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HE’S the last of the showmen left, apart from Yash Chopra, who seems to have taken a break from direction. Yes, not so long ago, Subhash Ghai was a synonym for Bollywood’s opulent extravaganzas of the ’80s-’90s, when cinema was still a larger-than-life narrative about good versus evil. Remember Karz , the original, Karma , Ram Lakhan , Khalnayak , Taal …an era of cinema where the formula not only held sway, but was a grand success too. The onslaught of new storytellers and new styles may have pushed the old guard into the background, but it failed to dim the passion. Today, after a lean phase, the veteran filmmaker returns with Yuvvraaj , a grandiose film that has lots to boast about, even though it falters here and there in terms of script and narrative. Topping the list of positives is AR Rahman’s scintillating music score which brings to life Gulzar’s poetry with sublime fluidity. And since the film is essentially set against a musical backdrop, where Katrina and Salman are members of an Austrain orchestra, Rahman’s ode to Beethoven seems in perfect sync with the script. Secondly, it’s the aesthetics of the film which leaves a lasting impression. Mostly shot in Prague and Austria, the film is picture-postcard perfect, with cinematographer Kabir Lal capturing the exotic locales in splendid hues. And finally, the film scores with its performances, especially by Salman Khan who essentially plays himself — a super brat — with perfect elan. He is the prodigal son, who was thrown out of the family mansion by his father because of his sibling rivalry with his mentally challenged elder brother, Anil Kapoor. As a choir boy in Prague, he finds a soulmate in cellist Katrina Kaif, but cannot marry her since her dad (billionaire Boman Irani) doesn’t approve of his impoverished situation. Hoping to change his fortunes after the death of his dad, he rushes home to inherit the family millions, only to realise there’s nothing left for him and his younger, equally roguish brother, Zayed Khan. Nerd Anil has been declared the sole heir, with sundry greedy relatives eyeing the moolah around him. Time for the dysfunctional family to outwit each other and split or to outsmart the outsiders and come together, once again…. Essentially a tale of three brothers, who rediscover their ties after hating each other for years, Yuvvraaj does have some fine moments of bonding between Salman and Anil. Zayed, however fails to connect and remains the outsider in this Trimurti, though surprisingly, Katrina does manage to hold her own in this bhai-bhai business. We do wish the duo (Katrina-Salman) had more time to set the screen on fire with their crackling chemistry, especially since all that we manage to get is a tantalising teaser with Katrina handcuffing a bare-chested Salman with her silken scarf. Kendi pump up the jam, janah! On the flip side, the story hangs loosely in the middle and winds up in a mothballed climax, where old-fashioned baddies try to bump off the goofy Anil Kapoor who does an Eeshwar all over again. But Salman Khan and AR Rahman more than make up for the lapses, carrying you off on a sonata and a song. Watch Yuvvraaj for an in-fashion retro feel.
Says Mr. Nikhat Kazmi
Times Of India

Every step you take, every move you make… we’ll be watchin’ you. Have altered the lines of a famous song. For, this one’s applicable for Subhash Ghai, a proficient storyteller, one of the most successful stories from this side of the Atlantic. Irrespective of how his films are received at the ticket window, Ghai’s movies are always under scrutiny. You watch every film with a magnifying glass
YUVVRAAJ is no exception!
Ghai’s forte has been drama. Recall the dramatic moments in KARZ, VIDHAATA, MERI JUNG, RAM LAKHAN, KARMA, SAUDAGAR. He re-visits the genre with YUVVRAAJ. Besides, YUVVRAAJ is his most opulent work thus far. It has a sweeping effect, the film makes a stunning visual statement
The story [Ghai] mirrors a universal truth. Greed leads to disputes and in turn, ruins all relationships. A fact you’ve heard or witnessed time and again in real life. While the story is captivating, the screenplay doesn’t really do justice to the thought. Also, Rahman’s music acts as a soothing balm, but the problem is, it takes time to grow on the listener. And that could be a deterrent.
Yet, in all fairness, YUVVRAAJ is a notch above the commonplace. If you intend spending your hard-earned money on it or devoting 3 hours of your precious time on Ghai’s new outing, chances are you won’t regret it.
Deven Yuvvraaj [Salman Khan] is a chorus singer, in love with Anushka [Katrina Kaif]. Her father Dr. Banton [Boman Irani], however, is dead against this relationship. Things take a turn when Deven’s father passes away and he returns to London to stake claim on his father’s wealth. He meets his two estranged brothers Gyanesh Yuvvraaj [Anil Kapoor] and Danny Yuvvraaj [Zayed Khan] after almost twelve years. But things aren’t hunky-dory between them…Ghai has an eye for visuals and every frame of YUVVRAAJ seems like a painting on celluloid. Unmistakably, that’s the first thing you notice as YUVVRAAJ unfolds.
It takes time to absorb YUVVRAAJ. In fact, Ghai doesn’t open all his cards at the very outset. It’s only when the father [Javed Shaikh] passes away and Mithun Chakraborty, the Executor of the Will, enters the scene that the wheels start moving.
The film gathers momentum after the interval. If the first hour has a few by-now-famous Ghai scenes, the second hour sees Ghai in form, with a number of sequences staying in your memory. The penultimate 20-25 minutes are the best. Watch Anil go through the handycam with disbelief, watch Anil and Salman’s act during the concert, watch Salman’s emotional outburst towards the end… also the titles [brings back memories of OM SHANTI OM].
Ghai handles the dramatic scenes with flourish. Rahman’s music is soothing, but you expect more because Ghai’s movies are embellished with lilting music that you recall even after 2 or 3 decades. Kabir Lal captures the striking beauty of Europe well. The output is superb. The sets [Omung Kumar] are truly majestic.
YUVVRAAJ belongs to Anil Kapoor, who towers above the entire cast and delivers a natural, believable performance. Salman’s looks are inconsistent. At times the boyish look is intact, at times he looks bloated. Ditto for his hairstyle. His performance, however, is better, mainly towards the finale. Zayed tries hard and convinces in a few scenes. Mithun Chakraborty is fantastic in a brief role.
Katrina looks angelic. Despite the focus being on the three men, she registers an impact. Boman Irani is credible, especially in the scene when he steps out of the Operation Theatre towards the end. Aushima Sawhney is confident. Anjan Srivastava and the pack of villains/vamps look straight out of RAM LAKHAN and TAAL.
On the whole, YUVVRAAJ is interesting, with the penultimate 20/25 minutes taking the film to an all-time high. At the box-office, the package [a mammoth cast, Subhash Ghai, A.R. Rahman, the stunning locales of Europe] should ensure a hearty opening and with no major opposition in the forthcoming week, it should keep its investors smiling.
Says Taran Adarsh –
Film Critic

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