Running Time: 2:50
as Rohit Mehra
Anuj Pandit, Mohit Makkad, Jai Choksi, Omkar Purohit, Hansika Motwani and Pranita Bishnoi
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Although certainly cheesy at times, Koi... Mil Gaya was actually a pretty decent film. Not original by any means, but fun, with a winning cast.
Sanjay has spent his entire life looking for life on other planets. The night they respond, he dies in a car crash. That same car crash injures his unborn son, Rohit. Rohit grows up physically, but mentally he's got the mind of an 11-year-old. For the most part, he exists well with his young friends, but some times, he gets picked on which makes him understandably frustrated. He meets a pretty young girl named Nisha who takes a liking to him, and together they discover his father's old computer equipment. By accident, they contact the same aliens and this time the alien ship lands in their small town. Spooked by some elephants in the forest, the aliens quickly leave, but one of their own is left behind. The little alien is befriended by Rohit and his friends, and their friendship is returned in magical ways. But as always, the people in charge want to take the alien and study him, and it's up to Rohit and his friends to get the alien man back to his planet, even if it costs them everything.
Again, for those of you that don't normally watch Bollywood productions, let me say that they're generally really long, they have a lot of musical sequences, and for the most part they're cheesy love stories. In the case of Koi... Mil Gaya you have pretty much the same thing, except now there's a blue alien involved. The story is straight from E.T. - The Extra Terrestrial. An alien gets lost on Earth and helps people before being chased down by cops and eventually taken back home. So no points for originality there. The filmmakers however, did frame the story differently by taking one of Bollywood's leading heartthrobs and turning him into an 11-year-old boy. Making him a man-child and using that as a backdrop for the alien story was interesting and I think Hrithik Roshan pulled it off. It took a little while to get used to seeing him acting stupidly, but once you did, his performance was rather good. Hrithik is known in India for his amazing body and his dancing ability and for most of this movie, he had to hide his physique, and since he was supposed to have the mind of an 11-year-old, he couldn't dance like he normally would dance. But when he was finally able to let loose (through a plot point I won't ruin), you could feel a buzz go through the crowd as they finally were able to see Hrithik be Hrithik. There's no question the success or failure of the film rests squarely on his shoulders. As cheesy as the little blue alien may be, it's Hrithik's portrayal of a child that carries this film.
The supporting cast was equally entertaining, especially the ever so cute Preity Zinta as the love interest (as creepy as that may be at times) and the always funny Johnny Lever as a bumbling police officer. The kids that surrounded Hrithik were also fun and it was nice to see that the filmmakers started with the kids accepting Rohit for who he is, rather than teasing him for being so big and so dumb. They left that up to the bigger kids who you knew were going to get their comeuppance sooner or later.
Generally, the parts of these kinds of films I get most bored by are the musical numbers. It amazes me how in the middle of any scene, a song can break out. This time though, the songs were all up tempo and lighthearted and I even found myself humming along at times. Although I have to say, when the little blue man started singing, I found myself laughing out loud. It was little things like that that made the movie cheesy. Yes the character was funny looking, but we've seen enough aliens in films to learn to accept the filmmakers vision of what an alien is and move on. But having one sing? That was a bit much.
The big hype about this film being the first Indian sci-fi film was somewhat overrated. Yes it involved an alien and there was a decent special effect with the spaceship, but it's not like this took place on another planet or there were big intergalactic fight scenes. It was mainly the little blue guy running around with the Earth kids. But I will say that the special effects that were used, were done well. I've seen a lot of recent American films that didn't look nearly as good, so that was impressive.
Don't read this paragraph if you don't want certain plot points ruined... skip ahead to the Bottom Line. The one disappointment I did have in the film, was the ending. The alien (in a movie I saw even before the movie started) was able to give Rohit his mind back, and turn him into the man he was meant to be. But once the alien left, every power he gave Rohit would also leave. This was something I didn't see coming, and I liked the fact that Rohit was willing to give it all up to help his alien friend get back home. It was what happened afterwards that bothered me. The whole trial portion didn't make sense and then worst of all, suddenly the alien reappears and Rohit is made whole again. That entire ending was a big cop-out. I would have loved to have seen Rohit go back to his 11-year-old self and end the movie with a shot of him hanging out with his friends like old times. That would have been a great ending to this film. Instead, they went with the overly happy ending that I felt betrayed the rest of the movie.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I enjoyed Koi... Mil Gaya. Unlike some other Bollywood films I've seen, the time almost flew by. Hrithik Roshan ably carried the film on his broad shoulders, and Preity Zinta is cute enough eye candy to make any 3 hours enjoyable. The movie did get cheesy at times, but besides that, it was a fun film that I think a lot of people can enjoy.
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