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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Review: Cheeni Kum

Cheeni Kum (romance)
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Tabu, Paresh Rawal
Direction: R Balki
Truly, it's age no bar for Amitabh Bachchan. The actor lends a whole new meaning to vintage romance as he tries to serenade a woman (Tabu) who is half his age and convince her father (Paresh Rawal) who is younger than him about his suitable boy status.
He's angry, bitter, cynical, awkward, arrogant, egotistical and irresistible all at the same time. And yes, he wears a pony tail with pizzazz too! The high-point of the film is its screenplay, laced with witticism, and the warm and winsome relationships that the director succeeds in sculpting. Nothing's stereotypical and no one's a stock character.
If Amitabh shares a buddy bond with his impish mother (Zohra Sehgal in impeccable form), then his bonding with the neighbour's dying daughter is no less spicy. The kid seems to be his soulmate and offers him the sanest advice when things seem to get unstuck. Of course, she wants her pound of flesh too which essentially means some adult DVDS! Then again, the chef has struck a fine balance with his staff as he tries to serve the most authentic Hyderabadi zafrani biryani in Old Blighty.
He berates them, bellows on them, bugs them but more than all this, he towers over them like a benevolent big daddy. And finally, his affair with London tourist Tabu is tantalising and tadka maar ke. The two actors complement each other beautifully as they build up the unconventional attachment. The only weak link in this drama seems to be Paresh Rawal, Tabu's Gandhian father who refuses to accept the romance.
But that's more because the director fails to conceptualise his character in a better light. The film suddenly loses its drive when the dad goes on a silly satyagraha to drive home his protest. Poor Paresh Rawal; the king of comedy has no comic lines to regale the audience. But remember, there's Mr Bachchan, boldly romantic like never before. Not since he crossed fifty.

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