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Yuvvraaj Review

Deepa Garimella /
Can watch again
Good for kids
Good for dates
Wait for OTT
So, 'fresh' wasn't very high on Mr Ghai's list. Then, there's something to be said about a film with 3 musician protagonists, 2 ageing superstars, 1 struggling actor, and the real-life beau of one of the ageing super-stars, playing leads; and a story involving property disputes. And it's this. Yawn.

If the title had a 'k' or two, maybe the film would have been a blockbuster. However, what we have to make do with is an extra 'v', an extra 'a', and an extra 2-3 hours of story.

Deven (Salman Khan) is - surprise, surprise - Salman Khan's off-screen persona spilling all over onto the screen. If he catches someone winking at his girl, he will smash the guy's violin on the floor, which pisses off his girl, but he will also buy him a brand new violin to make up for it, which touches her immensely ("Why are you so good?"). His girl, Anushka (Katrina Kaif), is busy convincing her father (Boman Irani, with a mustache that looks like it belongs to his head instead of to his upper lip) that Deven is the one she'll get married to.

Deven shoots a 2-minute flashback at us, to tell us the reason he was kicked out of home as a child. If you don't get the reason, either you're not paying any attention, or you're paying way too much attention and expecting something ingenious. Anyway, the flashback involves a father who married twice, and thus a couple of brothers.

Now, Anushka's father would not have her married to Deven. Meanwhile, Deven learns about his dad's death from the newspaper. He then signs a contract with Anushka's dad, which assures him that he has 40 days to get rich and marry her, else she gets married to the guy of his choice.

Deven goes home to his incredibly cold and calculating family (which could have passed off as a spoof on some K-serial), that includes his casino-hopping, jet-flying wastrel of a brother (Zayed Khan, easily the most good-looking in the film), and his autistic step-brother, Gyanesh (Anil Kapoor). So far, the story looks like it was dug out from the archives of scripts discarded between 1960 and 1970.

The rest of the story shows that it was discarded for a reason. As their father leaves the entire property to Gyanesh, his brothers plot to lay their hands on the loot. Slowly, so slowly that you could go home, take a nap and come back, the brothers start bonding, and realize that money isn't everything.

It's one tedious, long-drawn film - we know the ending already, we know the brothers will have a change of heart, and we know Deven will marry Anushka, so why bother with such a lame climax? Deven keeps flipping between nice guy and mean bro. Anil Kapoor's autistic Gyanesh, who is initially shown playing ball with 5-year-olds, gets into confrontations with other family members about property and other weighty issues.

Both Salman and Anil Kapoor do a good job. What else can you say about actors who've been around for decades? Kaif has finally found a role with a slightly wider scope of acting - unbelievably, she's done it, too. And about Zayed Khan - aside from the weeping scene (an activity best left to the senior Khans, or maybe to some women), he hasn't a lot to do, save for looking good and smooching every woman in sight (or was it only one?).

Rahman's Western-classical-inspired music set to Gulzar's lyrics is already a hit, but the minimal background music is unnatural for a Subhash Ghai movie, and leaves you feeling lost about the emotions, especially as you have no way of knowing who's thinking what - neither from the characterizations nor from the expressions. Being set in Prague is just an excuse to doll up the film a teeny bit, because most of the film's been shot indoors. Of course, Subhash Ghai insists on making it big, so he makes a big production (pun unintended) out of the whole film, even the closing credits.

In all, Yuvvraaj's quite boring - watch it only if you're a die-hard Salman fan, a die-hard Anil Kapoor fan, a diehard Katrina Kaif fan, or a die-hard A R Rahman fan. Oh, all right, watch it only if you're a diehard A R Rahman fan.
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Yuvvraaj (hindi) reviews
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  • Cast
    Salman Khan, Zayed Khan, Anil Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Boman Irani, Mithun Chakraborty
  • Music
    A R Rahman
  • Director
    Subhash Ghai
  • Theatres
    Not screening currently in any theatres in Hyderabad.
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