A Musical Odyssey!
By MovieTalkies.com, 21 November 2008
The showman in Subhash Ghai is back. But the good news comes in trickles only as Yuvvraaj gives just a few glimpses of why this filmmaker, who began his magical tryst with the box office with Kalicharan, has been called the showman. (After the great Raj Kapoor, that is.). The film, which is elevated by the fabulous musical score provided by another genius called AR Rahman, works brilliantly, but in parts only. As for the rest, it is bogged down by a sluggish screenplay and immature dialogues. In the second half, with the entrance of Anil Kapoor's character, the film seems to pick itself up and move ahead in a promising direction.
Ghai picks on a story which has all the ingredients of being an emotional rollercoaster. He gets his emotions and characters all right. But one feels that he spends too much cinematic time with the character of Deven, played by Salman Khan, the protagonist of the film. A lot of it seems wasted as the actor is unable to rise above his mannerisms and invest his character with a certain amount of gravity. He plays it like he plays all his other roles, fooling around and generally being himself. An entire first half is spent on the exposition of Deven's character and his circumstances, his troubled love life with Anoushka (Katrina Kaif) and her disapproving father (Boman Irani), as also the cause of his banishment by his millionaire father (Javed Sheikh). The reason never seems drastic enough to invite this kind of a punishment. Also the exchanges between Boman's character and Deven, seem quite childish and would find better place in a comedy. And then there are the clichés, like the classical scene where Boman's character invites Deven to his house for a party and proceeds to humiliate him.
One feels that the problem with this part of the screenplay and dialogues is solely because they have been written keeping Salman in mind and not the demands of the story, hence there is something quite superficial about this part. Also Katrina, as Salman's love interest in the film, looks divine and ethereal, but has yet to mature as an actor. Hence, the three of them together, Boman included, make it appear as just another, ordinary Hindi film. Those romantic touches, of even a Taal, are missing. One is not drawn into the film or sufficiently engaged by the showman in this part.
With the entry of Anil Kapoor's character, the missing emotional quotient seems to seep back into the screenplay. Not that Anil is doing something that he has never done before. But there is a certain honesty in his performance which always shines bright. He plays the autistic brother, who has been left the entire property by the father. Naturally, this does not go down well with either Salman or Zayed, who plays the spoilt youngest sibling. What is interesting in terms of the story is Salman's character. He desperately needs a share of the property so that he can marry Anoushka. He forms a partnership with Zayed's character to split the moolah between them by contesting the will. When that plan does not work, he spirits Gyanendra (Anil Kapoor) away to the beauteous locales of Austria and tries to win him through love. It's here that he learns to love his brother and confesses that he needs the money to marry Anoushka. But time is running out for him as Zayed joins them in Austria and also decides to play the same game.