Zain Khan shines in fun film ‘Hari Puttar’ (Hindi Film Review - Rating: **)

September 28th, 2008 - 3:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Film: “Hari Puttar: A Comedy Of Terrors”; Cast: Zain Khan, Swini Khara, Sarika, Lillette Dubey, Jackie Shroff, Vijay Raaz, Saurabh Shukla; Director: Lucky Kohli and Rajesh Bajaj; Rating: ** A child accidentally left behind alone at home tries to protect his house against two funny criminals - does this ring a bell? You guessed it right, “Harri Puttar”, which Hollywood studio Warner Bros alleged was a copyright violation of their “Harry Potter” franchise, is also a copy of popular Hollywood movie “Home Alone”.

While Macaulay Culkin deals with two ordinary burglars trying to break into his house, Zain Khan, who plays the title role in “Hari Puttar”, tries to stop the two criminals from entering his house.

The difference between the original and “Hari Puttar” is that in the Hindi version the two prowlers are not eyeing valuables in the house - they are after a chip that has valuable information saved on it.

Also, Hari is not alone in the house. He has his cousin Tuk Tuk (Swini Khara), who has asthma, for company - again the idea is stolen from the Jodie Foster starrer “Panic Room” in which Jodie was cooped in a room with her daughter, who suffers from Type 1 diabetes.

Just like Macaulay, Hari too sets up the same traps using household items and befriends a scary old man who comes to his rescue in the climax.

Sarika, who plays Hari’s mother, seems to be a perfect replacement for Catherine O’Hara, who played Macaulay’s mom in the original. However, the actress fails to play the role as convincingly as Catherine did.

Despite being a copy, the film is entertaining, especially the second half - when Hari thwarts the two criminals’ attempts to enter his house.

Vijay Raaz and Saurabh Shukla as the comic criminals are funny, but it is talented Zain who shines as the protagonist. He is as good as Macaulay.

Lillette Dubey and Jackie Shroff look like extras in the film.

Children, who have not seen “Home Alone”, will have fun watching the movie.

Set in London, the film revolves around 10-year-old Hari Prasad Dhoonda (Zain Khan) or Hari Puttar, as he is fondly called.

Hari’s father (Zakir Khan) is a professor and has been assigned to work on a secret project at a remote location in Britain. So Hari moves to that country with his father and mother (Sarika).

Hari’s father has access to confidential information stored on a chip and safely kept at his house.

Within days of their arrival in London, Hari’s aunt (Lilette Dubey) and uncle DK (Jackie Shroff) visit them with their children. The kids of DK’s boss also accompany them.

Now, accommodating so many children in the house becomes a problem. At one point everything goes for a spin for Hari - not only is he thrown out of his room, he is also ragged and ridiculed by the other kids.

He in fact wishes that all his family would simply disappear, a wish that comes true.

The film has flaws, but directors - Lucky Kohli and Rajesh Bajaj have been successful in their endeavour to elicit laughter and entertain kids with the film.

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