Yeh Hai Jalwa (2002)

David Dhawan - Director / Himesh Reshammiya - Music

Sudhakar Sharma - Lyrics / Running time: 2 hours 21 minutes

Own it!

As word of my predilection for Indian cinema began to spread, other Indian co-workers of mine began to approach me and talk about what I've seen and liked. One of them lent me some of their collection, which included the subject of this article, "Yeh Hai Jalwa" (pronounced "yeh hay jahl-va"). As best I can tell, this title translates to "This Is Magic," or something very close to that. This movie doesn't know what it wants to be. There are lots of comedy scenes, quite a few fairly rough fights, a few big dramatic showdowns, and of course the requisite musical numbers. It's more of a comedy than anything else though, so we'll approach it from that angle and see how it goes.

We have a few repeat performers in this one. First off we have Salman Khan, recently seen in Karan Arjun as Karan. His role here is a lot more playful, and he gets to show off some of his comedic talents. Of course, since this is Salman Khan, he gets to beat some people up as well.

Next up is Anupam Kher, who was last seen on AoM in Khal Nayak as Inspector General Pandey. Mr. Kher has appeared in quite a few very good movies. However I've yet to address many of the better known ones. If you get a chance to see some before I get to them, I would suggest 1942: A Love Story (as Manisha's father!) and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. Western audiences may know him from the soccer-themed movie Bend It Like Beckham. His performance is usually geared towards comic relief, but he's quite good as a dramatic actor as well. Here, he's a little of both.

Finally we have Sharad Kapoor, who was last seen way back in Jaani Dushman as Victor, the hapless victim that was killed by a motorcycle tire.

There are two cameos from another well-known Indian actor, but we'll save the surprise for when he makes his appearance.

For this outing, we have on the roster:

Raju Saxena (Salman Khan) - A successful businessman who never knew his father. That is... until now!
Rajesh Mittal (Rishi Kapoor) - That father I was just talking about. Also a very well-to-do businessman with a surprise or two from his past waiting in the wings.
Robin Singh (Anupam Kher) - Rajesh's loyal legal advisor. Not all that happy about what his daughter has been up to.
Sonia (Amisha Patel) - Robin's daughter. She's kind of sweet on Raju up there. She goes pretty far to help him out on his mission.
Purushottham Mittal (Kader Khan) - Rajesh's father, a retired (all together now) businessman that lives with his family.
Smita Mittal (Rati Agnihotri) - Rajesh's wife. Her life is about to get a bit more interesting.
Rinkie Mittal (Rinkie Khanna) - Rajesh's daughter. She's going to learn a few hard lessons in the near future.
Bunty Mittal (Ajay Nagrath) - Rajesh's son. He's a little heavy, and wants to play music for a living. Dad's not happy about that.
Vishal Kapoor (Sharad Kapoor) - Rinkie's finacee. He's a little suspicious-looking, so keep an eye on him.

Again, this film changes tone quite often, so I recommend keeping yourself balanced on the balls of your feet so you can change direction quickly.

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