By Movie Talkies, 25 October 2008
Yash Raj Films and Walt Disney Pictures come together for an animation film, whose story is completely filmy as we know it. And the product works. It has a typical Hindi film story, lovers, villains, love triangle etc, but it also has a certain loveable quality which works in its favor tremendously, despite the animation not being of the quality of, say, The Lion King, Shrek or Finding Nemo. But it is still the best seen in India, so far. Debutant director, Jugal Hansraj manages to finally make it, at least as a director.
However, the script penned by him is clichéd to say the least, with hardly anything special or novel to say. But it still works. A lot of it has to do with the animation itself, the dialogues and the voiceovers, which have been done by Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Javed Jaffrey. The stars do a fantastic job and really lend a certain distinction to their characters. Besides them, actor Sanjay Mishra as the villain's sidekick also does a terrific job in the voiceover department.
The story is hardly novel and one is not sure whether it is really kid's fare as it seems to be a straight lift from a regular Hindi masala film. Romeo (Saif) is a roadside English speaking dog, who falls in love with a poodle like Laila (Kareena Kapoor), who sings at the local bar. Also in love with Laila is Charlie Anna, the neighborhood don, who collects hafta. Romeo refuses to pay the hafta and dares to eye Anna's girl. This sets the scene for a conflict between the two, with Romeo relying more on his wits than force to outwit his adversary. Both have their sidekicks, who prove to be quite entertaining.
The only problem with the movie is that one feels the director is confused about his target audience. He is not sure whether he is targeting the kids or the adults. Some of the scenes, dialogues and the 'Chule Na' song seem quite out of place in a kiddies' film. The climax is, however, lifted from Yash Raj's evergreen Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, and goes down well. The music of the film could have been peppier one feels. However, the film does begin on a very peppy note and there is never a dull moment throughout its duration. The dialogues are punchy and the characters have been very well delineated.
Hence, despite the film's story giving one a sense of having seen it all, in totality, Roadside Romeo is a very endearing and entertaining film.