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Vikram Mayur, a wealthy Indian, born and raised in England, returns to his ancestral home in Mumbai, India to look up his late brother's eight-year-old son Nandu raised by his caring aunt Bijuriya in which Vikram is torn between choosing to take Nandu back to England to learn his family's business, or risk throwing it all way by staying in India to be with Bijuriya whom he slowly falls in love with.Written by
The Indian Englishman, The Beautiful Exotic Dancer and Their Nephew
Pravin Nischol's 'English Babu Desi Mem' has been labled as Shahrukh Khan's worst movies. I last saw it more than a decade ago and have recently revisited it. 'Worst film' is an 'over' exaggeration. If this is Khan's worst then what are 'Koyla', 'Trimurti', 'RaOne' and 'Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna' (which are much worse in my opinion)? 'Engish Babu Desi Mem' certainly has its share of faults. The story's quite naive, sometimes even a bit silly and cheesy but on the other hand it doesn't pretend to be anything else.
An energetic Shahrukh Khan and sizzling Sonali Bendre make a terrific screen pair. Their chemistry is solid. Shahrukh had already established himself as a versatile actor and his scenes with Sonali and child actor Sunny Singh are some of the best moments of the film Sonali Bendre is outstanding. Not only did she show great potential as an actress back then but she also gets to display her versatile dancing skill. Child actor Sunny Singh does a good enough job. Saeed Jaffrey is also quite likable. All the actors seem to have played off each other and have had a good time filming.
The songs are enjoyable. The lyrics aren't anything particularly great but the melody's fine and it certainly has you tapping your feet or even humming. The visualization of the tracks is also well done and they are paced out well throughout the film.
On the technical side, I was positively surprised by the cinematography which is brilliant here. In the 90s, poor cinematography was quite abundant in Hindi films.
To me 'English Babu Desi Mem' is solid entertainment, with heart. It has all the ingredients of a successful masala (spicy) film and perhaps above all, it's sincere.
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