Hefty hints and wacky whispers harking back to the golden era of mainstream Hindi cinema carpet this delectable piece of pop-art.
And how can you stay grave when Shah Rukh Khan as Ram Prasad Sharma, in his most politically correct role ever, goes back to college to protect his army boss Kabir Bedi's rebellious daughter Amrita Rao?
How can you stay serious as Ram, disguised as an over-age student in scenic St Paul's in Darjeeling, is heckled by the long-haired dude-with-an-attitude Laxman (Zayed Khan)?
The Ram-Laxman parallel from the Ramayana is just one of those things in Farah Khan's debut film that makes you smile indulgently.
Oh, for those days of movie watching when brothers would be daggers- drawn and guns-withdrawn as their mother sobbed in front of her favourite deity.
One things is for sure. The director loves Hindi movies. Rather than be condescending about conventional formulas, she uses them to her advantage.
Playing a straight-faced spillover from "Masoom", Naseeruddin Shah is cast as a man who, on his deathbed tells his illegitimate son Ram about another son, the legitimate one.
Farah Khan enjoys every morsel of the kitsch and even turns it into a kind of impromptu feast of fury, farce and familial values, all coming together in one of the most watchable films from Bollywood in recent times.
Unlike other recent products, "Main Hoon Na" never resorts to double meanings to get us interested. Vulgarity....yes there is. But of a very funny and innocuous variety. Satish Shah as the spit-spraying teacher and Bindu as his buxom colleague provide what in filmy parlance could be called the cheap thrills.
Sushmita Sen is there for the oomph. And how! Taking off from where Simi Garewal left off as the sexy Catholic teacher to Rishi Kapoor in "Mera Naam Joker", Sen in clingy chiffons is a hip-swinging diva full of song and fury signifying sensuality.
Some of the film's most innovative scenes are between smitten student Shah Rukh and his sensational teacher. The sequence in the Staff Room, where Ram bursts into "Ek ladki ko dekha", replete with a bunch of phantom-violinists to egg on the romantic mood, is a beauty.
Major Ram Prasad (played by Shahrukh) has a mission to accomplish and it is Mission Milaap (if accomplished) that will end the long-standing enemity between the two countries. But there are some evil elements that will not allow this. And Suniel Shetty (as Raghavan) is the villain who will not let major Ram Prasad achieve his mission. His presence poses as threat to General Amerjeet Bakshi's daughter Sanjana (played by Amrita Rao), whose life is in danger. But the irony of it lies in the mission itself. For the mission to be successful, Major Ram Prasad must return to school. It is his concern for Sanjana that sends him back to school as a student to protect Sanjana from evil. And in our society today, that is westernized than ever before, Shahrukh as Ram Prasad finds it a little difficult to adjust. But he learns the trick of the trade and wins everyone's heart. Be it the students Lucky (played by Zayed Khan) or Sanjana (played by Amrita Rao). But his charm allures everyone from Lucky's mother (played by Kiron Kher) to the principal (played by Boman Irani whose comic timing is fantastic!).
Having lit the funeral pyre of his father Brigadier Shekhar Sharma (played by Naseeruddin Shah), Major Ram Prasad must fulfill his mission. The path of war has never been easy. There will always be bloodshed, misunderstanding and hatred. But all this must be conquered with love and not hatred. And it will be this very school that will help him accomplish his mission. And for every problem there is always a solution. After all, Sharukh is there to say "Main Ho Na". Produced by Gauri Khan, the music of the film is composed by Anu Malik who has given some good numbers to the film. The title song that has already caught on to everyone. Javed Akhtar of course, has penned the lyrics. So we can expect some beautiful lyrics, which are romantic and soothing to the ears.