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Laal Singh Chaddha Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Friday, August 12, 2022 • தமிழ் ]
Laal Singh Chaddha Review
Aamir Khan Productions, Viacom18 Studios
Aamir Khan, Gurfateh Grewal, Kareena Kapoor, Naga Chaitanya, Mona Singh, Manav Vij, Aaryaa Sharma
Advait Chandan
Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao, Jyoti Deshpande, Ajit Andhare

Lal Singh Chaddha - A faithful remake that has its heart touching moments

Way back in 1994 Robert Zemeckis's 'Forrest Gump' became a milestone movie for its highly emotional content mixed with technical wizardry that was never before seen in cinema.  After almost three decades Aamir Khan has remade the film in Hindi and has presented it in regional languages as well.  Whether this faithful remake will create the same magic with this current generation remains to be seen.

The screenplay of 'Laal Singh Chaddha' begins in the eighties and covers important moments in Indian history along with the heartwarming story of the hero ending in the present day.   Lal Singh Chadha (Aamir Khan), a middle aged Sikh is travelling by train on a long journey and starts to tell his story to a woman sitting opposite him.  We get to know that he is slow as a child and is also physically challenged who has to walk with the help of his legs.  His world is his loving mother (Mona Singh) who dotes on him and protects him in every way she can.  When Lal is rejected by the boys of his age and has no one except his mother Rupa D Souza his classmate becomes a friend and soon becomes the most important being in his life.  Rupa then inspires the boy to break his shackles and he wants her to stay with him the rest of her life.  However Rupa is ambitious due to her own painful background and she moves to Mumbai to pursue her ambition of making loads of money. The rest of the screenplay deals with the adventures that the innocent Lal has in his life and his unconditional love for his sweetheart which reaches a bitter sweet climax.

Aamir Khan as usual has breathed life into the character of Lal Singh Chanddha and he holds the audience attention right from frame one right till the end.  His outstanding physical effort is visible in the running scenes while the emotions he shows with his mother, lover, friends and finally the little boy are compelling.  Kareena Kapoor Khan as the ill fated Rupa D Souza conveys the pain inside her through her eyes even though she seems heartless sometimes.  Mona Singh is terrific as Mrs. Chaddha, matching up to the legendary Sally Field who won an Oscar for the same role in the original.  Naga Chaitanya Akkineni appears in a pivotal role as Bala, a close friend of the hero and has excelled in comedy as well as emotions making it one of his most memorable performances.  Manav Vij has brought his own soul into the Pakistani terrorist turned mentor Mohammed Paaji while Superstar Shah Rukh Khan appears in a delightful cameo proving what an absolute sport he is.

What works best in 'Laal Singh Chaddha' is the entire first half which takes the basic skeleton of 'Forrest Gump' and weaves its own moments that are a treat to watch.  The interesting real life historical events that the hero experiences such as Indra Gandhi's Emergency, her Operation Bluestar and her assasintation, The Mandal Commission, The Babar Masjid demolition and the Kargil war fit well into the story.  The protagonist's relationship with his mother, Rupa, Mohammed, Bala and the people who listen to his story on the train are all heart touching.   The thread dealing with Chaddha rescuing a terrorist and the latter inspired by him turning into a humanitarian is brilliant.  Similarly the thread that deals with Naga Chaitanya and his love for inner garments is hilarious throughout.  The not so smart man keeping his promise to his dead friend and sharing millions with his family is heartwarming.  The entire story wrests on the unconventional and unconditional love that the tragic man has for his girl and the screenplay justifies that.

On the flip side in the second half all the nativity that one felt in the first suddenly gets diluted and we get the feeling of watching a western film.  Aamir Khan's appearance as a youngster is reminiscent of 'PK' and 'Dhoom 3' which is slightly deterring.  The marathon that Chaddha embarks on seems functional as opposed to Gump's which was eventful and climaxed more effectively.  The long monologue that Aamir breaks ino in the climax could have been much crisper leaving the audience to feel the emotion instead of him forcing it down their throats.  That is just one episode amongst a few in the latter part that makes one notice the length of the film.  The VFX that the original achieved three decades back was a tad better than the ones done now with the advanced softwares.

Technically the film is sound with the cinematography capturing India's essence from Ladakh to Kanyakuamari and the authentic production design taking the cake.  Writer Atul Kulkarni shows so much innovation in the first half that what he did in the second is a crime.  Director Advait Chandan handles the film sensitively.  The biggest problem with any film adaptation is its comparison to the original and when that film has won 6 Academy Awards, then the challenge is that much more.   Considering that and the lags in the second half we can say that its a fifty fifty effort.

Verdict :  Those who love romance and sentiments with an Aamir Khan touch will warm up to this one.

Rating: 3 / 5.0

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