Stay away from Yuvvraaj. Just keep way from this dungheap of a movie that’s offensive beyond redemption.
Rain Man (1988, Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise) is a great Hollywood classic, the winner of four Oscars.
Yuvvraaj is an ugly, pitiful Bollywood copy of Rain Man that offers nothing but dollops of misery to unsuspecting moviegoers.
Dustin Hoffman and, to a lesser extent, Tom Cruise were a joy to behold in Rain Man, a stunning visual treat for moviegoers.
Compared to the Hoffman-Cruise duo, Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor and Zayed Khan are pathetic impostors, shameless caricatures of actors.
And completely oblivious to our misery, the Khan-Kapoor-Khan troika under the aegis of mis-director Subhash Ghai unleash a lengthy torture drama on the screen that has few parallels in Bollywood or elsewhere.
A peine forte et dure, this obscenely bad movie sucked the breath out of us. Buffoons, all.
Mercifully, Katrina Kaif does not inflict as much damage in Yuvvraaj as she does in some of her previous outrages like Singh is Kinng.
We have long given up hope of Bollywood making original movies.
But is it that difficult to make a decent movie even after borrowing heavily from a classic like Rain Man.
Rain Man Magic
With his shuffling gait, the head sometime tilted to one side, the I don’t know or I am an excellent driver refrains, remarkable memory and prisoner to routine, Dustin Hoffman was awesome in Rain Man.
Who having seen the movie can ever forget Dustin Hoffman’s magical skills with numbers, the extreme agitation when his routine is disturbed or the slow bonding between the brothers during the long drive from Cincinnati to Los Angeles on the back-roads (remember, Dustin Hoffman’s character is scared of planes and he’s scared of highways because of the high mortality rates on both).
Can you ever forget the scene of an angry Tom Cruise standing in the middle of a deserted road and screaming: What difference does it make where you buy underwear?…Underwear is underwear. And Dustin Hoffman’s character keeps repeating about buying boxers at the Kmart on 400 Oak Street in Cincinnati.
Or the scene when Hoffman gets agitated in the bathroom because hot water is rushing into the tub triggering an old sad memory or the dancing and kissing moment in the casino elevator between Hoffman and Tom Cruise’s girlfriend Valeria Golino.
Ultimately, it’s the unusual greed meets autism story that’s the allure of this fine movie.
Who let this Bollywood bozo and mis-director Subhash Ghai behind a camera. Even after directing over a dozen films and four decades in the movie business, Subhash Ghai surely knows less about movie-making than the dumbest gofer on a Hollywood movie set.
Yuvvraaj hews broadly to the Rain Man story, albeit with some ugly modifications to avoid charges of plagiarism.
A rich man dies leaving most of his wealth to his autistic son, much to the chagrin of the other children (the selfish Tom Cruise in Rain Man, and chorus singer Salman Khan and playboy Zayed Khan in Yuvvraaj).
Like Tom Cruise’s character in Rain Man, Salman Khan’s character Deven Yuvvraaj is also estranged from his wealthy father but readily comes home after the old man kicks the bucket with the intention of claiming his share of the vast property.
If you thought Salman Khan was yuck in God Tussi Great Ho, he’s yuckier in Yuvvraaj.
When Salman Khan talks it’s with the charm of Prem Chopra in the old Hindi movies; when he struts around, it’s with the swagger of Bobby Deol on a bad day; when he dances, it’s with the grace of the late actress Tun Tun; when he cries it’s with as much credibility as a ‘repentant’ Nathuram Godse.
Salman Khan is bad when he moves his mouth, ugly when he moves his legs and worse when he moves his eyes to shed tears, as he does on at least two occasions in Yuvvraaj.
In one of the interesting scenes, Boman Irani, who plays Katrina’s father Dr.P.K.Banton, screams when the topic of her marriage to Deven (Salman Khan) comes up – Any donkey, monkey and flunkey will do but not him.
Never have truer words been spoken of Salman Khan. An absolutely horrendous actor, how this clown manages to snag roles is one of life’s many mysteries. Only in Bollywood.
In two crucial scenes – the first, when he lures his elder brother to come to Austria with him and the second, in his final confrontation with Boman Irani in the hospital, Salman Khan is a complete disgrace.
Autistic, My Foot
But the great tragedy of Yuvvraaj must surely be Anil Kapoor, who plays the autistic musician Gyanesh, elder brother of Deven and Danny (Zayed Khan) and the inheritor of the family billions.
Gyyanesh must surely be the most social autistic on the planet bar none – most bizarrely normal as he plays ball with kids, flirts with Anushka (Katrina Kaif) and complains about the liars in the family to his attorney Sikandar Mirza (Mithun Chakraborty). And does all of that extremely badly.
Whether at the piano, talking to Anushka (Katrina Kaif), expressing his passion for music, in the interaction with his young friend Bala, when he brings back a butterfly, or while singing in that grand performance toward the end, Anil Kapoor displays absolutely none of the elan that Dustin Hoffman displays in every frame he appears in Rain Man. In short, Anil Kapoor is hopelessly incompetent.
Not once in this ugly stinker does Anil Kapoor seem autistic in the least. Nor does his passion for music seem genuine. The whole autistic thing is a sham, a cruel charade played by Subhash Ghai on the hapless audience.
Surely, Dustin Hoffman was more compelling in just his teeth-brushing scene than Anil Kapoor was in all of Yuvvraaj.
As for Zayed Khan, let’s just say God was in a foul mood when he created this cartoon.
When Zayed Khan yells out maniacally after his car breaks down in the snow – What have I done – we felt like yelling back, You should have stayed at home or picked an alternate career.
Besides the absence of noteworthy acting, the boring, crappy screenplay with its predictable denouement of a happy united family is a big letdown. The side-stories of Mamaji, Sukamna, Dr.P.K.Banton et al are needless distractions.
Ultimately, banal greed and silly romance push autism into the background and turn Yuvvraaj into yet another Bollywood crap-show.
Unlike Rain Man, there are no great moments in Yuvvraaj. Not one. One banal, tiresome frame follows another in unending succession, leaving us praying for the end to come quickly.
But even that wish was not granted since this piece of junk is a sickening 2hrs:35 minutes looonnng.
We can’t say we were totally disappointed with A.R.Rahman’s work in Yuvvraaj.
But in the absence of a compelling story or passable acting, not even Beethoven can save this piece of trash.
We loved Tu Meri Dost Hain, the song was pleasing and nicely picturized as well. The other songs including the boring Mastam Mastam are forgettable.
With Yuvvraaj, the never ending funeral procession of ugly Bollywood movies continues.
Rain Man is a fine gift to moviegoers.
Yuvvraaj is a dirty curse on moviegoers that demands to be shown the middle finger without a second thought.
This weekend, borrow Rain Man from Blockbuster (if you are in the U.S.) or from your nearest DVD library if you live elsewhere.
Yuvvraaj is garbage, plain and simple. Unworthy of your money or time.