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.
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.