A good idea gone wrong. That summarizes ZOR LAGAA KE... HAIYA in a sentence.
The Indian audiences are gradually tilting towards sensitive and meaningful subjects. If the idea makes sense, but the writing and execution of the material doesn't, then all efforts go in vain. That's a prime reason why this film suffers.
ZOR LAGAA KE... HAIYA is about how a group of children, with the help of a homeless man, overcome all the obstacles to save a tree from being razed by a money-minded construction giant and his contractor. Their quest mirrors the apathy of contemporary society to such types of environmental issues.
ZOR LAGAA KE... HAIYA has its share of interesting moments and Ashwin Chitale contributes to making this film an interesting exercise. Portions that depict the gang befriending him, his plight, his tricks and how he gets them out of trouble, keep your interest alive.
At the same time, ZOR LAGAA KE... HAIYA has its share of unexciting moments. The portions between Mahesh Manjrekar and Riya Sen are irritating and could've been avoided. The comedy too seems forced. Director Girish Girija Joshi could've made an absorbing fare, given the fact that the concept is indeed novel. Music too is weak.
Mithun Chakrabarty delivers a regular performance. Gulshan Grover seems slightly unrealistic as a comic bad man. Mahesh Manjrekar is nice, but his character lets him down. Raj Zutshi is alright. Riya Sen is wasted. Among the kids, Ashwin Chitale is wonderful. Hardik Thakkar, Meghan Jadhav, Ayesha Kaduskar are Ritwik Tyagi are alright.
On the whole, ZOR LAGAA KE... HAIYA is a good idea gone wrong. It, therefore, holds limited chances.