wogma rating: Switch channels if it's on cable (?) - Even if kids don't want to!
This one should be completely avoided. Shouldn't it take more than farts, slaps, abuse & barely clad women to entertain our kids?Read more
There was some sms joke doing the rounds,
"What would Harry Potter be called if he was born in Punjab?" Answer: Hari Puttar
Ha ha ha ha... Not really, but anyways, no one can be blamed for thinking the name of the movie Hari Puttar is a spoof on Harry Potter. But, in an interview with rediff, director Lucky Kohli explains -
Hari is a very common name, and 'Puttar' is a word every other person uses to address their son, especially in Punjabi.
O-kay...and anyway doesn't matter much if there is no magic or wizardry involved. So, you go ahead and check out the official site which introduces you to the movie with -
A large empty house... 2 burglars with nasty plans... A smart kid with nastier ones...
Hey, I see that one almost once a month thanks to two mischevious kids of my own who love Home Alone to bits. But, I'm quickly corrected by a reminder from the same interview -
My film has 10 children, songs and graphics that Home Alone didn't have.
But then, doesn't Harry Potter have these elements? Never mind...
Then the interview takes an interesting turn -
What is the inspiration for the film? My children. The story was by Rajesh Bajaj and the pranks were adapted from a film called Carry On.Aah...that stops me from wondering any more...
An encouraging note from Saurabh Shukla who plays one of the burglars, in an interview with Buzz18 -
What are your expectations from Hari Puttar?
Oh tremendous. I truly believe that this is a film for the whole family. A parent may go for the film to indulge his child but when he comes out of the theatre he will realise he has done himself a favour.
Wow...let's see some of us agree...
- meeta, a part of the audience
Breakfast table conversation this morning - My 6 year old son - "Dad, mom is going to review Hari Puttar today, right?" His dad - "yes" Son - "It is like Home Alone, only." Me - "Why do you say so?" Son - "Because my brain told me when I watched the trailer. See, there's one boy in a big house, he asks koi hai (anyone there?), that means he's alone. And there are 2 chors (thieves)" Me - Hmmm... (thinking about this interview) Son - "I want to watch it, Home Alone was also good."
Like mother, like son - never loses hope...
But to no avail. This one can easily be declared a dud, since the efforts to both change the ambience and to tweak the concept are pretentious. As if they were made to satisfy some copyright law that the makers care about. Seriously, if you are not going to make even half an effort on the details, why bother? Might as well just copy it frame by frame and be done with it.
You have no clue how difficult it is to watch this one objectively, without comparison. Let's just say, it's a lousy-lousy copy - when not Home Alone, they take a scene from Kungfu Hustle and I'm sure it has bits of Carry On if one of the directors claims so.
Actually, there is a bit of originality and contextual alteration. We have one of the burglars using abusive language appropriately beeped off. Now, why one would do that in a kids' movie is beyond me. To top it off, they have a 10-year old being smothered by a skimpily clad Shamita Shetty and a sundry bunch of women. Hmph...
Many a time in remakes, if the story fails, other departments compensate. But here, most performances try to complement the loud character and slapsticky tone. Except Zain and Swini seem enthusiastic and look like they were having fun troubling the adults around. But everything else - the costumes of the two burglars, the sets and locations, the background music - are not appealing at all. If nothing else, just plain and simple continuity to make sense out of the mayhem? Na-ah!
I think I'm just going to get the entire Home Alone series on DVD/VCD for the kids. Much rather have them watch those. On the other hand, it will be interesting to see how they react to Hari Puttar and see whether they think one of their favorites have been ruined. It's only 90 minutes after all. Oops! That'd mean I'll have to watch it again. No thanks, I think I'll pass.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs down, by Anupama Chopra, NDTV : ...Why, you might ask, does a kids' movie need sensuous dancing women. I don't know but believe me, the songs are the least of Hari Puttar's problems.... full review
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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.
Hari Puttar's (Zain Khan's) mom forgets him behind at their mansion when the rest of the family goes out for a weekend. Tuk-tuk (Swini Khara) is also left behind. Two comical burglars who haven't a clue reach the London mansion to get to a chip on Indian national security!