Planet Bollywood
Yuvvraaj
 
Producer: Subhash Ghai
Director: Subhash Ghai
Starring: Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Zayed Khan, Boman Irani, Aushima Sawhney
Music: A.R.Rahman
Lyrics: Gulzar
Genre: Drama
Recommended Audience: Parental Guidance
Approximate Running Time: 2 hrs 30 mins
Film Released on: 21 November 2008
Reviewed by: Shruti Bhasin  - Rating: 6.0 / 10
 
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Public Rating Average: 5.17 / 10 (rated by 400 viewers)
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I remember the 80s very well, especially Subhash Ghai films. There was something about his films that tied music, cheesy romance, drama, action, in a nice little package. Sure, every filmmaker has their share of bad movies…but Ghai really disappointed audiences in the last few years. Is Yuvvraaj as dreadful as Yaadein and Kisna? Thankfully, his new film is watchable once because the “showman” of Bollywood goes back to what he knows best, family drama.

Deven Yuvvraaj (Salman Khan) is arrogant, irritated, angry, and feels his best when he is with his love Anushka (Katrina Kaif). Her father Dr. Banton (Salman Khan) loathes him and refuses to allow them to be married, even after a 5 year courtship. The beginning layers of the film set up Deven’s character and his anti-family values. You see, he has Daddy issues; he’s the estranged son of a multi-millionaire.

When he sees that his father has died, by discovering it from a newspaper, he is excited for his chance to get his inheritance and win Anushka’s hand in marriage if he is rich. He sets off to meet his cooky family, including his elder brother Gyanesh (Anil Kapoor) and bad boy little brother Danny (Zayed Khan). Only problem is, the entire wealth has been given to Gyanesh. His mind is slow and has child-like behaviour, so now the 2 little brothers have no choice but to band together and find a way to get their share. Can these men go from being partners to being brothers? Can they let go of greed and find love for each other and themselves?

Yuvvraaj is made on a very grand scale; Ghai’s vision is seen through every frame and he excels in most of the dramatic portions of the movie. Special mention to Kabir Lal for capturing the beautiful scenery of Europe and art director Omung Kumar for making extravagant sets. Ghai is credited with the story, and even though the idea of brothers fighting for money is interesting, the way it’s presented makes you lose interest in various places. The screenplay has too many curves, inconsistent looks for Salman, over-the-top evil relatives, some cheesy dialogues, but the climax makes up for almost everything.


As Deven, Salman Khan is not in form. His bad highlighted hair, his poor attitude, and facial expressions make you squirm in your seat. As Danny, Zayed Khan is trying too hard to be greedy and the sudden appearance of his emotions look forced. Anil Kapoor, as Gyanesh, was perfect as the autistic brother; he was a genuine simpleton like his character in Beta. He is still amongst the most versatile actors we’ll ever see in Bollywood. Katrina Kaif looked golden every time she was on the screen, and looked confident in her role; she looked like a natural playing the cello. Out of the supporting characters, Boman Irani and all the evil relatives did what they had to but Aushima Sawhney, as Anushka’s friend, stood out the most. Finally, Mithun Chakraborty excelled, in a brief role, as the estate lawyer.

A.R. Rahman’s music comes as a welcome relief: “Mastam Mastam” is addictively fun on and off the screen, “Tu Hi Meri Dost Hai” is sweet, and “Tu Muskara” is soulful.

In Yuvvraaj we see that a man without relationships is like a man without a shadow…family bonds cannot be destroyed because of distance or misunderstandings...and love can’t be bought, it has to be found. Ghai always tries to bring something more to his films but you might feel disappointed that his story gets lost in translation.

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