How To Make The Worst Film About Teenage Depression
A small town teenager shoots to fame when he gets selected in the music talent contest. His mother, who used to be a professional singer once sees her son’s talent and pushes him to perform. The dad reluctantly supports his son. When he loses the contest, the young lad has to return and spirals into depression. Everyone rallies around him to save him and he learns to sing again. This film shows us everything that is wrong with making movies for young adults. There is no finesse in handling the subject and poor research shows up like a glaring sore thumb on the screen.
When the film starts with four teenagers racing their bicycles to the top of the mountains, you think this might be a pleasing teenage flick. Then you groan at the sight of a music talent contest. The boy who has entered the contest is too nervous to sing, so his friend enters the contest and gets selected.
Of course the boy’s mum (Gracie Singh of Lagaan, in most bizarre clothing that make her look like a shapeless pillow) turns out to be an ex professional singer who suddenly realises that her son could fulfil her own dreams that took second place to family. The dad is angry and crotchety (Ranvir Shorey, who seems to be reprising all his roles again and again) and worries that the child will miss out on crucial study time if he goes to Bombay to sing.
But the mother and son leave. What follows is an hour long repeat of music talent hunt shows that infest television. RaagaRocks is the name of the contest and even though the lad is musical (Yatharth Ratnum, he won the first ever season of The Stage in India plays the lead role), the number of times you hear him and the other contestants sing makes for a boring watch.
You are actually relieved when the lad loses and comes back home. He feels humiliated and falls into a rapid spiral of depression. Parents think that he will get out of it, his friends try to get him to smile, he insults them, he does not want to go to school… If only the filmmaker had the talent to handle this subject delicately, the film would have been a good watch for teenagers who are being groomed for competition by pushy parents in real life. But you hear the most bizarre things from the school principal: You should reach out to the child’s heart just as I reached out to the bird who visits my office…
What? An educator offers homespun philosophy instead of logic? Educated opinion? In fact, the milkman (Rajpal Yadav) offers more practical advice to the boy: There’s music everywhere around us, from birds in the trees to the train and to the dripping snow… The boy learn to play music again and promises to compete…
The film such a shoddy effort, you wish there were better options available for teenagers. This is a huge waste of time.
(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)