Zubaan - Review

wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)
quick review:

Confused. Both me and the film. Is it a coming-of-age story masked as a family drama or a family drama masked as a coming-of-age story?

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Wogma Review

An innocent looking boy to grow up into the protagonist, Dilsher with a thick stroke of dark grey. He can do anything to get what he wants. A viewer like me is hooked. I wait to see how it all turns out. I am intrigued by the air of mystery. And the film turns into a family drama – a couple in the midst of a cold war, a son with 'daddy' issues and so on. Somewhere in the middle of all of this, our protagonist is trying to come of age.

Halfway into the film, it felt like the writer-director wanted to do it all in this film. What if, he didn't get a second chance? Only that can explain the “video album” style of picturisation and choreography of the songs. So what, if most of the songs are going to be on my playlist soon.

The backstory for Dilsher's inner voice, in the form of Amira seems contrived and thus unnecessary. Dilsher's own discovery, that music is his calling, comes across as a by-product and not a destination that the film was aiming towards.

The problem lies in the disproportionate screen time reserved for the Sikand family. Dilsher (Vicky Kaushal) is manipulating his way to impress Gurucharan Sikand (Manish Chaudhari). Sikan in turn, seems to have marital problems and doesn't like his son. Hmmm...you wonder why for half a second and you guess it – which is the 'big reveal' in the end. Yet, a viewer like me hopes till the end that you guessed it wrong.

Anyway, that wasn't the purpose of the film, right? The idea was to tell the story of a boy who is trying to find his voice, himself. That bit is rushed up, almost as an after thought. Like an essay was prepared for an exam; the topic for the essay was “Voice”; limbs were added to the pre-packaged story to fit with the title. And of course, because it is an indie film, it has to carry some quirk – that is added in the form of camera work and sound design.

The only saving grace then are the performances. Vicky Kaushal performs as if he is carrying a very huge burden on his shoulders – that of carrying the film. It gets an eager and sincere act out of him, but the load is unnecessary. Each time I watch Manish Chaudhuri, he instills and reinforces in me a fear – this character can do just about anything. Raaghav Chanana too does well as the insecure son who wears a mask of strength.

However, performances and gray characters aren't enough to make Zubaan enticing. The story tries to do a little of everything. Therefore, every thing comes across as half-baked.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: A few fist fights.
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: One lip-to-lip kiss.
  • Concept: A coming-of-age story and a family drama.
  • General Look and Feel: Attempt at rusty at times, quirky at others.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 2.5
  • Story: 1.5
  • Lead Actors: 3.5
  • Character Artists: 3
  • Dialogues: 3
  • Screenplay: 1.5
  • Music Director: 3.5
  • Lyrics:

Zubaan - Movie Details

Zubaan - Trailer

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Comments (2)

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aman mehta:

Is it safe to take kids for this movie..i heard there are few love making scenes in this movie?

meeta:

@Aman There is one lip-to-lip kiss. However, I am not sure the topic will appeal to kids.

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