I apologize if I seem disoriented or hysterical. I started writing this mere minutes after watching "Koi Mil Gaya." This is (apparently) the first sci-fi movie from Bollywood. The story in a nutshell is this: A young mentally handicapped man named Rohit befriends an alien that has been left behind on earth. The alien, a squat, blue, monk-ish looking creature, is named Jadoo. After Jadoo heals his brain (and pumps his muscles full of steroids apparently), Rohit competes for the affections of the beautiful Nisha with a local bully. When the local government finds out about the alien, it is up to Rohit to protect him and find a way to get him home.
I got this movie on a whim at the public library. The combination of science fiction and Bollywood seemed too hilarious to pass up. Thinking I might have not checked out the DVD, and never seen it is like imagining some sad alternate reality that can only be repaired by time travel. Jadoo has become a buzzword that instantly reduces me to fits of laughter. It is an almost infinite source of puns. It has surpassed its own meaning to be a word that means anything (like smurf.) "Hey, Jadoo me a beer while you're in the kitchen." "The cat left some Jadoo in the hallway." It can be shouted in victory as you slam dunk a basketball, called out in query to a family member as you open the door, or quietly mooed as you enjoy a tasty bowl of curry flavored popcorn.
Rohit Seeing a 35 year old man playing a mentally challenged individual is already risky. Throwing Yoda-like alien into the mix doesn't bring any gravitas to the situation. When you factor in the Hindi language and songs every ten minutes, it becomes something else completely. In all fairness, Hrithik Roshan is an incredibly physical actor. He dances and emotes with an intensity that is infectious, but most American audiences are probably too jaded to take it seriously. He kind of looks like Stephen Colbert doing a bit. Sometimes his hip thrusting dance moves call to mind Martin Short.
At some point you will notice that one of his hands has two thumbs. It is an unfortunate deformity that belongs to the actor. I didn't even notice it on the first viewing. Then I re-watched a scene where Nisha kisses his hand and there is a giant closeup of it. I actually screamed. We had to pause the DVD to allow for some quiet retching. They try to cover this by giving Jadoo a similar feature on his hands, as if to imply that Rohit and Jadoo are linked. It doesn't fly.
Its a good thing Hollywood doesn't do the same thing as Bollywood. If they showed off your favorite celebrities deformities, you might be disturbed to find out: Daniel Craig has a massive birthmark in the shape of Lake Superior. The procedure to remove it was so invasive that he got tattoos of Michigan and Huron just so it would blend in. It is covered by makeup when he has to take his shirt off. Anne Hathaway has rectangular pupils. Martin Sheen doesn't have a back. On the other side its another chest, complete with nipples and belly button.
Nisha is played by Preity Zinta. She makes up for the whole thumb issue big time. She really is a beautiful woman. Which is why you might be able to identify with Rajat Bedi, who plays her boyfriend. It is assumed, maybe even arranged that they will be married. When he finds out she is spending all her free time with Rohit, he is furious. He picks on Rohit, even beating him up. Still, that isn't anything a massive disco dance number and a basketball to the face can't solve.
The special effects are primitive by American Hollywood standards. If you're the kind of person that asks "How does a UFO cast a shadow in the middle of the night?" then you may struggle through this movie. Jadoo's facial expressions are limited to blinks and lip wiggles. The actor inside the costume can't do anything to make him laugh except juggle the entire rig up and down. Darned if it doesn't make me do the same thing!
One director's blatant ripoff is another's loving homage. You will see thinly veiled scenes from Spiderman (both 1 and 3), Sound of Music, Singin in the Rain, E.T., Peter Pan, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Space Jam, etc.Not only does it imitate Independence Day, it actually samples music directly from the soundtrack! There is a fair amount of product placement, but nothing approaching the level of a western blockbuster like Transformers (which was in its entirety a product placement advertisement for the Military Industrial Complex). The camera blatantly zooms in on the alien as a child gives him a coke, which his lifeless mouth can only drink through a straw. During one scene Nisha and her boyfriend visit "Cafe Nescafe." Check out the scene where Rohit and his 8 year old friends beat up a biker gang and make a narrow escape by lowering the handle bars on their razor scooters so they can pass underneath a road barrier while the gang crashes behind them.
Despite any flaws, Koi Mil Gaya is a good movie. It is innocent and wears it's emotions on its sleeve. An American movie might be far more polished, but it would also be jaded, sleazier, and not nearly as fun. Go get some take-out Indian food, turn down the lights and Jadoo it.
Review by kirkthenelson from the Internet Movie Database.