Starring: Jackie Shroff, Hrithik Roshan, Kareena Kapoor
Director: Subhash Ghai
Music Director: Anu Malik
Synopsis: all misguided empty flair and pomp from the self proclaimed showman
Subhash Ghai, the self proclaimed showman, the man who insists on doing a Hitchcock in his film, the Man who can do no wrong…or so he will have you believe. I for one have never been enamoured by his films but have admired them as superior efforts of bottling old wine in new bottles. The man has the touch, he knows what sells and how to blend it together into one slick successful package. As I said, the man who could do no wrong!!! Well, what do you get when you put together this most successful film director of recent times with the hottest stars of the millennium, Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor and music from Anu Malik, flying high with some magnificent scores last year.? No, you don’t get the film of the year but a film which fades from memory not much after you have the unfortunate experience of seeing this very disappointing fare.
The film is a mess of huge proportions simply because you simply do not expect Subhash Ghai to make such an ordinary film. As a film on its on, it passes muster, perhaps even better than much of the drivel that comes out of bollywood but Yaadein seems to suggest that Ghai is certainly losing his touch.
Jackie Shroff has three grown up daughters, recently widowed after a hit and run sends his wife to the heavens telling him “not just to be a father but also a friend to his daughters”. He marries two of them off soon enough and then the focus shifts to Isha (Kareena Kapoor), the youngest and probably the most sensible. Ronit (Hrithik Roshan) is as much a part of this household, almost adopted by Jackie and wife, his parents being too busy to give him any time.
We now move to Malaysia where a romance blossoms between Isha and Ronit amidst cycle races and alligators running amok. However, the path of love cannot run smooth and Ronit is to be married off to Monishka, a merger of two companies rather than two hearts. Isha sacrifices her love for the sake of her father who, being a restaurateur, does not quite come up to the level of Ronit’s family, despite having been a family friend for decades. One could plod on and on about the story as it reaches its laborious conclusion but it really serves no purpose at all.
The biggest problem with Yaadein is that Ghai has not been able to knit together a plot which has any cohesion or any real theme. We start off with the father and daughters angle but this is not really developed neither does Ghai choose to put any real emotional depth to any of that. Ghai then slops off to inject some youth and romance into the film with emphasis on Hrithik and Kareena but this is done more in song and dance than any moments of true romance or charm. In fact, the romance is cliched to the extreme and there is no passion or chemistry between the lead pair, something that Ghai is responsible for. Song after song simply makes the film more tedious especially when you are getting songs of a fairly mediocre standard and shot in a way that has no novelty. What a waste.
There is no depth in the film, none at all. Characters are wafer thin and seem almost like leftovers who have walked across from their roles in Pardes and Taal. Ghai has always done things in style and there is style in this one as well. But he always managed to grip with his narrative, even in his crassest of efforts. Ram Lakhan is a film which still comes to mind, a run of the mill story seen hundreds of times before yet presented with tremendous energy and style. Even Pardes had a sense of purpose and a narrative that gripped. Taal was very ordinary, saved by excellent music and some decent performances even though it did plod on and on and on. Yaadein seems to suggest he is certainly lost his touch.
Jackie Shroff makes an impression of sorts but nothing much else remains in memory. Hrithik Roshan has a pedestrian role, not demanding very much and he plays it ably although not leaving much of an impression. Kareena is fine but does not leave a lasting impression. She shined much brighter in Mujhe Kucch kehna hai as did Anu Malik. His music is passable, the title track and eeli re eeli being the better efforts. Sadly, the picturisation of the songs, another Ghai strong point, is extremely disappointing. The only reason this one will be remembered is because it is such a disappointment.