Planet Bollywood
Dulhe Raja
Producer: Harmesh Malhotra
Director: Harmesh Malhotra
Starring: Govinda, Raveena Tandon, Kader Khan, Johny Lever, Mohnish Behl
Music: Anand-Milind
Lyrics: Sameer
Genre: Comedy
Recommended Audience: General
Film Released on: 10 July 1998
Reviewed by: Anjali Abrol  - Rating: 8.0 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.13 / 10 (rated by 414 viewers)
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Govinda Again. A string of flops....Banarasi Babu, Aunty No. 1, Achanak. Raveena....a longgggg string of ditzy, meaningless roles. Harmesh Malhotra. Last hit movie was Nagina. Sounds a ┬┤lil risky....but hey! Govinda has realized that he isn┬┤t always going to be ┬┤No. 1┬┤ so he decided to put off the ┬┤No. 1┬┤ patent.....a wise decision, we hope.

My cousins and I booked tickets at London┬┤s Feltham Cineworld Theater, and a good thing we did, because the tickets were sold out two hours prior to the 10 p.m. showing. Good sign, we thought.

We walk into Screen 10, all hyped up, singing the hit song, ┬┤Akhiyon Se Goli Maare┬┤. We freeze. The theater was the size of my bedroom. We look at each other and run to the last row (we couldn┬┤t imagine being any closer to Govinda. Godzilla was enough for me). People filled the max. 10 rows, the first three being left empty (my fears seemed to be shared). ┬┤Full house┬┤, for sure. Bad sign.

The movie opens with Kadar Khan (Mr. Singaria), a millionaire, buying a new hotel, a.k.a a big musibat. This musibat is none other than Raja (Govinda), who runs a Dhaba near the hotel. Most of the hotel guests eat at the dhaba

rather than the hotel, and for years, each hotel owner has been trying to remove the dhaba, yet remain unsuccessful. Johnny Lever plays the role of the hotel┬┤s manager, and a hilarious one at that. Raveena plays, again, the spoiled brat of a daughter, and a flake, at that, who is chasing a boytoy boxer gunda named Rahul (Mohnish Behl). Govinda falls for Raveena, blahblah, Kadar and Govinda feud over the dhaba, Raveena, blahblah.

Kadar meets Mohnish, hates him, and vows to Raveena that she can marry his biggest dushman but he will never allow her to marry Rahul. So she chases Raja and after a couple of songs, dumps him. That is when Kadar realizes that Raja is the one for Raveena....kinda late, at that.....

Raveena wants Mohnish, Mohnish wants Rav┬┤s money, Mohnish┬┤s gunde want soon-to-be Mohnish┬┤s money, Govinda wants Raveena, Kadar wants Govinda (for Raveena), Johnny wants Govinda (┬┤s side) but pretends to want Kadar (┬┤s side), and somehow Govinda ends up being Dulhe Raja.

The cast. Well-chosen. Govinda does an excellent job intertwining (clean) humor in every action and dialogue to keep the audience in splits. He managed to reach his humorous peak set by Coolie No.1, Saajan Chale Sasural, Hero No.1, and Deewana Mastana, which he had failed to do in latter releases. Raveena just plays the typical blah rich girl-with-a-bad-cold role (and by NOW, with years of role practice--from almost every movie, she┬┤s pretty convincing). Kadar plays the budhu baap well, Mohnish is good in his I-only- wish-I-were-a-convincing-gunda-but-I-am-just-a-budhu-cum-jerk role, and Johnny Lever is great in his displaced loyalty chamcha role.

The scenery wasn┬┤t one to note, for it would have probably taken away from the movie itself. Govinda was in his usual ┬┤Raja Dhaba wala┬┤ get-up and ridiculous, patent Govinda outfits. Raveena should stick to Indian clothes (and the ones in the movie were nice...hint hint), and let┬┤s leave it at that. Ufffffffffffffff but her hair and makeup!!!!! If she reflects what┬┤s still ┬┤in┬┤ in India, well, when is India going to move away from the ┬┤I am a raccoon druggie with horrid magenta lipstick and bad skin blemishes and pinky purple makeup (have we yet to figure out that we ain┬┤t GORES WITH CHITTE SKIN???? and especially for Ms. I-use-a-LOT-of-"gori wannabe"-body-paint heroine?????). And hair! Is that hair in????? Yeesh!!!!

The songs. The songs in this movie are not one to go "WOW" when you hear the audio....these are more tied with the movie itself, hence, make more sense. ┬┤Akhiyon Se Goli Maari┬┤ was the hit of the album, but was a disappointment in the movie, as far as attire and picturization goes. We had imagined Raveena to be wearing at least a few more traditional clothes, but no, she wore horrifying Amriki

clothing...the scene was set in some park or something, whereas it cold have been shot on some mountain-side or something. The rest of the songs were well-done, especially ┬┤Kya Lagti Hai Hai Rabba┬┤..that was quite convincing. The dance choreography was very well- done...lately, Govinda┬┤s dance steps seemed to have been one to fast- forward...but each step was well-defined and showed skill and took the best of both Govinda and Raveena, and was worth watching. Two songs, ┬┤Nigahen Kyon Churaati Hai┬┤ and ┬┤Aayi Ban Ke Root┬┤ were left out of the movie, but were not a great loss (that probably helped the movie!).

The humor was well-timed and clean, a nice change from Govinda┬┤s humor lately. The movie kept everyone in tune, I didn┬┤t spot any nodding off heads. This will be the boost in Govinda┬┤s career after a string of flops, and should help his upcoming release (Maharaja) and a large boost for Raveena, or at least we hope!

The audience┬┤s general reaction to the movie seemed to be quite positive, so I took that as a GOOD SIGN....

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