3.5 Very Good

Salaam Namaste

Yash Raj Films' Salaam Namaste is a comedy about two NRIs living in Melbourne, Australia, and it is similar to Nine Months. Saif Ali Khan plays a chef Nikhil Arora. But he likes to call himself Nick. Preity Zinta plays a medical student Ambar Malhotra and also works as radio jockey at a radio station called Salaam Namaste, which has Indians living in Australia as the target audience. Ambar interviews Indian achievers living in Australia. Saif is scheduled for interview on a morning. But he does not turn up as he is not able to get up early in the morning. Preity is furious and says nasty things about Saif and his restaurant. Saif is angry and fights with Preity on the phone. They meet at a wedding, and there is instant chemistry between them. But both hate the institution of marriage. They agree to live in the same apartment so that they can know each other better. Soon it turns into live-in relationship. Preity gets pregnant and there is trouble between them. Saif asks her to go for abortion and she refuses. Saif does not want marriage and responsibility of children. Would Saif change his attitude? The answer comes in the climax.

Production values are excellent. Sunil Patel's cinematography is competent and he has done a good job in capturing the picturesque backdrop of Melbourne. Vishal-Shekhar has done a fair job. Two songs stand out, the title track and 'My dil goes mmmm.'

It is an entertaining film. The start is fabulous and it is fast paced and hilarious upto the interval. But the second half disappoints and the screenplay is stretched to no reason. It picks up again in the climax. But this kind of humor may not be liked by the women audiences and in the interiors.

Performance-wise, Saif Ali Khan is excellent and keeps up his reputation of being a dependable artiste. Preity Zinta is superb. She is utterly natural and convincing. Arshad Warsi is amusing in the limited scope he gets. Javed Jaffri creates ample laughter. Jugal Hansraj and Tania Zaeta provide able support. Abhishek Bachchan makes the climax hilarious in a special appearance. As the director, debutant Siddharth Raj Anand shows his knack for comedy, and he gets good support from Abbas Tyrewala's punchy dialogue.