Starring Ajay Devgan, Kajol, Rishi Kapoor
First there was an average movie in KAHO NA PYAAR HAI which went all the way to become the biggest hit of the year. And then there was MOHABBATEIN that gave you the same candy romance story but the two big stars made one overlook all the flaws that the movie boasted of.
The latest entrant into the scene is RAJU CHACHA. Definitely well made, and the money is also thrown in to give the movie the glossy and lavish look. But the truth is that the same story could have been told at a cost much cheaper.
Anyhow, there is an attempt by which the makers try to reach some pathbreaking class. That certainly is worth the applause. But the movie keeps changing from Bollywood class to Bollywood crap and back. And the biggest flaw in this is the filmi climax.
To begin it all we have a super rich architect Sidhaanth with a super castle like mansion. And in it we have the butler BBC (Tiku), a pet dog Casper, and his three brat pack kids. With the early demise of their mother, the kids are little devils and no matter who their father brings as a teacher, the kids get rid of him before you can "RAJU CHACHA". Ahh...Raju Chacha, incidentally, is Sidhaarth's younger borther who left the house at a young age of 12 and never returned since then.
In comes a new governess, the orphan Anna (Kajol) who manages to survive all the kid's tricks and soon becomes their close friend. In also comes a small time crook Shekar (Ajay Devgan) who falls head over heels for Anna. And with the help of his buddy Jadoo (Johnny Lever), he cooks up a plan to win Anna's love. Well, he succeeds to an extent and they both even end up on the wedding altar. But that is when the police comes and arrests him, and everyone comes to know the true identity of Shekar. And the heartbroken Anna heads back to the orphanage.
Danger lurks around for the Sidhaanth household with his uncles and brother in law all conniving to get a major share of the wealth. But finally they decide to do so by eliminating Sidhaanth and his kids. And in a tragic car accident, Sidhaanth dies yet manages to rescue his three kids.
But the three kids are in for some hard times with their evil relatives taking over the house and keeping the kids in a condition no better than slaves. But as a messiah comes Shekar (out on bail) as Raju Chacha and thus even though the kids know that Shekar is no Raju Chacha, they still decide to play along to keep the evil baddies from taking over the properties.
Anna too returns to help the kids but can't stand the con-man Shekar and believes that he too is after the immense wealth.
The baddies get together trying to prove Shekar's true identity when suddenly comes Sanjay Dutt claiming to be the real Raju Chacha.
Certainly there are two scenes that really stand out. First of all it is the wedding sequence, where all the lead artists have given some great performance and the director has really handled it well. The second gem of the scene, and truly the best is the car accident scene where Sidhaanth and his kids lie hanging by the cliff. Breathtaking and well-shot!
The movie begins well with animated sequences put as songs and good introduction of the characters. However suddenly the movie dips with the love story of Shekar-Anna which simply does not take off. The off-screen couple of Ajay-Kajol fails to sizzle onscreen. Atleast in this. But close to interval the movie again comes back roaring with the two scenes I mentioned earlier.
And the second half takes off on a promising note and with the emergence of Shekar as Raju, the movie is certainly in top gear. And the entrance of Sanjay Dutt was certainly the highlight of the second half with the audiences going wild!
Unfortunately, the movie in the closing reels get too filmi and the climax fails to live up to the high standard set by the movie in the last few hours.
First of all, hats off to all the three kids for giving a fabulous performance. Ajay Devgan is also certainly impressive in the movie. It is nice to see Kajol back on screen, but she do need to keep a check on her weight. She also have been given a raw deal with a badly sketched character in Anna. Wish there was more for her to really show her talents.
Rishi Kapoor is certainly good in a matured role. And well supported by Johnny Lever, Tiku, Govind Namdeo. For a change Johnny Lever's comedy also is not crude.
Director Anil Devgan have certainly delivered a good movie but he really is disappointing in wrapping it up in a good manner. The cinematography is excellent and the special effects are also well executed. Jatin-Lalit's songs are just mediocre, with some working while others failing.
And though everyone was telling about how it is a desi SOUND OF MUSIC, the truth is less inspired by that classic but it still tries imitating Hollywood flicks like THE LION KING and HOME ALONE 3. However when the kid and his tricks in the HOME ALONE series really make you laugh, here all them falls flat.
How this movie will eventually fare at the box office is also a tough call to make. That is simply because Indian viewers never take kids movies and animations that seriously. But if the movie still manages to win the hearts of families, especially the kids, it is sure to do a good run at the box office.
Well, Bollywood has seen very few children movie really worth tallking about. Though this one is nowhere close to Mani Ratnam's ANJALI or Mahesh Bhatt's HUM HAIN RAHI PYAAR KE, it still is one of the better children movies from Bollywood.