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15 years of Koi... Mil Gaya: When cheesy met big-budget sci-fi

The film, which was released on this day (8 August 2003) 15 years ago, became the first movie in the Krrish franchise.

Sonal Pandya

Rakesh Roshan’s sci-fi feature, Koi... Mil Gaya (2003), had borrowed many elements from Hollywood when it was first released in 2003.

The title and end credits were in the style of Star Wars (1977), the means of music as communication was lifted from Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977) and the idea of children meeting an alien was right out of Steven Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982).

Rakesh Roshan and the Indian superhero

Like a typical Indian and, especially, Hindi mainstream film boasting of four writers — Sachin Bhowmick, Rakesh Roshan, Honey Irani, Robin Bhatt — Koi... Mil Gaya (2003) had ample amounts of cheesiness in its scenes. Upon watching the film again, all these years later, these six are very hard to ignore.

1. The power of 'Om'

Rakesh Roshan's super scientist, Sanjay Mehra, uses the musical vibrations of the word 'Om' to communicate with beings out in space from his home office. His Canadian colleagues don’t believe it when he says he has made contact. But we know that the musical 'Om' melody he has been sending out in space is strikingly similar to German band Kraftwerk's 1977 song 'Trans-Europe Express'.

2. A sappy love song for Rohit and Nisha

Man-child Rohit Mehra falls for the new girl in town Nisha in a cliched love song in the rain. Lyricist Dev Kohli must have had too many sweets the day he penned the lines, "Tum itne bhole ho kis liye, tum itni achchhi ho is liye [Why are you so naive, you are so nice, that's why]!" Once again, the song 'Idhar Chala Main Udhar Chala', composed by Rajesh Roshan, was copied directly from a traditional South American tune 'Suenos' from Viento de los Andes.

3. Why the UFO spaceship chose Kasauli

That’s because the small hill station in Himachal Pradesh has the best reviews on Trip Advisor! Prem Chopra’s character Harbans Saxena, the district collector, is so excited at this unexpected endorsement that he immediately declares a two-day holiday in the area.

4. Jadoo endorses Coke!

No one is safe from product placements in Koi... Mil Gaya, not even an extra-terrestrial. This is a Hindi film musical, so what if it’s sci-fi? Even Jadoo is required to sing and dance for his supper. His healing abilities, as a solar-powered alien, are simply incidental.

5. Rohit Mehra, boy genius

Hrithik Roshan channels Russell Crowe’s character John Nash from A Beautiful Mind (2001) when he sees a blackboard. He easily answers the teacher’s question meant for the 10th standard students within seconds. It’s all thanks to a healing touch from Jadoo who turns the simple-minded Rohit into a boy genius.

6. Rohit and Jadoo share a tender moment

It’s so hard to say goodbye. Rohit and Jadoo bid a tearful farewell to each other. Forget Nisha, Jadoo is the one for Rohit! But as the mini blue alien, dressed like a Druid, leaves planet earth, he takes one last, and long, look at Rohit, who is reflected in his eyes. Incidentally, Jaadu was an actor in disguise, Chhote Ustad. He wore the heavy costume that had an animatronic head on top.