Koi... Mil Gaya
Hrithik has finally been touched by magic. Time enough too. His career cannot but go higher after director papa Roshan's Koi… Mil Gaya for there isn't a doubt that both have come up with a winner, once more.
It may or not rival Kaho Naa.. Pyaar Hai's success but surely has the power to resurrect the industry's sagging fortunes. And it certainly won't the go way other Hrithik starrers have - straight downhill.
But Hrithik needn't have worried. Despite the steady string of flops that he's had after Kaho Naa… , he is one star son who has the potential to carry off a film on his shoulders - even as a wide-eyed child trapped in a man's body.
Which is just what he does - with a very pretty sensual, sexy and mind-blowing Preity next to him and ably supported by his young friends, Hrithik once more steals a march (and lots of female hearts) over his rivals in the industry.
The story is fantastical in nature - what with spaceships landing and taking off at will, animated birds flying gently (floating more like) and an ancient looking computer which a modern day scientist wouldn't be seen dead with - but put together the new formula (by mainstream Mumbai film standards) works. All of it does. Not quite your science fiction genre of the Western fame, strictly, but ok - we'll live.
Hrithik is a child born with brain damage - caused when his parents' car met with an accident and he was still in his mother's womb. While the father (a two scene cameo by Roshan Sr. himself) expired the mother (Rekha) lives on with the knowledge that her son is the butt of jokes every minute - all across town, and is repeatedly declared a failure in school.
Rohit (Hrithik) by and large is a sharp kid except that he fails to understand why he isn't more like his friends. And then he meets Jadoo (the much-touted alien creature you end up falling in love with by the end of the film) who's been left behind inadvertently (even aliens make mistakes) by his own kin.
Since the whole town has witnessed the spectacle of a spaceship landing, and is on the lookout for those who got left behind, its imperative that Jadoo remain hidden. For his part, Jadoo turns out easy maintenance for 12-year-old Rohit, for he draws his energy from the Sun.
And in return for Rohit's friendship and kindness, Jadoo gives his new-found bum-chum special powers - like those of an adult. So Rohit romances his love Nisha (Preity) - with trademark song-and-dance routine, bashes up baddies (in superb style) who've been bothering him and wins a basketball match along with his buddies (whom Jadoo helps fly across the court). In short, he Hrithik does get to do everything that a Hindi film hero does 'normally'. Thank God.
It's one merry ball till Rohit finds out that Jadoo has to return to his world once more and will carry back with him the powers he's given.
The role demanded that Hrithik act like a child and he does it admirably well - most of the time. Once in a while when he does keel over - he's forgiven by the audience. Rakesh Roshan relies on the age-old Mumbai mainstream formula - the willing suspension of disbelief, and it succeeds.
As for the special effects, they certainly don't like they've been put together in a rush and are clearly a cut above the rest by Bollywood standards. Not quite your Independence Day but we're getting there.
And yes, the pre-publicity in this case has been well worth it. Koi… Mil Gaya is certainly worth that one watch and then once more - the countless brand endorsements notwithstanding.