Learning from their disastrous attempts at other genres, Yash Raj Films gets back to wholesome family flicks. And director Kunal Kohli steps up seeming to have the answer to all the woes of the banner by throwing together a kiddie's flick, that has a ‘thoda’ of everything and still seems a fresh package of a rather old wine. So a thoda of Sound of Music or Mary Poppins never did anyone any harm. Nor will a 'thoda' dose of recent flicks like Nanny McPhee or Lemony Snickets. So why not stir it all in the melting pot and bring forth Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic?
**Spoiler Alert**- The following few paragraphs describe events from the movie
Ranbeer Talwar (Saif Ali Khan) is a pretty successful businessman. Though he has been pretty much the achiever at everything he has done since childhood, he has only stood to lose the people he loves. And this loner’s life takes the plunge when he ends up killing a couple (the Walias) in a road accident.
However the twist is that instead of a prison sentence, the judge hands out a controversial judgement whereby the accused Ranbeer is given the complete responsibility of the four kids of the deceased couple. Ranbeer realizes that this is not going to be an easy task especially with the foursome out to seek revenge. Even his bimbo girlfriend Malaika (Amisha Patel) ends up failing to win the hearts of the kids.
That is when God himself (Rishi Kapoor), dressed in all white, decides that he shall dispatch his angel down to earth to help out the kids. And he finds no better candidate than the bubbly Geeta (Rani Mukherjee). Now it is up to Geeta to pose as a nanny and ensure that she completes her task of getting Ranbeer and the kids together!
**End of Spoiler Alert**
The script and narration is straight forward and nothing exceptional is experimented with here. You do not have crass humour or the unwarranted subplots here in the name of Bollywood masala. But then again, that certain charm associated with movies like Mr India and Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke is missing…the kind that makes these movies a repeat viewing success for viewers of all ages.
What saves the day for the mature audience at the end of day is the acting. Saif Ali Khan plays his part perfectly and shows how much he has evolved as an actor. Saif is certainly at ease here and fits the bill. Also after crying her heart out in recent outings like Baghban and Laaga Chunari Mein Daag, Rani Mukherjee is bound to be received with open arms as the bubbly angel who just cannot cry. That in itself is a welcome relief and gives Rani, an extremely powerful performer, a chance to chill away with this role. Once again, even Rani makes it look like a walk in the park and to top it, like a cherry comes the on screen chemistry between the Hum Tum pair.
But the real life line of this film are the kids and that is where Kunal Kohli has kept his word and not shown the kids as the typically irritating ‘all-too-smart’ kids that run havoc on the Indian screens. This foursome play it out as normal kids and therefore connect a lot better with the viewers, especially the youngster who plays the role of Iqbal. He walks away with some of the better scenes in the film. As for a Kohli favourite, Rishi Kapoor, he comes out decent enough as God in Jeetu ji’s white attire. But then again he is no Morgan Freeman. Amisha Patel plays the bimbo part perfectly and gets a chance to sizzle away in the ‘Lazy Lamhe’ song.
Back to the movie, the USP of the flick is its creative screenplay which is aided by some of the finest visual effects witnessed on the Indian screen. Be it the dance in the skies ‘Bulbula’ or the Night at the Museum inspired ‘Beetey Kal Se’, it brings freshness to the song visualization. And what is commendable is the fact that the makers never bragged about it, instead they let the magic take over onscreen. That then brings us to the music department which is extremely strong. To begin with the trio of Shankar Ehsaan Loy re-unite with lyricist Prasoon Joshi and recreate, to a great extent, the magic they brought to Taare Zameen Par. That is followed up well by the background score from Sandeep Chowta which is effective despite resorting to Hollywood-ish clichés.
This is the kind of movie that has a certain vintage Disney charm and feel to it and we all know that in this day and age of bikini clad hot bods and bare chested dancer boys, not many Bollywood movies can aspire to have that quality. But Kohli seems to prefer sticking to the basics to come up with a sweet and endearing movie. And thankfully, it is low on melodrama too. So what you waiting for, take those kids and treat them to Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic. This one is for them, let them enjoy the magic and fantasy!