Yet another movie waiting to be made, and for a variety of reasons. Firstly, Hitch is one of the most obvious targets for a Hindi movie remake, and it was even more obvious to me, even while watching the original, that Govinda would do well in the Kevin James role. Secondly, if Govinda was making a comeback, David Dhawan had to be somewhere in the picture sooner or later. Thirdly, given their similar comic sensibilities, a Govinda-Salman starrer was almost inevitable.
None of this, of course, guarantees a movie’s success. If you need more persuasion, watch Bhagam Bhag – a movie where the makers pencilled in the lead cast, had a good laugh about the potential, and then just left it at that. Thankfully, David Dhawan doesn’t make the same mistake here. This isn’t the veteran director at the apex of his abilities, but it has its moments.
The one thing they got absolutely right is the Govinda-Salman pairing. Strangely enough, Govinda’s strength has always been his chemistry with his male co-stars – Kader Khan, Sanjay Dutt, and now Salman Khan. It’s so obvious that the two of them are having fun sharing screen space, and the good cheer is infectious. It also helps that their dialogue is rich in wordplay, consistently chuckle-worthy and occasionally brilliant.
Sadly, though, when it comes to the other easy target – making a good remake of Hitch – the movie is way off the mark. Sure, the cast looks appropriate – Katrina Kaif and Lara Dutta both seem like obvious choices in hindsight – but the screenplay is so awful, it sometimes feels like a school play written and rehearsed over half an hour at lunchtime.
Performances: Katrina Kaif was never a great actress, but this movie mostly just requires her to look gorgeous, so it’s not a problem, really. Lara Dutta fares much better. I didn’t like her much in Jhoom Barabar Jhoom (although I’ll admit she was marginally better than the other three leads), but this one hasn’t given me any reason to complain. David Dhawan’s movies require a certain brand of acting, and she seems to understand quite well how to do that. Salman and Govinda are quite good together, but have their share of missteps in the remaining scene. There’s a kid who plays Lara’s son and got on my nerves – bad dialogue, worse acting, total dead-weight. Rajpal Yadav has a cameo where he spoofs SRK in Don, and mostly fails miserably.
On the whole, I’d say the movie is worth a dekko. It makes its share of mistakes, but its one big positive is enough for me to recommend it.