Hero No. 1

Producer: Vashu Bhagnani
Director: David Dhawan
*ing : Govinda, Karisma Kapoor, Kader Khan, Paresh Rawal, Himani Shivpuri, Satish Shah, Tiku Talsania and Shakti Kapoor
Music: Anand-Milind

Reviewed by: Ali Ikram

Rating : (out of )

The team of Govinda and David Dhawan have begun to demonstrate their complacency in giving hit films together with their latest releases (Saajan Chale Sasural and Hero No.1). Hero No. 1 is inspired by Bawarchi, an old time classic by Hrishikesh Mukerjee.

There is little doubt that Hero No.1 will end up becoming a successful film like the duos other collaborations, but this film, like last year's Saajan Chale Sasural, does not have the punch and verve of their earlier films together. While Saajan Chale Sasural compensated its pre-interval, death-inducing boredom with a laugh a minute second half, Hero No.1 maintains a pretty tepid comedy pace throughout.

The story revolves around our Hero No.1 meeting his beloved in Europe and falling in love. He has escaped from his father, Kader Khan's tyranny and she has "stolen some time out of her life to study in Europe". Very DDLJ you say, well you're right. Unfortunately, the proceedings are neither as interesting as DDLJ, nor as funny as a typical Dhawan-dhamaka. The only enjoyable European portions are provided by Himani Shivpuri, Karisma's aunt, who flirts with Govinda as she accompanies her niece on the trip.

The couple eventually goes back to India (Kader Khan makes up with sonny boy), but we are only an hour into the film so Kader has a big fight with Karisma's grandpa Paresh Rawal in one of the film's other few semi-amusing moments. Dadaji refuses to let his Poti marry the son of his 'enemy'. So Govinda has to deceptively become Karisma family's Bawarchi to win the hearts of all in the extended family and finally win her hand in marriage. The sequences are funny but not when compared to an old film I saw once called Angoor with a partially similar plot line. All this is not to say that Hero No.1 is a bad film. The cast gives pretty good performances and Govinda works really hard as usual, but one expects a great deal more.

David Dhawan's earlier release this year, 'Judwaa' is by far a better film than 'Hero No.1'. Perhaps it is because Dhawan worked harder to make a good, hit film with a different hero (Judwaa stars Salman in the lead) or maybe because Judwaa has a lot more naughty humour. You see Dhawan excels at "cher char" comedy where his characters flirt with each other. All of Dhawan's early Govinda films and Judwaa have this comedy, which make the movies more funny. When Govinda and Dhawan were earlier lambasted by critics unfairly for their earlier bouts of making "vulgar films", the duo backed off and has begun trying to make more family-oriented comedies; it did not work. The compromise has made their films together less entertaining.

Even the songs of Hero No.1, which are as funny as earlier Govinda-Dhawan films do not fit into the movie. They are designed for a COMEDIC DHAMAKA, but the audience is watching what seems like a Kalptaru directed family drama.

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