Coincidental chaos strikes between the Batras in debutant Raj Mehta’s Good Newwz, when a sperm switcheroo because of IVF will decide the fate of two pregnancies and families. This film comes off as grown-up with polished humour and well-handled scenarios about bodily functions and needs.
Deepti Batra (Kareena Kapoor), is a senior journalist with outfits that make her look like nothing less than a star. Varun Batra (Akshay Kumar), is a car salesman at Volkswagen, who can afford a house in a posh residential complex in Mumbai. Yes, it sounds quite unreasonable, but you cannot expect anything less from Dharma production’s larger than life works. Deepti is desperate to have a child, while Varun doesn’t quite share that level of enthusiasm.
Jyoti Kapoor’s screenplay from the very beginning put you in the backseat to enjoy its humour and gags. Getting in the bedroom shouldn’t feel like a “Surgical Strike” complains Varun, who more often than not succumb to the wishes of his wife. In a scene, while trying to understand how can Kareena be so robotic, he is given the answer by a random Uber driver, driving them to the airport to which his punch is, “Aur lo Uber, doctor rakhne hai unhone gaadi chalane”, which will just make you laugh.
Frustrated, they finally seek professional help. Bearers of “Good News”, and best in vitro fertilization specialists in Mumbai, the Joshis (Adil Hussain and Tisca Chopra), who give them their promise, that just like the countless kids that they have created, they will help the Batra’s conceive one as well. With such a promise, one just knows there’s a mishap waiting to happen, enter Mr and Mrs Batras.
Turns out, Varun and Deepti aren’t the only Batras to make a chore out of sexual intercourse. Enter, Honey and Monika Batra (Diljit Dosanjh and Kiara Advani), from Chandigarh, who are loud, not just with their tone, but also with their unnecessary bling. The doctor informs that due to a sperm mix up, Honey’s good have found passage in Deepti’s womb, while Monika is pregnant with Varun’s child.
This premise is refined and modern, and stays true to its roots when the actors speak about bodily functions and needs with care and humble than ridiculing it for the gags. The Batras from Mumbai are subtle, poised and sophisticated, while those from Chandigarh play the stereotypical Punjabi couple who have the maturity of a 12-year-old, weak in their English, mispronounce words, but feel that they have a bigger heart than those living in the city. Should Deepti keep the baby who might resemble to Honey? Should Varun let his seed take root in Monika, who lacks the maturity to even understand what is at stake? This concept is taken very seriously in the film, and manages to do a good job in containing it.
Why not adopt? This particular question, among others, is treated with great care for the volatility with which it is brought into a film that celebrates the need to talk about gene pools. This film is traditional about childbearing and against the idea of abortion, which in this film is treated at par with murder. However, interestingly this film speaks about the right of women to conceive the child irrespective of who the father is.
The film which seems best when it is in humour mode, feels like a stretch with its unavoidable scenes of emotional drama. Writers Jyoti Kapoor, Raj Mehta and Rishabh Sharma add in some great punchlines and rational loopholes within conversations to pack a certain zinger. Akshay and Kareena play their characters phenomenally. Both are seen feeding off each other’s character and create a great on-screen chemistry, with the best lines and reactions to situations going to Akshay. Diljit and Kiara, not quite much. Diljit plays his native self, an out and out Punjabi with all heart and no brains with a certain level of innocence, though however his better half Kiara seems to be the rather weaker half. Adil Hussain also does a good job in delivering straight-face comedic reactions in their bumbling fate.
Raj Mehta’s Good Newwz is a film that with a refined sense of humour for the quintessential family audience, wanting to have a good time, but also deals with its core concepts and principles that it is trying to put out, with great care, making it a rather good news for its producers waiting to know if the movie sinks or sails.