July 26, 2002 
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Salman Khan
Salman comes up with a poor show
Yeh Hai Jalwa completes David Dhawan's disastrous trilogy.

Priya Ganapati

Na hi fax, na hi xerox, na hi telex, na hi computer ki koi copy; main hoon apne papa ki carbon copy.

A film reeking of such lines as its recurring theme is likely to be bad news. Also, it has to be a David Dhawan film that ends up becoming a super hit with huge crowds thronging outside the theatres for tickets.

Incredibly enough, this has happened quite a few times in the past to elevate Dhawan to the ranks of a filmmaker whose films neither appeal to critics or the intelligentsia but rake a fair share of moolah at the BO.

In Yeh Hai Jalwa, the latest from his stable of senseless stories to hit the marquee, the afore mentioned lyrics only generate a huge yawn. Even the mandatory guffaws from frontbenchers are missing. Evidently, Dhawan has exhausted his bag of tricks.

Ludicrous as his earlier films were, they had a manic energy coursing through them. But in Yeh Hai Jalwa that is sorely missing.

Now to interpret the theme song of the film. The carbon copy is the lean, tanned Salman Khan and the original is the fair skinned, chubby Rishi Kapoor. If you are looking for any hint of resemblance between the father and son, remember that any semblance to sense, logic or coherency is purely coincidental and unintentional.
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Yeh Hai Jalwa plodders from Mumbai to London where Raju (Salman) flies in search of his father Rajesh Mittal (Kapoor) -- long presumed dead by his suffering mother, who herself is no more. In London, Raju does a bump and grind with pretty Sonia (Amisha Patel). He is heartbroken to discover his father has another picture perfect family and steadfastly refuses to accept him as his son.

Raju resolves to stay on, get pally with his step-family and gain legitimacy. There is not much of a story but then Dhawan's movies distinguish themselves by their zany madcap humor. That humor, however, is clearly lacking in Yeh Hai Jalwa.

Yeh Hai Jalwa is Ketan Desai's second film with Dhawan after Deewana Mastana. Dhawan's madcap humor seems to work only when he pairs with Govinda. In Yeh Hai Jalwa, Dhawan opted for Salman, a decision that is likely to handicap the film.

Khan does not have the body language, the energy or madness in his eyes to carry out a role that requires an actor to look credible in the most incredulous situations. Plus, his looks are inconsistent throughout the film. For instance, in the first half, there is an action sequence that has Khan bashing up a few baddies. In it, though he sports a cap, his shaved head shows through the sides. When Salman is singing duets he doesn't even make an attempt to look earnest. The actor shares zero on screen chemistry with Amisha Patel.

On her part, Amisha has reined in the over the top theatrics displayed in her last few films. The actress has nothing to do but dance and look good, which she does effortlessly.

Yeh Hai Jalwa Rishi Kapoor finally graduates to playing daddy. With a little grey at his temples and a roly-poly figure, he makes a fine father on screen. Alas, in this so-called comedy, he is out of depth.

The rest of the cast comprising Rinke Khanna, Sharad Kapoor, Rati Agnihotri and Sanjay Dutt (in a guest appearance) are just glamorous extras. It is a pity that well-known artistes are wasted like this.

Himesh Reshammiya's score is out of tune. Baring the title track, the rest of the score is screechy. The songs do their best to drag the film down and turn it into an interminable bore.

Shot in London, the cinematography is passable and does not add charm or glamour to the picturesque locales.

While there was some method in the madness of Dhawan's earlier flicks, Aankhen, Saajan Chale Sasural and Coolie No 1, Dhawan's recent films have been insipid. His last two releases -- Kyunkii Main Jhooth Nahi Bolta and Hum Kisise Se Kum Nahin -- slipped out of the theatres in a jiffy.

Yeh Hai Jalwa will only complete the trilogy of disasters for Dhawan.

Also read:
Salman woos big daddy inYeh Hai Jalwa. A preview
Producer Ketan Desai has his fingers crossed for Yeh Hai Jalwa

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