Just yesterday Good Newwz entertained its way into the coveted Rs 200 crore club at the box office according to trade analysts, that too within 25 days of its release. Since I watched the film long after it got released, I did not attempt to write a review. But now that it’s a super-duper hit I decided to analyse what works for the film.

The movie is about two couples undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Akshay Kumar as Varun and Kareena Kapoor Khan as Deepu aka Deepti being the modern cosmopolitan couple based in Mumbai while Diljit Dosanjh as Honey and Kiara Advani as Monika are the loud Punjabi couple from Chandigarh. These two couples want to have a baby and have not been successful so far, naturally.

And remember the surname ‘Batra’, both of them have the same surname and that leads to a comedy of errors.

The storyline

The film starts with Deepu and Varun Batra trying to get pregnant. Now, any couple who is trying to get pregnant will understand how stressful that is, to make time for the chore—sex for procreation in between their high flying careers. Deepu is on a mission, while Varun is unable to see the logic behind this mechanised routine as he doesn’t have paternal instincts. This while their doctors keep telling them how important it is for them to be stress-free and happy. That’s stressful indeed.

Apna khoon toh aakhir apna khoon hota hai,” dialogue uttered twice was a complete rejection of adoption. Lineage and legacy anyone? In this day and age when women are choosing to be single and even become single mothers through various means, the idea sounds outdated.

Now, the other couple Honey and Monika Batra are a typical Indian couple who can think of nothing other than to have a baby, because that is why one gets married right? Companionship be dammed. They too are unsuccessful at the aim.

Both the Batras approach Joshis, a doctor couple played by Adil Hussain and Tisca Chopra who are fertility specialists and opt for IVF. Once they reach their super speciality facility do you get to know why the movie is titled Good Newwz.

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Once the treatment starts the doctor couple tells Deepu and Varun that Deepti’s womb (environment) is not suitable for Varun’s sperm to swim in and so they need medical intervention.

Well now the twist —the clinic has goofed up between the two sets of Batras. Deepti’s egg has been fertilised by Honey’s sperm, while Monika ends up carrying Varun’s child.

Varun has a hard time accepting the situation and doesn’t think his wife is carrying his baby on the other hand Honey is very accepting. What happens next is the rest of the story.

What I did not like

Apna khoon toh aakhir apna khoon hota hai,” a dialogue uttered twice was a complete rejection of adoption. Lineage and legacy anyone? In this day and age when women are choosing to be single and even become single mothers through various means, the idea sounds out-dated.

Then there is the issue of abortion when Varun convinces Deepti that they should go in for an abortion the movie again takes a conservative view. Dr Mrs Joshi takes it on herself and explains to Deepti how childbearing is essential to womanhood. While giving Deepti a final ultrasound before starting with the abortion procedure, and breaks the awkward silence in the room by saying, “Can you see that grey dot on the monitor? That’s the baby’s heart. It’s beating.” Deepti, immediately defensive, responds, “Yeh aap mujhe kyu dikha rahin hai?” Isn’t she here for an abortion? I feel it should be the decision of the couple. And the woman should have a say. Doctors have no business influencing their clients unless there is a health concern.

Mostly what works is the use of comedy to deal with serious and sensitive issues like IVF childlessness and parenthood.

The film disappoints a little by proclaiming that procreation is the sole purpose in life of a woman. We have many women today who do not opt for motherhood by choice; does it make them any less a woman?

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What I liked

The film is as close to reality as can be when it comes to showing urban relationships — the daily banter between Varun and Deepu, their fights, worries, desire to have kids and careers etc. are any modern cosmopolitan couple anywhere in India.

The couple lives and works in Mumbai but have family in Delhi, so, when they have to go to Delhi for a family function, Deepti has to face the unavoidable query as to why she doesn’t have a kid as yet. This is one aspect that has been brought out realistically. In India it seems more than the couple, family and society fuss over their state of childlessness.

The way the film deals with ideological and emotional questions confronting both sets of Batras is something that caught my attention as well. Along the way questions like how to define parenthood, about ownership of the baby when scientific and artificial methods have been used are raised. The film also questions whether men truly understand, empathise and support what women go through when pregnant and during childbirth.

One tends to support Deepu’s monologue to Varun, calling him out for being a non-supportive husband while she is going through the ups and downs of pregnancy alone.

The film is as close to reality as can be when it comes to showing urban relationships — the daily banter between Varun and Deepu, their fights, worries, wanting to have kids and careers etc. are any modern cosmopolitan couple anywhere in India.

I loved the part where a bond gently develops between Deepu and Monika over gol gappas, it’s so real and touching. And yes, women understand other women better.

Here’s what works for the movie

One reason why the movie is a hit is because it is an urban comedy that has its heart in the right place. It picks a contemporary story with believable characters and that has obviously appealed to modern mind-sets.

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Kumar is back where he belongs—comedy.  Kapoor Khan looks gorgeous and is impressive in the emotional portions. Both Dosanjh and Advani impress in their roles.

One other factor that really works is that there are not too many characters to divert your attention from the four main protagonists plus the doctors.

The film uses comedy to deal with sensitive issues like IVF childlessness and parenthood thus making it an easy watch despite its serious subject .

Yes, it was bound to be a ‘hit’. Thumbs up to more such films from the Bollywood stable. But dear Bollywood please do keep the regressive dialogues aside in future.

The views expressed are the writer’s own.

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