"Where does inspiration come from?" asks the tagline of Samir Karnik's adorable new drama Nanhe Jaisalmer. Surprisingly, the answer is Bobby Deol, playing himself and the focus of young adulation for Nanhe Jaisalmer - a street urchin from Rajasthan. Why anyone would choose Deol over many more suitable Bollywood stars is probably a question on everyone's lips, but somehow Karnik makes all the film's elements fit together beautifully.
Illiterate but street smart Nanhe Jasailmer (Dwij Yadav) touts for tourist trade with his trusted camel Raja, to make ends meet at home. Abandoned by his father when he was six, Nanhe lives with his mum Sarla (Pratiksha Lonkar) and sister Suman (Rushita Singh). His only dream is to meet his idol and 'dost' (friend) Bobby Deol, to whom he writes everyday. When he hears that Bobby is coming to town to shoot scenes for his next film, Nanhe becomes determined to meet him.
"WILL HAVE YOU SMILING"
Yadav is instantly likeable, and delivers a superb performance, while for the most part Deol is at his most natural, excepting some fairly wooden choreography to Himesh Reshammiya's uninspiring soundtrack. At points, Karnik's screenplay becomes a tad too sweet and preachy, but as the relationship between the two friends unfolds, keeping things simple leads to success. The result is a film that will have you smiling long after the credits roll.
Nanhe Jaisalmer is out in the UK on 14th September 2007.