The amount and style of mush in this one is a brazen throwback to the times when the Hindi movie industry was made of all the stuff that the Hindu movie industry currently spoofs in every alternate film. Depending on which way you look at it, this, then, is either refreshingly fluffy, or tiresomely clichÃ©d.
One of its problems is that the tale consists of nothing that we've not seen before and nothing that we can't predict. Rajesh (Riteish Deshmukh) is an assistant director for Farah Khan (Khan, starring as herself, along with a few other stars making special appearances). He's a nobody in his little world, and yearns for love, but keeps getting rejected by women.
One moaning-puppy-eyed weeping-session-addressed-to-the-Almighty later, the skies open up to drop an alien (Jacqueline Fernandes) into his hands. The guileless Rajesh and his rather horny sidekick Kaushal (Vishal Malhotra) take her in, name her Tara, make friends with her, and generally goof around.
Tara is on Earth from Venus, apparently, to understand the one thing them Venusians haven't ever known - love. Rajesh tells her she must woo the country's biggest superstar Desh (Ruslaan Mumtaz), and coaches her on doing so. Eventually, however, he falls in love with her.
The plotline is the kind that lends itself to nitpicking by cynics. And while this is no critics' delight, it is also not a swashbuckling commercial crowd-puller oozing vibrancy all over. What also stands out in the film is the mismatch between its juvenile premise and the amount of adult humour and skin show it carries.
But then, though Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai is unapologetically teenagish in its approach and pretty empty in terms of substance, it's a film that consists of well-executed moments. The comedy and the sugary romance are among what lend it its weight.
It also takes plenty of help - at least initially - from cameos by heavyweights, and the whole tribute-to-Hindi-films schtick thanks to Rajesh's profession. Some of it seems contrived, especially because Om Shanti Om
never really got out of public memory, but there's enough to bring on the smiles.
And for all the fuss about aliens and apsaras, this is mostly a hero's script. Riteish Deshmukh gets to be very filmi - quite college-boy filmi, actually - what with all the syrupy lines and the weeping and the coy glances. It's something that Bollywood has moved past ages ago, but there's a good chance you'll be taken in by the whole act, if you're a woman that is.
Deshmukh steals the show, and Vishal Malhotra steals it from him in a few sequences. The two have impeccable comic timing that somehow sets the wheels rolling even when the film plods, which it does most of the time.
For the flesh and empty-headedness, there's Jacqueline Fernandes. She's made to wear a bizarre costume harking back to Mogambo and Jagadekaveerudu Atilokasundari first, and she's then made to sport a soppy smile all through. To her credit, she's pretty enough to have a solid screen presence, but her role is more corn than meat, and Tara could have been just about anybody else.
As for the technical values, lively visuals (if you'll forgive the tacky UFO shots), well-shot songs and good romantic music make up for much of the nothingness.
In sum, this is a movie the verdict on which largely depends on your state of mind. Go for it but we can't guarantee you'll hold on to your seats throughout.