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Laal Singh Chaddha Movie Review : Holds onto the good old values that make it worthy of a family outing

Modified On: 14 August 2022 | Reviewed By:

Storyline: The film is a Hindi adaptation of Robert Zemeckis’ 1994 Oscar-winning film ‘Forrest Gump, starring Tom Hanks

Laal Singh Chaddha

Director: Advait Chandan | Music Director: Pritam Chakraborty


Laal Singh Chaddha Movie Poster

Our Users Average Ticket Price rating for this movie is:

Rs.300

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.'Forrest Gump' which was released 30 years back had a story of simple, guileless man stumbling through the world, interacting with and occasionally creating history along the tumultuous path of the United States through the Cold War years resonated with audiences for its gentle treatment of these tough times. Laal Singh Chaddha is a naive, perhaps even more demonstrably intellectually disabled, moving the action from Alabama in the Fifties to Punjab in the Seventies. Over the course of roughly 40 years, Laal meanders through significant events in Indian history.

Review: Laal Singh Chaddha verbalises Forrest Gump’s musings on life, love, morality and destiny. If the original conveyed things best in a soft, easy, unspoken way; this film turns up the tone and energy a bit. It opts for speech over silent tears so expect a perpetually wide-eyed Aamir Khan doing a lot of Punjabi accent with PK’s body language and enthusiasm. He sets the tempo of this film a bit higher, that of a big-ticket Hindi feature film but retains the essence of the original — a Disney like fairy-tale without the luxury of magic but an ingrained belief in miracles. Laal Singh Chaddha (LSC) localises the events but continues to stay in Forrest’s world.

Adapting a classic isn’t an easy territory to tread. Simpleton LSP wandering through life, not looking for answers but finding them along the way tells you his story as he embarks on a train journey from Pathankot to Chandigarh --his tough childhood, feisty mother (Mona Singh), childhood sweetheart Rupa (Kareena Kapoor Khan), accidental wealth, wars fought, friends made (Naga Chaitanya Akkineni as Bala and Manav Vij as Mohammed), facing death and running through the pain. We can’t say if the remake was necessary, but it was definitely a tough act to follow given how disarmingly poignant the original is and you know exactly how the events unfold in it.

Atul Kulkarni’s adapted screenplay, like its predecessor, merges facts and fiction. He aligns the fictional story to India’s socio-political and cultural context without playing it safe. ‘Majhab Malaria paida kar sakta hai’ (Religious radicalism can make people distant). He does more than swapping FG’s chocolates with gol-gappas. Be it the Ram Rath Yatra, Operation Blue Star, Emergency of 1975, the Kargil War, Bombay bomb blasts of 1993 that followed the Hindu-Muslim riots, a reformed enemy and more, Atul does his tough job well. Speaking of words, Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics especially in the opening track ‘Kahani’ (sung in two versions by Mohan Kannan and Sonu Nigam) embody the spirit and nature of the film.

Coming to Aamir Khan, his film choices have mostly been driven by life nuggets and his unflinching political stance. Despite the boycott brigade, the actor speaks through his characters and advocates humanity over religion here. His drive to take on a celebrated role in his late 50’s, which Hanks played in his late 30’s is commendable. However, though evocative in portions and painstakingly done, he tries a bit too hard and the result is a tad extra. Aamir Khan is 57 years old, and he spends a lot of this film playing Laal in his 20s. This means that significant digital de-aging was going to be inevitable. They not only smoothed out his face, but they also changed his body shape to such a degree that whenever young Laal is on screen, the entire background warps to his younger, thinner physique. It’s horribly distracting and not the kind of thing an audience expects in a big-budget drama.

You want him to drop the character excess a bit and keep it simple, something that Kareena manages to crack. She is beautifully restrained as Rupa aka Forrest’s Jenny. She displays shades of a sad Geet and wiser version of Madhur Bhandarkar’s Heroine, weaving it all together, hitting the right notes and striking a fine balance between involvement and detachment. Mona Singh exudes just the right amount of courage and compassion for her character. However, an actor who moves you the most is Manav Vij (remember Lieutenant Dan?). It’s he who gets the tone of Forrest Gump right.

Shot extensively across India, equally cathartic and outstanding, 'Tur Kalleyan' breathes life into the film. Director Advait Chandan enters Rajkumar Hirani’s warm, funny and provocative satire space and succeeds partially. He creates a faithful but lengthy adaptation (2 hours 40 minutes) that makes a clever commentary on India’s political landscape. The film may not be as effortlessly moving or immersive as the original but it will make you want to see it with your family. At a time of evolving culture, LSC holds onto the good old values that make it worthy of a family outing. You will particularly remember a crackling Shah Rukh Khan cameo and heartwarming special appearance by Kamini Kaushal.



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Rs.300

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