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Yuvvraaj



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Anupama Chopra, Consulting Editor, Films, NDTV

At one point in Yuvvraaj, one character tells another: Tum samajhdar ho, intelligent ho, clever ho. A few reels later, one brother tells another: No papa, no father, no pita, no daddy.

Characters keep repeating themselves and if you still don’t get the point of this predictable film about three estranged brothers, writer-producer- director Subhash Ghai gives us a voice-over that spells out the obvious and a character who hands us a motto at the end: Independent you live, united you stand. It’s not very new or deep or engaging.

Yuvvraaj is a loose rip-off of Barry Levinson’s 1988 hit Rainman, which won four Oscars including best actor and best Picture.

Here too, a father dies leaving a majority of his fortune to his autistic son, Gyanesh, played by Anil Kapoor. Of course this is autism Bollywood style.

So we see Gyanesh making music with children and bouncing balls in the living room. People call him bhola and someone declares: uski dimagi halat kharab hai. His brother Deven, played by Salman Khan, who has been estranged from the family for 12 years, returns to claim his share of dad’s Rs 15,000 crores.

The original touch here is that there is also a third brother Danny, played by Zayed Khan, a spoilt rich brat, who is mostly shown flying planes, gambling and lolling in bed with a floozy, who memorably dumps him for, and the exact dialogue is: the second richest man in London.

At first, both Deven and Danny are only looking to somehow extract money from their bhola brother but as the three spend time together, they bond and discover the importance of the united family.







Subhash Ghai, who created some memorable blockbusters through the 1980s and early 90s, returns to his favoured movie mode: 70 mm melodrama with stars, picturesque foreign locations and melodious music.

He brings passion and ambition but unfortunately he is let down by his own script. The writing is archaic and simplistic with unintentionally funny dialogue.

The lead characters have little flesh on them but the minor ones are positively cartoonish. There is a wicked mamaji and my personal favorite, a sultry sister-in-law who speaks only in shudh Hindi but wears plunging necklines and makes moves on Deven.

The performances match the writing. Salman, essentially plays himself, an unpredictable lover who smashes a guitar when he is in a rage but he is also good- hearted.

Changing hairstyles in every scene, Salman scrapes through the romance and comedy but his tears have no conviction. Anil goes back to his simpleton act from Eeshwar.

Poor Zayed is saddled with the most underwritten part. He’s also given a scene in which he cries in close-up. This is of course meant to be moving but in fact he looks like he has severe indigestion. There’s also Boman Irani hamming it in a bad wig, Mithun Chakarborty trying not to ham it in a bad wig and Anjan Srivastav, who for reasons never explained, has one blue eye.






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A R Rahman’s music helps to salvage some scenes but Yuvvraaj is an opportunity lost. See it if you must.

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