Nanhe Jaisalmer Hindi Movie Review

Feature Film
Sep 14, 2007 By Jahan Bakshi

It truly pains one's heart to criticize a film that basically means well, one whose heart is in the right place. Sameer Karnik's second film Nanhe Jaisalmer, is one that could have, given the premise- been a magical film- had the direction and script carried some maturity and genuine charm.

Nanhe Jaisalmer is the story of Nanhe (child actor Dwij Yadav), a little camel boy in Jaisalmer- who earns money for his family by taking tourists on desert safaris on his camel Raja. He is also unbelievably crazy about his favorite star- Bobby Deol (playing himself). He dreams about his beloved 'dost' all day and night, much to his mother's dismay and his friends' amusement.

Soon enough, he gets the news that Bobby Deol is coming to town to shoot his next film, and the boy is elated, strong in his belief that his 'friend' will definitely meet him. And unbelievably enough, he does get to meet the actor. So in between his film shoots, Bobby meets up with Nanhe and plays with him while also teaching him about life, friendship and the need to be educated.

Making films about children is certainly no child's play. And director Sameer Karnik of course, is no Vishal Bhardwaj. Nanhe Jaisalmer is just too trite and corny to work as a fairy tale or a movie with a message. It doesn't help that the film is punctuated with some terrible music, courtesy Himesh Reshammiya that almost makes your ears bleed. Karnik also sadly manages to waste the immense talent of cinematographer Binod Pradhan, whose camera work comes across as pretty mediocre, especially considering how beautiful the locales are.

Child actor Dwij Yadav, who is undoubtedly, the real 'star' of the show, bravely tries to carry the film on his little shoulders, with little help from his mostly inert co-star in the film. Dwij is cloying at the film's start, and his shrill, repetitive cries of 'Mera dost aa raha hai!' are extremely irritating. And while he somewhat endears himself to you as the film progresses, there is no denying the fact that the director fails to control the child's performance, which often falls into the cutesy trap of child characters in Hindi cinema.

Bobby Deol gains the unworthy title of being the second actor this year after Himesh Reshammiya to play himself in a film. And he only manages to make the film more unconvincing than it already is- being bereft of any charisma whatsoever. Why on earth would the child be so crazy about him?

Nanhe Jaisalmer is an earnest story about a child's belief. Too sad it can't make capture our imagination and make us believe, too.

Jahan Bakshi