YUVRAAJ-Times Of India Review!!
Cast: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Anil Kapoor, Zayed Khan
Direction: Subhash Ghai
HE’S the last of the showmen left, apart from Yash Chopra, who seems to have taken a break from direction. Yes, not so long ago, Subhash Ghai was a synonym for Bollywood’s opulent extravaganzas of the ’80s-’90s, when cinema was still a larger-than-life narrative about good versus evil. Remember Karz , the original, Karma , Ram Lakhan , Khalnayak , Taal …an era of cinema where the formula not only held sway, but was a grand success too.
The onslaught of new storytellers and new styles may have pushed the old guard into the background, but it failed to dim the passion. Today, after a lean phase, the veteran filmmaker returns with Yuvvraaj , a grandiose film that has lots to boast about, even though it falters here and there in terms of script and narrative.
Topping the list of positives is AR Rahman’s scintillating music score which brings to life Gulzar’s poetry with sublime fluidity. And since the film is essentially set against a musical backdrop, where Katrina and Salman are members of an Austrain orchestra, Rahman’s ode to Beethoven seems in perfect sync with the script.
Secondly, it’s the aesthetics of the film which leaves a lasting impression. Mostly shot in Prague and Austria, the film is picture-postcard perfect, with cinematographer Kabir Lal capturing the exotic locales in splendid hues. And finally, the film scores with its performances, especially by Salman Khan who essentially plays himself — a super brat — with perfect elan.
He is the prodigal son, who was thrown out of the family mansion by his father because of his sibling rivalry with his mentally challenged elder brother, Anil Kapoor. As a choir boy in Prague, he finds a soulmate in cellist Katrina Kaif, but cannot marry her since her dad (billionaire Boman Irani) doesn’t approve of his impoverished situation.
Hoping to change his fortunes after the death of his dad, he rushes home to inherit the family millions, only to realise there’s nothing left for him and his younger, equally roguish brother, Zayed Khan. Nerd Anil has been declared the sole heir, with sundry greedy relatives eyeing the moolah around him. Time for the dysfunctional family to outwit each other and split or to outsmart the outsiders and come together, once again….
Essentially a tale of three brothers, who rediscover their ties after hating each other for years, Yuvvraaj does have some fine moments of bonding between Salman and Anil. Zayed, however fails to connect and remains the outsider in this Trimurti, though surprisingly, Katrina does manage to hold her own in this bhai-bhai business. We do wish the duo (Katrina-Salman) had more time to set the screen on fire with their crackling chemistry, especially since all that we manage to get is a tantalising teaser with Katrina handcuffing a bare-chested Salman with her silken scarf. Kendi pump up the jam, janah!
On the flip side, the story hangs loosely in the middle and winds up in a mothballed climax, where old-fashioned baddies try to bump off the goofy Anil Kapoor who does an Eeshwar all over again. But Salman Khan and AR Rahman more than make up for the lapses, carrying you off on a sonata and a song. Watch Yuvvraaj for an in-fashion retro feel.
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