The biggest disappointment I had with Salaam-e-Ishq earlier this year was the notable absence of the Golden-Footed Virar ka Chokra hoofing it up for our enjoyment. Sure, it was great to see him back on the big screen, and in a somewhat ‘serious’ role (ok, sober? restrained?), but I kept waiting for the big, break-out number when he’d go wild, arms and feet swirling in all directions, but it never came.
Well, bless you, Mr. Dhawan, for giving us back our Govinda as we love him: cutting up and cutting a rug.
As Salman’s character’s niece says “He’s cuddly, like a teddy bear.” That he is, but he’s also nimble on his feet and looks like he’s having a ball doing his jhatkas. Once again, as he shimmies across the sand and scampers around bathing beauties (even one with a very painful looking sunburn), all is right with the world this Friday night.
And I’m not the only one to feel that way. All around me in the theater tonight, people were already cheering when the opening credits appeared – stamped on various body parts of the cast in stills from the movie – and again, cheers erupted at the start of the big dance number near the end.
The movie is classic David Dhawan, except with a glossier look and improved double entendres. Lara Dutta and Katrina Kaif are decidedly upmarket heroines, both very pretty in this movie, and Salman has the brawn (I lost count of how many times he tore off his shirt tonight. Five perhaps?) while mere pyare, pyare Govinda has the grace.
The story is ok, though nothing much to worry yourselves about. Two boys like two girls, complications and dancing ensue (this is a remake of Will Smith’s Hitch). One complaint I had is that just when the story seems to be winding itself down, all of a sudden it will rise up, somewhat wobbly, and veer off down another avenue, and this happens a few times. The other complaint is a rather unkind treatment of a gay character named Kiran, and it’s sad to see that these kind of potshots are still being taken in 2007.
Distracting also were the few street scenes in Bombay (e.g. Mount Mary Church), sprinkled in between the many location shots in Thailand and antiseptic interiors in UAE. But this is just a small kvetch.
By the way, you can see a short video (Hindi mein) of the two fellas discussing the film here.
See it or skip it?
See it, if you want fun, mindless entertainment, and a chance to see both Chichi and Sallu yuk it up, often to the beat of some very catchy music.
And yes, I did like the song Maria, Maria. 😉 Now if I can only get it in a ringtone, I’ll be all set…