Cast: Govinda, Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Lara Dutta, Dilip Tahil, Amey Pandya.; Director: David Dhawan; Rating: ***
Here’s some serious shrink think. Why is Salman Khan named Sameer or Prem in every other film?
And don’t look too deep. But David Dhawan’s films are predominantly about male bonding. If it was Govinda and Sanjay Dutt in Haseena Maan Jayegi and Ek Aur Ek Gyarah, it’s the new ‘Jodi No Wham’ Govinda and Salman in the slicky-packaged tongue-in-shriek and very very adaptive Partner.
But with a difference. The focus has shifted somewhat from the irrepressible you-can’t-put-a-cool-man-down Govinda to shirtless Salman.(He even strips at the security check at the airport without being asked to do so!).
As the love guru Prem, Salman is super-cool. He not only gives Will Smith from Hitch—oh, didn’t I tell you, this is a frame-by-frame copy of the Hollywood film about a love guru who counsels losers on how to win female hearts— a run for the madness, Salman also matches Govinda step-by-step on those elaborately choreographed set pieces with Sajid-Wajid’s music embracing Bhangda-reggae and hip-hop as though they were running out of esteem.
But we forget….we’re in never-never land. Locked away far from reality. Writer Sanjay Chhel’s punning skills are legendary. He gives both his heroes wham-lines which make the audiences go weak in their knees.
But I still say, Mr Chhel(God bless his puns) gave his best lines to Sanjay Dutt in Khubsoorat. The khubsoorat thing about Partner is to watch the wonderful chemistry between the two heroes as they journey from jokes and jibes to love and other heterosexual vibes.
The bonding is littered with broad bacchanalia. You get the same feeling of attending a beach party that you did while watching Salman whoop it up with Akshay Kumar in David Dhawan’s Mujhse Shaadi Karoge.
The girls are surprisingly spirited and upfront. Lara Dutta is specially outstanding as the single mother training her journalistic camera on the trying-hard-to-be-funny Rajpal Yadav who plays Chota Don, a mixture of Mr Bachchan and Mr Khan in the two versions of Don, and quite an amusing anomaly, if you don’t think about it.
The bak-bak never stops. And the fun quotient is heightened through several devious devices, like the belated entry of that wonder-kid from Fana (Ali Haji) who pees in pubic water basins and dunks Salman into dyed water.
Salman has always had fun with kids on screen. Remember Aditya Narayan and Salman in Jab Pyar Kissi Se Jota Hai?
Not much has changed since that film five years ago. Salman is still fun feisty and flirtatious. Govinda certainly has turned a corner. He does confident parodies of his old collaborations with David Dhawan, takes ghoulish delight in tormenting his screen-buddy by his antics and has himself a whale of time…in and out of the sky-blue waters.
Partner is the kind of comedy that looks glossy and feels good. Go for it.