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Review: Aladin is amusing

Review: Aladin is amusing

Source: Sify

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 17/5

Friday 30 October 2009

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Movie Title

Aladin

Director

Sujoy Ghosh

Star Cast

Amitabh Bachchan,Sanjay Dutt,Ritesh Deshmukh,Jacqueline Fernandez,Saahil Khan

In a role quite perfect for the superstar, Amitabh Bachchan plays a genie who calls out `yo brother? to his bewildered master. The latter?s name is Aladin Chatterjee and has nothing to do with the world-famous fable, we?re told. But still, Aladin?s bullies-since-childhood continue baiting him about lamps and genies.

An orphan and living in a town called Khwaish (where magic coincides with Punjabi truck drivers), Aladin is miserably alone. He withdraws into himself with the neighbourhood restaurant owner (Ratna Pathak Shah, fab), who believes that life is like ?getting a seat at a restaurant without the menu?, constantly encouraging him to stand up against the rogues.

Enter college cutie Jasmine (Jacqueline Fernandez), who both the hero and bully (Saahil Khan) fall for. She finds Aladin?s shyness endearing and, while the love story?s budding, he has a new problem on hand. While rubbing the dusty lamp his cheeky friends gave him on his birthday, Aladin is faced with a genie-in-a-hurry (Amitabh Bachchan) who calls his master a bore and a tubelight.

With a hurried explanation and a song, the genie instructs Aladin that he better hurry up with his three wishes as his retirement is just two months away.

Now, who hasn?t been asked what they?d do if they were gifted three wishes? That?s the thing about wishes coming true ? there?s something magical and fantastical about them. But this is where the film, where it could have been most exciting, lets us down.

There?s nothing grand about simpleton Aladin?s wishes largely revolving around Jasmine. Right before the intermission, two of his wishes are already over with. The second half then comprises the big fight between good and evil, Jasmine asking Aladin out to dinner, and Amitabh Bachchan fighting the bad guys bare-handed.

Thrown in are some wonderful visual effects like Aladin?s guitar turning into a multi-coloured frog, the genie?s head transforming into that of a tiger and so on. The bad guy here is The Ringmaster (Sanjay Dutt) whose crew comprises a joker, an acrobat, a masked lady and other such. Ruthless and quasi-comic, The Ringmaster makes for an entertaining villain.

Visual effects are arresting and well executed as against the excesses of Saawariya or the clumsy attempts of Drona and Love Story 2050. Art by Sabu Cyril is commendable, as is cinematography by Sirsha Ray; both clearly taking a leaf out of Hollywood fantasy films like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.

Music (Vishal-Shekhar) is fabulous, though the length suffers due to too many songs. Editing (Suresh Pai) and sound designing (Hari Dwarak Warrier) are also well done.

Riteish Deshmukh shines in his solo-hero role as an underdog who snatches the girl from under the bully?s nose. Amitabh Bachchan is in top form. Sanjay Dutt looks like he?s thoroughly enjoying a role after long time. Debutante Jacqueline Fernandez is a stunner, but needs to work on her diction.

Writer-director Sujoy Ghosh (Jhankaar Beats, Home Delivery) tells the story swiftly and honestly, but gets too entangled in the fluffy love story to concentrate on the fairytale element.

Despite the length being a tad too long and the enchantment quotient hovering around average, the film might still be worth a watch for a few amusing moments, the visual effects and the Riteish Deshmukh-Amitabh Bachchan-Sanjay Dutt teaming.

Rating: 2.5 stars

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