Banner: Mukta Arts Ltd
Director: Subhash Ghai
Producer: Subhash Ghai
Cast: Salman Khan, Zayed Khan, Anil Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Mithun Chakraborthy, Boman Irani
After having films like Karz, Ram Lakhan, Pardes and Khalnayak to his credit, Subhash Ghai’s latest offering Yuvvraaj seems like a sermon that is, honestly, a bit too long drawn. Family values versus cold hard cash is the premise of the entire film. Simply put, the film tries to weigh one against the other till a choice is reached by those involved.
Separated at an early age, brothers Deven (Salman Khan), Gyanesh (Anil Kapoor) and Danny (Zayed Khan) are reunited to settle a property dispute following the demise of their father. But the settlement is not that simple as most of it is left to elder son Gyanesh, who is mentally challenged. Hatching a plan to change all of it is what Danny and Deven do. While Danny is great at burning his money in futility, Deven needs it to get Anushka (Katrina Kaif) and to convince her money-minded father (Boman Irani). With one thing leading to another, the brothers are faced with choosing between right and wrong.
There was Taal from the Ghai stable some time back, which was a truck load about love and family. Following that was Yaadein which displayed scenes of love, money, deceit and family. Couple them together and you have the same values in Yuvvraaj, remaining as musical as ever. Not to say the movies are any similar, but the values in the three are the same, as is the manner of exploring them. Yuvvraaj primarily falters in the manner it is told. Beyond a point the film begins to seem preachy and less of an experience.
Clearly the film has two parts, the pre interval and post. Prior to the interval the film is slow, sans any interesting moments and in no sense leads to the second half or the build up to the rest of the story. The plot is so predictable that any interest shown in watching the second half is immediately snatched away and you pretty much know how the whole thing is going to end. The moments where you could have gone "ooh and aah" with surprise are stolen and replaced with a heavy clunk on your head. The dialogues are good, especially for a plot that is so predictable. Steering away from the conventional, over-the-top dramatic lines certainly makes this film less tepid.
Technically, the film is proficient, just as every Ghai film is. But then, unlike every Ghai film, each bit does not fit like a glove in Yuvvraaj. The camerawork is great, so is the editing, choreography and music; however nothing fits with the other with ease. The experience of emotions, color, splendor and the drama seems far too restrained to enjoy. The manner in which the songs are choreographed and shot is such that at times it feels like a broadway musical, and there are those other times when you believe it is sheer indulgence that does the movie no good.
Predictability of the movie lies not only in the plot but also its characters. The mannerisms of each character evidently categorise who they are and explains their ensuing actions. So little imagination is required by the audience . For example, when you see the old man praise and sweet talk with gleaming eyes, you know he is the bad man. And Yuvvraaj is filled with such characters.
The film does have a few moments here and there that are delightful. Salman delivers a satisfactory performance for most parts, but then out of the blue delivers a stellar act when he breaks down in front of Irani. Those few minutes are worth watching over and over again. Kapoor, on the other hand, shuttles between going over the top and nailing his act as the mentally challenged brother. Zayed delivers a strictly OK performance. Kaif looks ravishing during most parts of the film, almost reminding us of the legendary Meena Kumari. In respect to performance, she delivers well and the chemistry between Khan and Kaif is worth lauding. Mithun Chakraborthy is reduced to playing a small role that does no justice to his talent. Irani, as always, is thoroughly convincing and does a great job.
All said and done Yuvvraaj is a fair watch, especially if you don’t mind the preaching. It has a fair amount of magical moments and a good amount of damp ones.