It makes you laugh now and then, but it falls short of being a laugh riot. David Dhawan’s movie ‘Partner’ works because Govinda shows traces of his old comic self once again.
One would be stupid to expect some sense out of a David Dhawan flick. He is the man who can give a humorous twist to hogwash. His brand of comedy is strictly slapstick, and pretty enjoyable at that. And ‘Partner’, his comeback film after a gap of one-and-a-half years, does carry a good dose of comedy. But it is certainly not among Dhawan’s best works.
remains the backbone of the film. Salman Khan, sharing almost equal footage, provides him good support. Besides their performances, it is the script that makes the movie click. The plot may be flimsy, but the dialogues are far from banal.
The comedy in the dialogues is in rhyme. For instance when Govinda finds Salman with his (Govinda’s) girlfriend on a boat, he says Tu meri girlfriend ka saiyaan ban ke, naiiya ke upar, chaiyya chaiyya kar raha hai. Or in another scene when Govinda forgets to wear his pants, Salman says: “Dude, you’re practically nude”. The film has many more hilarious dialogues like these with rhyming words.
‘Partner’ tells the story of a Love Guru and his chela. Prem (Salman Khan) was born to be a love guru. He was born among girls, grew up among girls and now he gives advice and guidance to people about how to woo girls.
Enters Bhaskar (Govinda), a chubby, bespectacled dreamer who is in love with his stunningly beautiful boss, Priya (Katrina Kaif), a multi-millionaire heiress of Jaisingh group of industries. When Bhaskar asks Prem for tips to win Priya’s heart, the love guru laughs off and tells Bhaskar to forget her.
After a bit of persuasion and a series of minor misadventures in Phuket, Prem agrees to guide Bhaskar.
On a different front, Prem falls for Naina (Lara Dutta), a journalist who keeps bumping into him while running away from the underworld’s ‘dreaded’ Chhota Don (Rajpal Yadav).
The two love stories move ahead. With more than a little help from Love Guru, Bhaskar is able to make a notable impression on Priya and win her affection. On the other hand, Prem makes his advances on Naina.
Things take a turn when Priya’s father fixes her marriage with a foreigner. This is when Bhaskar arrives on the marriage scene to win her hand. And just when it seems that both Bhaskar and Prem’s respective love stories would have a happy ending, there comes another twist. Their secret is exposed.
The comedy in ‘Partner’ is not cerebral. It is not so high on wit as on slapstick. The jokes and the gags have a desi, street flavour. And there are some dialogues that are indeed hilarious.
When gangster Chhota Don (who speaks in cricket lingo all the time) gets wet by a kid’s urine in a loo, he says: pitch geeli kar di. Or whenever Govinda gets too happy he begins weeping and exclaims: Itni Khushi!.
There is no doubt about the fact that the chemistry between Govinda and Salman is groovy. There is not a single scene in the film in which either of them tries to outdo the other. Despite this, Govinda dominates the proceedings simply because of his superb comic timing. The actor is rediscovering his old magical touch again. Salman, too, gives a few moments of laughter, but he is no match for his chubby partner.
The ladies don’t have much to do in this film. Yet, Katrina Kaif looks mesmerizingly beautiful. Lara Dutta plays her part well. Rajpal Yadav is strictly okay.
‘Partner’ could have done without the Chhota Don track (featuring Rajpal Yadav in a spoof on SRK’s ‘Don’). Even Rajat Bedi’s character (that of a womanizer) is half-baked, though it has some significance in the plot. And there are certain sequences that are completely out of sync. For instance, Salman on a motorboat, dodging a killer rocket. Or Salman getting bullied by a little kid.
‘Partner’ may be heavily inspired from the Hollywood film ‘Hitch’ but the comedy in it is very desi. The music by Sajid-Wajid is funky and goes well with the film’s theme.
All said, the best sequence of ‘Partner’ comes in the end, when both Govinda and Salman are having their honeymoon in adjacent rooms. In this final sequence comes the comedy that will have you in splits.