Indian Cinema has moved forward from traditional melodrama and romances to new genres and themes. Indian cinema has focussed on social issues through movies like Article 15, Chapaak, etc. Comedy has also gained center-stage in the new era of Indian Cinema.
The good thing about “ Good News” is that it is able to communicate the ‘problem of fatherhood/motherhood’ without being didactic or serious. The movie even takes humorously the serious issue of the aging population who are unable to conceive with the sperm counts of men decreasing with age and consumption of alcohol.
Kareena Kapoor’s character also is not in her very fertile age and is waiting for her days of ovulation to conceive. The comic effect in the movie is generated through mispronunciation of sperm as spam and split disc as split disks. But what the movie reaches is not the cheap comedy by which the movie may be negated nor is it just about In Vitro Fertilization as a solution.
But it discusses the problems like why parents facing infertility refrain from adopting a child and go through the expensive process of IVF and surrogacy. Surrogacy raises the question of motherhood as to who is the real mother of the child if someone else has nourished a child in her womb for 9 months.
This was the issue raised in ‘Chori Chori Chupke Chupke’. IVF raises the question of fatherhood. The movie creates a situation where sperms of two fathers are exchanged. The problem is of biological parents as both couples have some right over both babies.
There are two characters one of Daljit Dosanjh who feels a sense for both babies and cares for both the Batra mothers during pregnancy. Yet he has more inclination towards Deepu or Kareena Kapoor because it is she who is bearing his biological child and not his own wife.
On the other hand, is the other Mr. Batra or Akshay Kumar who feels no attachment to either of the two kids neither to his own child as it is not being carried by his wife nor to his own wife who is not carrying his baby.
The film strongly portrays motherhood and the right of a woman towards her child because she is the one who is bearing the child for nine months and has to undergo the pains of beating the child and has to undergo sleep and food disorders and pain to give birth to child which a man can never understand and in a more serious note brings out the problems of childbirth and the question of fatherhood and the quest to preserve our own genes and have our own biological children.
It also raises the question of parenting and upbringing that’s going to have a great impact on the child ad parents try to mold their children in their own form. The contract made by Dalit Dosanjh shows how he wants to bring up the child and how Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor can not come to terms with the proposal. It’s later the movie resolves and the child the mother bears is accepted as the couples’ child.
Thus, answering the question that it had posed which of the two is their child? A comic plot ending on a serious note opens various questions: ‘Why biological children are so much needed?’ A question for all the celebrities going for IVF. Why do we need to protect our genes? Why not go for adoption? Akshay also tries to abort the child just because he is not the biological father and turns a blind eye to the fact that Kareena Kapoor is the biological mother.
Some sensitivity is needed to understand our deep-rooted desire for progeny. But there are ways through which the issues can be addressed through open-mindedness and counseling where parents can’t give birth to their own child. Childless marriages can fall apart.
So adoption is an option and should be taken into consideration than the more complex process of IVF and surrogacy. And the questions and answers that the movie poses to society are left unsaid. Performance-wise the movie sees Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor, Daljit Dosanjh, and Kiara Advani at their best.
Kiara needs a special applaud to move on to the role of a vivacious Punjabi girl which is quite unlike the characters she has done so far. The double meaning and humor in the movie are superfluous but us trying to cater to the audience who come to the theatres to laugh their hearts out. But let’s not ignore the serious issues it brings to light.