Friday, March 04, 2016

Review: ZUBAAN

Zubaan Says One Thing, Brain Another

2 stars

Mini Review:

A gentle, young lad who sings in the Gurudwara in Gurdaspur with his dad, leaves his past behind and becomes tougher under the protection of a real estate tycoon in Delhi. But this carpetbagger needs saving, and an uber urban angel shows up, toked up to bring the lad to the righteous path. All the groanworthy scenes are covered brilliantly by the music that's magical.

Main Review:

Spiritual music explodes like a little black hole in your heart and sort of expands to suck in all logic. So while the music seeps inside you, you watch as the gentle boy with a great smile becomes this rough young man who gives up on his past. He's come to Delhi because he wants to be like his childhood mentor, who taught him to never give up. 

How the young man infiltrates into his mentor's work life as well as his home is a tale worth watching. He has long learned to live with abuse - for his stammering. And now he learns to live with the abuse from his mentor's son... 

Vicky Kaushal, whom you saw in Masaan, is an earnest performer as Dilsher the young man from the village. You don't like what he does to get to the top, but you understand his motivation. The mentor, played wonderfully by Manish Chaudhari is a clever man too. He has a different set of motive to allow the young man from the village to enter his work life and home life. The love hate relationship the mentor has with his son and the adoration of Dilsher is a wonderful triangle. 

But when the son spouts rubbish about the family pet dog and why he killed the poor thing, you want to roll your eyes and tell him to shut up. Why would he explain himself to someone who has been beaten up? Isn't it enough that he hates the fact that his dad likes Dilsher? Remember Sid from Toy Story? He steals toys and creates mutant versions, but they don't give explanations why he's like that. Gabbar Singh in Sholay is a bad guy. He doesn't confesss to a back story of deprived childhood to reason away his 'badness'. The mentor's son looks like he's had too many sessions on the couch and is throwing explanations of his behavior to everyone.  

The film loses even more connect to reality, in fact. it plummets the film into 'what the...' territory when Dilsher meets the uber urban chick Amira (played by Sara Jan Dias). Rich and drugged and drunk, Amira invites Dilsher to a night in the desert celebrating the life of Dhruv tara... When you watch this indulgence you wonder what the filmmakers were smoking themselves. In fact every encounter with Amira is made out to be weird and wonderful but is all half-baked nonsense. And anyone who has ever been drunk or drugged out of their brains all night will tell you how waking up in the morning stone cold sober, driving and offering homilies like 'Tumhari zubaan kuch keh rahi hai' is well nigh impossible.

The heart of the film is in the right place. When Dilsher learns that his own machinations to become as much a 'lion of Gurdaspur' are nothing compared to how he has been used, he takes refuge in music. Yes, he turns into a male version of Amira, though less drugged. 

You are just glad the self indulgent film is over. You do wait for the song to end. You admit that the idea of 'Zubaan kuch kehtee hai' is a great idea: He does not stammer when he sings (the actor forgets to stammer as the movie progresses, but then the film has other problems which are bigger). Zubaan is saying the right things, the heart of the music is beating perfectly. I wish the brains were connected too...


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