Zor Lagaa Ke... Haiya attempts at being a fun outing even though it aspires to deliver a serious message around environment preservation. But does this idea work? Not really. The film appeals in bits and parts, and that too only in the first half but the second half turns out to be a big yawn.
The idea around an entire film centered on saving a tree doesn't sound exciting. But one has to give it to the producers - Kartikeya Talreja, Basant Talreja - for financing a 100-minute long feature film on the topic.
Where exactly is the audience for such a subject? And how could even that select bunch of audience be enticed enough to walk into a theatre for a movie that doesn't really boast of any star value whatsoever?
Of course, director Girish Girija Joshi may have believed that roping in Amitabh Bachchan for a voiceover and Mithun Chakravorty as a spearhead for the film could be a lucrative enough. However, is not really good enough and secondly even Mithun's role hardly adds on to the relevance of the film's plot which deals with saving a tree house made by a bunch of five kids.?
This is not a kid film and neither has it been publicised as one. In fact if one talks about the publicity and promotion, there hasn't been any at all.
Zor Lagaa Ke... Haiya has been released all of a sudden and the song promos featuring Riya Sen are misleading, to say the least. She appears in short two-three scenes.?
As a construction worker, who is being wooed by Mahesh Manjrekar (who plays the role of a contractor), she has a zilch role in the film.?
So what really works for the film? Well, a few scenes in the first half of the movie where the kids get together to encounter Mithun, only to become his friends as the reels progress. The sequence of events leading to the son of a construction worker -- Seema Biswas in a forgettable role -- joining hands with the four kids and building a dream tree house are nicely done.?
Also, the Sarkar Raj meets Krishnan Iyer M A (from Agneepath) impersonation by kids brings on some smiles as well. Introduction of Gulshan Grover is good too and it is nice to see him carry off a role well, which is nothing more than a caricature of dozens of his performances from his earlier years.?
However, after the interval point, when the battle lines are drawn between the kids and Gulshan, the drama doesn't quite pick up. Monotony sets in and the end becomes a little too convenient.?
Frankly, one expected a little more meat in the story around it's culmination but that doesn't really happen.
While Mithun is passable, the only actor who does try to bring in some relief to the proceedings is Mahesh. However, if you are expecting yet another "99" performance from him then, it won't be fair since he can't do much to go above the script.
Overall, Zor Lagaa Ke... Haiya is a barely passable affair that doesn't really warrant a big screen watch.