wogma rating: Add to “To Watch” list, watch some day (?)
Saare Jahaan Se Mehenga has a common man figuring his way out of his frustrations, all while trying to be a part of the system. The initially subtle satire gets tiring and then preachy. Yet can be watched when on TV.Read more
Economics. Demand and supply. Beautiful things and their assumptions corrupted by the greedy and power-hungry. The brunt of course is borne by the common man. The man who has to skim on his outgoing calls and manipulate others to spend less himself. The woman who has to cut corners on grooming herself to make ends meet. Though our situation might not be as extreme as that of Puttanpal (Sanjay Mishra), we can extrapolate his concerns to ours without having to stretch our imagination too much. Unfortunately, despite having this to its advantage, you lose interest in Saare Jahaan Se Mehenga quite quickly.
Without a doubt the seed of Saare Jahaan Se Mehenga is a brilliant one. Also, there are some details, often exaggerated to accentuate the satire, that are very earthy. Interestingly, the exaggeration too is carried out in a very matter-of-fact manner and makes it humorous. But, none of this lasts and the situation stays flat.
Same thing goes for the characters. From the caustic dad to the supporting wife to the full-of-attitude brother to the frustrated common man himself, characters are interesting with a lovely shade of reality. But they don't engage beyond. I guess that's the price you pay for writing consistent characters. But even consistent characters need an arc to make a story.
The performances and dialogue put together try their best to keep Saare Jahaan Se Mehenga afloat. But can manage to just about barely do that. The supporting characters take away a lot of credibility.
Yet, Saare Jahaan Se Mehenga is not a complete write-off because of what it tries to do. It tries its best to bring out the frustration of the lower-middle class. The use of satire stays in the background yet makes its point - from the obvious one on soaring prices of basic necessities to the joke that 'being of age', being 18 is in an Indian family. If only, it had not given into having a preachy, lackluster turn around towards the climax. Oh well, maybe next time.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs down, by Fatema H Kagalwala, India Entertainment : ...The film is a simple story, not really message-oriented, more inclined towards exploring the tragi-comical aspects of a middle class family’s struggles. But it is failed by simplistic writing and amateurish direction that neither endears its world to us nor engages our sympathies.... full review
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