Good Newwz Movie Review: Kareena Kapoor is good, the comedy is not

In Good Newwz, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Akshay Kumar play Dipti and Varun Batra respectively; a married couple who’ve been unsuccessfully trying to conceive a child. They approach a clinic which assures a 95% success for its IVF (In-Vitro fertilization) treatment and get into a troublesome situation with another couple Honey and Monika, played by Diljit Dosnajh and Kiara Advani, who have the same surname, after their sperms get exchanged. 

Good Newwz traces the trajectory of Dipti and Varun’s relationship and their wish to have a child, while pitting them against a younger couple, who have their own problems. The movie also attempts to shed light on the process of IVF and the emotional cost of waiting for a favorable result. 

However the screenplay, written by Jyoti Kapoor and Rishabh Sharma, spends more time on scenes devoted to slapstick comedy, fart jokes, mis-pronouncing sperm with spam, than exploring the interior lives of its characters. Honey and Monika are both broad characters with comic tics. They carry no nuance that could tell us about their own experience of being a young couple who are unable to have children. A later scene reveals their very tragic backstory, but it’s rushed into a single line, which dulls the impact of it. Varun and Dipti are better sketched; he’s well meaning but can be careless and unwitting while she has a short temper.

Kumar is an adept comedian and he aces the scenes which require him to laugh hysterically because he’s stoned, or cry on cue. Kapoor isn’t given much material for comedy, which frees her from the constraints of one dimensional, broad portrayal and dig in the fear and insecurity that might plague a woman who’s found herself in a very strange situation. A monologue in which Dipti explains to Varun about the suffering of pregnant women, is an acting highlight of the film.

The humor gets repetitive soon. Diljit misuses his energy and appears annoying, rather than endearing by the end. Kiara is charming, but Monika is so devoted to being a ditz that she doesn’t get to show off her more sensitive work, even though she has some standout moments toward the end. All other characters register as caricatures and pro actors like Adil Hussain and Tisca Chopra are ill served by the bland material they’re given, even if they play their roles with relish.

Raj Mehta’s direction is very flat. All the scenes are set in places that should look authentic. A maternity clinic, for example, but they’re lit and staged with awkwardness, which makes the production look tacky. Varun and Dipti’s apartment doesn’t resemble any real living home that’s inhabited by people. Everything feels art decorated and precise. 

Good Newwz is watchable, but it could’ve been really special if it actually explored the matter of IVF with nuance, rather than throwing badly written gags for quick, and cheap laughs.

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