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A child artist who can act, , a plot that is different, a kids' story that is given a mature treatment, and a Bobby Deol who can be ignored - all good enough to make it worth a watch!
Though it might not be a break from the regular "little story-dance-comic relief-repeat" routine, this story is told with an atypical backdrop. Of course, Rajasthan has been covered beautifully umpteen times earlier. It's the slightly unusual "little story", the justifiable "dance", and the restrained "comic relief" that make it different. Although different isn't always good, this time around it is. The mature treatment given to a kids' movie is good enough for me to give it a few extra brownie points.
Samir Karnik should certainly start acting classes for children. The performance that he has extracted from debutant Dwij Yadav is one of the best I have seen from a child artist in a long time. Unfortunately, that can't be said of the adults. Fortunately though, the adults don't have too much screen time (yes Bobby Deol too! Now will you go and watch the movie?). And none of them, graciously enough, tried to over-shadow Dwij. It is his movie and the whole team let it be that way.
The structure of the story is pretty conventional. Problems are presented in the first half, and their resolutions are sought out post-interval. The pacing was rather interesting - but ultimately a drawback. The problems are presented so subtly and slowly in the first half that you feel nothing has happened so far. As the last hour begins, you wonder how they are going to wrap everything up in such little time. Of course, they do bring a closure to everything, and have to understandably do it quickly. My issue is that the first half was interesting, and the second half sort-of dull. I blame it largely on the avoidable, although endurable, preachy set-up. One could claim that it was the need of the story, but it became boring.
The few long shots of the town of Jaisalmer are beautiful, but seem repetitive. The lighting in the night shots of the lake is exquisite and achieves the romanticism it intends to. The close-ups however seem artificial. Watch out for the clever editing used to cover up Bobby Deol's dancing non-skills. And this is despite the relatively simple choreography employed.
Music for the title song and "Kesariya" is shockingly unlike this music director. It might be similar to others' music, but not this one. And before you can recover from the shock, you are back to trade-mark Himesh Reshamiya crooning in "Lamha Lamha", "Akhiya akhiya", and "ulfat ulfat". Given the repetitive use of repetition, need I say more about the lyrics? Or maybe it's just Himesh's musical requirement.
Never mind. Ultimately this is an adorable movie made out of an equally lovable kids' story. The endearing bit is that it does not sport the "what do kids know?" attitude. Of course, this is once you are done laughing at the fact that Bobby Deol is being presented as the best star that Bombay has produced. Soon enough, you begin admiring him for taking up this unusual project.
- meetu, a part of the audience