Bollywood’s big Diwali release is an unashamedly overblown, three-hour masala movie which largely succeeds in its unambitious aim of providing mindless entertainment. The good news is that the preposterous plot is sidelined by the sheer star power on display, with a heavyweight A-list cast surrendering themselves with gay abandon to the silly antics.
Think of it as ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ meets ‘Oceans Eleven’: gym-bunny Charlie (Shah Rukh Khan) assembles a motley crew of misfits to rob some diamonds from the Atlantis hotel in Dubai. But to do so, these self-styled ‘Charlie’s Angels’ must enter a world dance competition being held at the resort on New Year’s Eve.
Director Farah Khan ensures that ‘King Khan’ Shah Rukh is forced to strip almost in the first scene, covering him in mud and then dousing him with a hose to reveal his bulging eight-packs. Leading lady Deepika Padukone soon joins in, showing off her flat midriff with glee.
Stuffed with references to past potboilers and the director’s own previous hits, this enjoyable nonsense will please its intended audience. Interestingly if perhaps worryingly, the film also reflects the current Indian aspirational dream: forget East or West, life in the UAE is the best.