Friday, December 5, 2008

Random thoughts on Yuvvraaj

Originally published on

I’ve always found it a challenging task to transform a dramatic script into a spellbinding musical,
Though I’ve done this before with films like Karz, Meri Jung, Khalnayak and Taal…………..

……….Imagine a film where: Salman is a dreamy singer…
Katrina is a leading musician…
Zayed grooves to a chaotic disco sound…
Anil kapoor enjoys only classical music…

Imagine the symphony of sounds created by all these characters.
Now imagine my struggle to match my visuals to rahman’s
Mesmerizing sound and Gulzaar Saab’s magical lyrics…

This is Yuvvraaj.

Hope you enjoy it!
Subhash Ghai.

This personal note from Mr Ghai is the first thing that would greet you when you open the audio CD jacket of Yuvvraj.

Frankly speaking I even liked two or three tracks from the album.

I think Rahman’s music grows on you over a period of time and it peaks after you have seen the movie.

There were also special comments (on the CD cover) by Mr. Rahman and Gulzar Saab testifying Ghai’s genius in matching up the visuals to the music.

Testimonials from these two gurus convinced me to break my resolve of abstaining from all Subhash Gai movies post Kisna (actually Yaadien. I gave him a second chance with Kisna).

Finally, I saw this movie last night.

I read a quote somewhere which vaguely meant that the most dangerous stage in a creative person’s life is when he starts to copy himself.

There isn’t a better way to describe Ghai’s latest effort- why only the latest one- if you look at Mr. ghai’s impressive body work- right from Ram lakhan, Saudagar, Khalnayak, Trimurti, etc- and try to draw a common pattern among them- it isn’t difficult to decipher the common overriding formula.

All…ok…say most of his movies would have two central characters (often brothers) with conflicting ideologies- one has to be an idealist while the other a bit confused and mixed up. Throw in a widowed mother, raped sister or a murdered father to sensationalize the plot and villains with obvious streaks of quirkiness (BAD MAN).

In the end the good always wins over evil with a climax sequence involving a song and a fight that happens simultaneously.

Also, if you don’t doze off half way through the movie- you might see the showman himself in a blink and miss sequence doing his bit of clowning around.

Let me talk about Yuvvraaj- if not anything, the movie has at least made me aware of Hindi’s rising popularity in the western world. The Goras babble dialogues in Hindi as it was official language of Prague and Austria (that is where the movie was supposedly shot).

Now a bit about the cast-

What can I say about Salman Khan- bad is no bad when worse is expected.

All thanks to his past few misadventures, I have no expectations whatsoever from him- but so great is the man that- he manages to disappoint me even then. Almost like cricket commentators who change the stance with every ball, the actor (if I can call him that) takes it scene by scene- with utmost adherence to inconsistency in all departments- from looks, to mannerisms to even hair styles.

Zayed is next in the row- I can’t even use words like career worst for him because he doesn’t have one. Playing a role that might be the closest to his real life (he plays a rich spoilt kid) Zayed gives a whole new definition to the word “wooden”. With his hair expressing more than his face and the rest of the body put together- you helplessly laugh at the scenes where this guy is trying hard to weep.

Anil Kapoor and Boman Irani are perfect examples to of what a bad script can do to even talented actors. This has to Boman’s shallowest performance till date- he doesn’t look convinced of his role even for a minute and that shows so badly on the screen.

Yuvvraaj from now on will also hold the distinction for the most uninformed and insensitive portrayal of autism. I think the brief to Anil was simple- play a mix of Rani Mukhurjee in Black and Sridevi in Sadma and he does that to a T.

There is also Mithun da in there- but you can excuse him in the acting department because for most part of it- his wig was really obtrusive and overpowered his performance

Poor Kaif woman is lost somewhere between these stalwarts in a role that only demands her to look good and at times even confused. In many promotional interviews before the release Miss Kaif has talked at length about getting trained in playing a cello, so that the portrayal looks realistic- though the effort is commendable, the lady would do pretty well with a crash course in acting at Ghai’s film school.

Then there are the infamous villains- a mama ji in a wheelchair who plots evil but hides it under his religious get up- complete with rudraksha, tilak, etc

And a bhabi who is desperate to be aadhi- gharwali (symbolism- non existent blouses and vulgar perfume squirting in a public setting)

Ghai is known for his in film placements- but this time around I think a brand of potato chips had refused to put money in his film- so there is a fatso who is just shown munching chips all the time- a clever negative publicity for the brand.

Also, there are few insignificant negative characters whose job is to just fill the frame and add to the magnitude of evil (the more the people the badder the evil)

The art direction is so grandeur and in your face that it never lets you forget that you are watching a movie and that it doesn’t look like this in the real world.

The plot and script is so weak and fake that as an audience the only emotions you ever feel are that of indifference, anger and boredom.
The inconsistencies are so obvious that they leave you with a feeling of being cheated- that is when you were not expecting anything from this fare- Its as if the gang that put the show together is taking us on ride- completely disrespecting our intelligence, patience, time and money.

Last but not the least- the songs for which I saw the movie in the first place- were so out of context and meddlesome that I ended up forwarding each one of them- For the first time because of the movie and their place in it- I will completely give up on the music of this one.

I felt a sense of liberation when the movie ended (with Mithun’s words of wisdom “Independent you live, united you stay- that is a happy family”) - and the end credits (inspired by OSO) started rolling.

I just hope that Mr. Ghai is not taking too many classes on direction in Whistling woods, or we would have many Yuvvraajs in the years to come.


Nature & Wildlife said...

hi, my name is anjan we are planning to visit nagarahole, in the month of Novomber, this will be our first visit, and we like to stay at sunkadakatte, will you give the booking details. and how about the food preparation, is it served there or we should prepare. I heard that there is solar at present, is it true, can we charge our cameras atleast. please reply me at the earliest. my e mail id is


Anonymous said...

I have to hear just what Lara can do about this :)

Anonymous said...

Great blog post, been waiting for something like that!?

Anonymous said...

Great read! You should definitely follow up on this topic..

Best Regards