalk and cheese. While the first hour of Thank You is thoroughly enjoyable and you genuinely feel that Bazmee is in his element, the second hour - which should've been superior - is agonizing and intolerable. The writing goes topsy-turvy in this hour, so much so that when you exit the auditorium, it's not with a smile, but a smirk.

Like Bazmee's last endeavor No Problem, Thank You also suffers due to weak writing [screenplay: Bazmee, Rajiv Kaul, Ikram Akhtar, Nisar Akhtar and Rajan Agarwal], especially in its post-interval portions. What compounds the problem is that while the on-screen characters try too hard to make you laugh, you just don't react. The jokes are bland and the situations the three husbands land up in are far from funny. By the time the story reaches its conclusion, the viewer is already exhausted.

Raj, Yogi and Vikram -- best friends, business partners, serial womanizers and happily married! Happy, because their lovely wives have no clue that their husbands cheat on them with every pretty young thing they can lay their eyes on. This picture perfect world is rocked when Raj's wife Sanjana begins to suspect her husband and hires the suave private detective, Kishan, to tail him.

Kishan has built his reputation as a man who saves marriages by getting erring husbands to mend their ways. In this particular case, however, his overwhelming attraction towards Sanjana means he may not be acting in her best interest. What follows is a crazy cat-n-mouse game, with Kishan trying to catch the husbands with their pants down literally and them attempting to just stay outside his grasp.

Brain-dead comedies and mindless masala films appeal to a wide spectrum of the movie-going audience, provided they keep you hooked and most importantly, entertain from Scene A to Z. But Thank You runs out of gas after a great start. In fact, the first hour is super energetic, with several enjoyable moments. What's interesting is that the screenplay packs one implausible situation after another and yet, we can't help but continue smiling at the absurdities. The momentum is just right!

But the film only goes downhill with the onset of the second hour. The goings-on get uninteresting, the jokes fall flat, the songs crop up without valid situations, the musical score is utterly forgettable, the culmination [right from the three husbands getting to know the true identity of Akshay, to the customary patch up in the finale]... the zing is missing. There's a don too [Mukesh Tiwari] and he, like others, has a roving eye. This track was not required in the first place. Oh, there's also a reason behind Akshay running the business of bringing errant husbands on track - he has a past [Vidya Balan]. What was the need for this track anyways?

Bazmee loves to entertain, but this rom-com that lifts the lid on extra-marital affairs and philandering partners is not a patch on the immensely enjoyable No Entry or even Welcome and Singh Is Kinng. It's the screenplay in the second hour that fails him. Pritam's musical score is strictly okay. 'Pyaar Do Pyaar Lo' and 'Razia' are fair compositions, but the songs in the second half are of fast-forward variety. Ravi Yadav's cinematography captures the breath-taking locales of Canada very well. The film wears a glossy and grandiose look all through. Sandeep Shirodkar's background score is appropriate at times, but jarring at places as well.

Akshay Kumar is fantastic in the role of an extra-marital counselor. His comic timing, as always, is hard to match. His performance is sure to be loved by the masses. Irrfan is known for his superb comic timing and he leaves an indelible impression yet again, shining in the best moments of the enterprise. In fact, even when the going gets tough [second half], it is Irrfan who keeps you glued to the screen thanks to the art of delivering funny, corny and cheesy lines with a straight face. Suniel Shetty contributes to some wonderful moments, while Bobby Deol looks out of place.

Sonam Kapoor seems ill at ease. Also, her makeup is just not right. She looks glamorous at times, but there are times when her pale looks are hard to ignore. Celina Jaitley gets limited scope. Why does her character disappear in the second half? Rimi Sen is the best of the lot. Her sequences with Irrfan are truly funny. Mallika Sherawat sizzles in the 'Razia' track. Vidya Balan is wasted in a cameo. Mukesh Tiwari, Rakhi Vijan and Ranjeet get no scope. Smita Jaykar is fair.

On the whole, Thank You has a thoroughly entertaining first hour, besides Akshay-Irrfan's funny acts as its aces, but the weak writing in its post-interval portions throws a spanner in the works. What could've been an honest take on dishonesty fails to leave a mark eventually. After Welcome and Singh Is Kinng, one expected Bazmee and Akshay to get it right for the third time, but Thank You foils the chances of a hat-trick. Thumbs Down!

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