Thirty-four years ago a remarkable debutante named Jaya Bhaduri bunked school to get Dharmendra's autograph in Hrishikesh Mukherjee's 'Guddi'.
In 2007, young Dwij Yadav, who's a bundle of over-ripe adult expressions packaged in the cutest turban, is also a diehard fan of Dharmendra's son Bobby Deol.
One can't help but notice the cool-quotient that Bobby has inherited from the senior Deol. Like Dharmendra, Bobby creates an aura of accessibility.
Yes, this is one star capable of forming a bonding with a fan. Bobby's scenes with dynamo Dwij don't look faked or forced.
'Nanhe Jaisalmer' is a crisp, minty and somewhat audacious attempt to portray a friendship between two people separated by aeons of culture and class status. The script leaves elbowroom for plenty of interactive synergy between the two protagonists.
From casual camel rides to Himesh Reshammiya's songs, which fill the desert air with the aroma of cinematic liberation, 'Nanhe...' has a warm lived-in feel to it. You can't help warming up to the friendship between these two unlikely companions in the desert.
The sands of Jaisalmer are shot by Binod Pradhan as compressed catalysts serving as a mute but eloquent witness to the growing camaraderie between a film star and his fan.
Is a friendship between a star and his admirer really possible? While Hrishida's 'Guddi' dodged the question by simply making Dharmendra a humane figure representing a specific morality rather than a profession, Bobby is given space to reveal how a star, given a chance, can open up to a fan.
The inhibitions, if any, come from the other side. When the fan is as confident of his interactive space as young Dwij, sparks fly between the star and the boy. Questions of child literacy and issues of cultural and emotional isolation are brought into play without burdening the narrative with unwanted issues.
But 'Nanhe Jaisalmer' ends with a shocking twist, which takes away some of the flavour and virginal flamboyance of the Deol-Dwij bonding.
But their friendship is fun while it lasts. It reminds one of Amitabh Bachchan and Swini Khare in 'Cheeni Kum'. Though there is a little extra cheeni in 'Nanhe Jaisalmer', the brew has a positive flavour to it.