He may have the charm and physique of Will Smith, but Bollywood heartthrob, Salman Khan, isn't a patch on his American counterpart when it comes to comic timing. Smith's professional 'date doctor' in Hitch is transferred here into 'love guru' Prem. Khan sets up plenty of laughs for his character, but fails to score any in this rom-com rip off. Screen partner Govinda delivers what few gags are on offer, as the shy Indian who needs help to woo the girl of his dreams. Expect primitive slapstick but nothing more in David Dhawan's latest caper.
Dating rules don't work on the gossip columnist (Lara Datta) with whom Prem is smitten. Naina may be single and ready to mingle, but as an unmarried mother who also happens to be stalked by a mini-mobster (Rajpal Yadav), she's too hot to handle. Throw in the nightmare of shaping Bhaskar (Govinda) from bumbling asthmatic to Mr Lover Man and you should have a recipe for fun and frolics. Not so, thanks to Sanjay Chhel's humourless adaptation.
"EXPECT PRIMITIVE SLAPSTICK BUT NOTHING MORE"
Naff dialogue and aged jokes ruin what could have been Dhawan's greatest masala entertainer yet. According to Chhel's screenplay and Dhawan's heavy handed direction, leading men tripping on fruit is still a rib tickler. On paper Khan's handsome hero and Govinda's playmate should be a match made in comic heaven. However, Khan spends more time playing himself than the straight man to Govinda's court jester, and their chemistry fizzles out before it's even begun. Watch Partner only for its infectious musical numbers, which could prove to be some of this year's best.
In Hindi with English subtitles.
Partner is out in the UK on 20th July 2007.