Though often in this outdated comedy Govinda is genuinely funny, you feel extremely sad on his account. Here was an actor who genuinely believed in the antics he was made to indulge in day in and day out, and he did the drollery with a devilish relish.
That sense of joie de vivre bubbles over in this long-delayed and often tiresome comedy.
Whether it's the tackily written scenes with other actors (Kader Khan playing Govinda's father) or the gawkily composed songs by Anand-Milind, Govinda manages to make every scene look more exciting, adventurous and funny than it actually is.
Alas, the plot is so tediously redundant, you want to send director Harmesh Malhotra a fax as a wake-up call. That seems to be the favourite mode of communication in this comedy pitched between the 1970s and 80s, with the new millennium nowhere in sight.
In all fairness, there are some moments in the proceedings that make you smile despite yourself. Those who remember the buffoonish comedy of Malhotra's earlier films with Govinda like "Dulhe Raja" would certainly spare a smile or two at the actor's efforts to instil a crackling immediacy to the absurd situations in the plot.
Playing a Bihari simpleton with the morals of an alley cat (he gladly pretends to be an underworld don's son to win a pretty girl and the millions that come with the territory), Govinda as usual pulls out all stops.
I'm afraid Preity Zinta just can't keep pace with him. Her efforts to fill the place vacated by Karisma Kapoor and Raveena Tandon seem completely out of sync with Preity's image and acting style.
The rest of the cast, from Kader Khan and Johnny Lever to Himani Shivpuri and Razaq Khan, appear to be perfectly attuned to the unstoppable asininity of a script that doesn't know where to stop.
The silliness of the proceedings never flags. Veteran director Harmesh Malhotra targets the film at the gut-level. If you discount any aesthetic considerations there's nothing here that's deeply offensive. And for those who've enjoyed Govinda's brand of raw but never ribald humour, there's something here that makes you appreciate the brainlessness of an endeavour that makes a fashion statement of boorishness.
Some things never change. Govinda remains stubbornly funny even though everything else around him has transformed completely.