Review - Hope and a little sugar: A sweet date movie
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A movie set around the 9/11 bomb blasts and no overt messages being lectured across the screen! It’s about Indians staying abroad, yet none of the typical cultural drama related to diaspora. Okay, I know this sounds like I liked the movie more because of what it was not, rather than for what it was. But, this movie is a simple love story set in the middle of the Hindu-muslim divide prevalent in the South Asian community settled in the US.
In about 75 minutes, four characters and their situation are all developed reasonably well. In fact, in just two adorable scenes the romance Ali (Amit Sial) feels for his beloved is established. Also, director, Tanuja Chandra makes a very smart move by not telling us much about the relationship between Saloni (Mahima Choudhary) and Harry (Vikram Chatwal). It adds to the believability of what is to follow.
Situations transitioned from one to another very subtly without too many dialogues. Characters were smart enough to understand the situation without the other having to spell it out for them. The audience too was treated with respect and not spoon-fed. I realized that I've become so used to melodrama when I felt relief at every point where melodrama could have been so easily resorted to. There were a couple of times when an awkward situation is built up to a pregnant pause, to be resolved with a simple one liner - straight just as is, without any ham-haw-ing.
Having said that, a couple of character transitions happened a bit too quickly and thus tilted towards unbelievable. This could also be because the focus seemed to be on narrating the over-simplified story rather than presenting it from a particular character's point of view. This I thought is what created a certain distance between the characters and the audience.
But, at most times you felt for the characters because of sincere performances from the entire cast. It was so refreshing to see Anupam Kher in a role that has his name written all over it. The pride, the joy, the grief, the hatred are all translucent for you to see through. Your hearts reach out to Mahima and Amit too. And I think this is the first time I have seen so many expressions on Suhasini Mulay's, otherwise stiff face.
Like the style of narration, the camerawork was also subtle with minimal movements. Also, the colors used had a dull, yet realistic, hue. There were no bright colors staring at your face. In fact, the colors almost matched the stock footage used of the 9/11 blasts.
Hope and a little sugar is a short and sweet story told well. The characters are charming and their treatment is thought out. But yet, there is this weird gap left by unexplained and super-quick transformations in characters and situations.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Hope and a little sugar - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Website Facebook Wikipedia IMDB
- Producer: Glenn Russow, Scott Pardo
- Director: Tanuja Chandra
- Lead Cast: Anupam Kher, Mahima Choudhary, Amit Sial
- Supporting Cast: Suhasini Mulay, Vikram Chatwal, Ranjit Chaudhary
- Story: Tanuja Chandra, Glenn Russow
- Cinematography: Wayne Sharpe, Nirmal Jani
- Editor: Hilary Peabody, Nirmal Jani
- Background Score: Wayne Sharpe
- Music Director: Wayne Sharpe
- Costume Designer: Priyanjali Lahiri, Anaita Shroff
- Art Direction: Mritika Mukherjee, Jeena Shetty
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 75 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Family, Romance, Social