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Yuvvraaj is musical story of fragmented family of three brothers, Deven
Yuvvraaj (Salman Khan), Gyanesh (Anil Kapoor) and Danny (Zayed Khan) fighting
and playing games with each other to inherit their father`s wealth. The story
takes a curve when Anushka (Katrina Kaif) comes in to explain them the power of
relationships over the power of money by using music to bind the love between
Ghai churns out another winner in `Yuvvraaj` (IANS Film Review)
Subhash Ghai`s loveliest film in years has a symphonic
texture, feel and movement to it. From the opening shots of Katrina Kaif
labouring lusciously over the cello to the montage towards the end when Boman
Irani, playing a zany surgeon, hops skips and jumps in the hospital corridor to
announce the hero`s recovery, Yuvvraaj reworks old themes of family
ties and unequal love matches to suit a new clientele.
It says it`s okay to want money. But it`s not okay to sacrifice family for
funds. The palate is passionate. The look, feel and flavour of the presentation
are near-exquisite. Ghai`s hard-earned reputation as a showman is on show here
with shimmering austerity.
Less is constantly more in Yuvvraaj. The story of three wealthy
brothers battling for the billions after their tycoon father`s death cannot be
entirely exonerated of excesses. The supporting characters of ghoulish wealth -
gold diggers and cleavage revealing sirens - seem straight out of Ghai`s
Ram Lakhan and Trimurti.
But all said and done, there`s a delicacy to the narration that most cinema
today is unable to achieve.
Yuvvraaj is not a film in a hurry. Though the pacing is even and
stable, and feelings are frequently created out of the background score, it
seldom gets cumbersome to watch.
Cinematographer Kabir Lal and art designer Oomang Kumar make sure our interest
level in the incidents in the Yuvvraaj family never flags.
The performances are frequently charming and at times intriguing in their
shadowy suggestions. The writer, played by Aushima Sawhney, flits in and out
with stealth and grace, serving as both narrator and equaliser in this
tumultuous tale of greed and redemption.
Bala, who plays autistic hero Anil Kapoor`s loyal friend, seldom speaks and
remains an innocent mute spectator to the self-serving avarice of the rest of
After over-the-top performances in some hideous comedies, Anil is in full form
as a psychologically impaired musical genius. The character`s vulnerability and
lack of man-made manoeuvrings are expressed in the most tender and heart-melting
expressions of a mind that doesn`t understand materialism and manipulation.
Anil holds the film and its loose ends together and serves as a reference point
for this tale with a moral for our times.
Lower down the cast, Zayed Khan as Anil`s kid brother pumps in the right amount
of hedonistic confusion into his spoilt rich brat`s act.
But clearly the stars of the show are A.R. Rahman`s music and Gulzar`s lyrics.
Blending into the supremely mellow fabric of the characters` chaotic inner
worlds, the music blends symphonic elements into a big large epic desi sound.
Seamless in its splendid synthesis of feelings and sounds, and avoiding
over-punctuation except in the Broadway-like choreography, Yuvvraaj
catches the characters` inner worlds in a state of reposeful grace.
The excesses, when they occur, are often doubly embarrassing because of the
film`s continually fine structure and style. Often as the narration takes steep
cultural swerves from Prague to Austria to London, Ghai puts in interior
sequences on bad sets that intrude on the narration`s streamlined motivations.
Moments such as the one where Anil sings publicly for the first time are
heartstopping in their sensitivity. But at times, Ghai loses grip over the
narration, especially when some of the actors choose to do their own thing
rather than remain in character.
But there is so much in Yuvvraaj to be thankful for. The splendour
of the locales never overpowers the characters` right to be where they are.
As in Pardes and Yaadein, Ghai questions joint-family
values and the rapidly-changing equations in modern times. While pricking our
collective conscience, Yuvvraaj rarely throws up a moment when we
can`t look Ghai`s vision straight in the eye. It is among the finest films of