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FILM REVIEW: Laal Singh Chaddha

Indian ‘Forrest Gump’ falls flat Starring: Aamir Khan,  Kareena Kapoor Khan, Mona Singh, Manav Vij, and Chaitanya Akkineni   Rating: 2.5* ...

Indian ‘Forrest Gump’ falls flat

Starring: Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Mona Singh, Manav Vij, and Chaitanya Akkineni 

Rating: 2.5*

(The reviewer saw the film with only 8 people in the audience in the 9 AM show at a prominent city cinema hall.)

First the good part: Adapted by Atul Kulkarni from “Forrest Gump”, he has done an excellent job of Indianising the film. He has left the darker portions that were in the original. The performances of Kareena Kapoor Khan, Mona Singh, Manav Vij and Chaitanya Akkineni are adorable. Shah Rukh Khan too has a lovable cameo. And now the bad part: It is Aamir Khan who falters here big time. His expressions remind you of “PK” and “3 Idiots”. He goes overboard at times.

The film starts on a moving train from Pathankot to Chandigarh where Laal (Aamir Khan) starts narrating his story with a box of golgappas to his fellow lady passenger. Laal was born in 1971 to Gurpreet (Mona Singh) who raises him single-handedly in Karoli, a village near Pathankot. Laal has a very low IQ and is rejected by the school principal, but on severe cajoling by Gurpreet, gets admitted to the school. He befriends Rupa D’Souza and they become best buddies, although Laal falls in love with her instantly. They both attend the same college (Hindu College) in Delhi. Laal is spotted by an athletics coach while running away from college bullies and he enters sports and becomes a running champion. He is later asked by his mother to join the Army like his ancestors. Here in the Army, he befriends a Tamilian- Balaraju Bodi who wants to design chaddi-banyan like his ancestors. Bala dies in the Kargil war but our man Laal has to keep his promises to his mother and Bala.

The film is too long (running time of nearly 165 minutes) and as a result, becomes a drag. Director Advait Chandan (Secret Superstar) creates certain things like the brand name of the hosiery giants & SRK’s open-arms romantic pose that seems hard to digest. On the positive side, the poignant relationship between Laal and his mother, Laal and Rupa, Laal and Mohammed is handled well. Music by Pritam is nothing to write home about. The film does not boast of a single mass moment.

(Please note: The point 5* star is for the actors mentioned above for their adorable performances.)


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