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Geng review: Interesting despite its monster-fixation

Geng review: Interesting despite its monster-fixation

Source: General

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 3/5

Friday 27 August 2010

Movie Title

Geng review: Interesting despite its monster-fixation

Director

Usamah Zaid Bin Yasin

Star Cast

Geng (the Malaysian pronunciation for Gang) is a Malaysian 3D animation film dubbed in Hindi. As far as animation films go in India, there seems to be no greater idea than to suffocate children with tales from mythology. This, then, offers hope for its original idea.

The film is set in a small village in Malaysia (passing off as Balipur village in the Hindi version). The village folk are frightened of a balbooje ka bhoot (jackfruit ghost) - a terrifying monster who eats up all the fruit at night and is said to live in a haunted castle.

When Badru and Chetan arrive in the village to spend their vacation at their grandfather?s home, they?re in for a surprise. At first, they are shown the way by impish twin-toddlers Upin and Ipin and their elder sister Rosy.

They meet local kid Raju (a Tamilian) and his loyal pet cow whom he calls his ?car?. Then there?s a devilish hen who likes to cross the road right in front of a vehicle to cause the driver to go into a frenzy, usually leading to the car spinning out of control. So far so breezy - we?re happily acquainted with all these cute characters and making Badru and Chetan?s adventure our own.

But then nothing happens for a while. And post-interval the film?s demeanour changes entirely. The entire gang finds themselves in the thick of a forest where walls are lined with creepy crawlies, and monsters with razor sharp teeth and yellow eyes sneer at the camera. The gang escapes from one monster only to find another.

At times the `action? gets too violent. There are two parallel tracks here: the bad guys who hunt wild animals for sale, and the second one is the track of a squirrel-like jungle animal whose mother has been trapped by the baddies.

The Gang then takes it upon themselves to save their animal friend?s mother. Of course, that means in all filmi manner that the children will fight the weapons-laden villains and come out unscathed. And that all the terrible monsters in the world will try to harm them, but they?ll escape. In fact, there?s a clear monster-overkill in the second half where all you see are close-ups of enormous sharp teeth, snake-monsters slithering, and skull-headed creatures.

The finale is the typical Good guys vs. Bad guys fight where the central child?s character manages to take on the hugely muscled villain. Then there?s a fight between their animal friend?s mother and the bad monster leading to the violent end of one.

The 3D animation is striking with rich colours and sharp pictures. The dubbing is well-done. The characters are interesting too; but sadly they don?t have much to do apart from escaping from the monsters in the second half. Sample this only if your child has a monster-fixation.

Rating: 2 stars

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