Zubaan review: Great build-up, tepid finale!

Zubaan review: Great build-up, tepid finale!

Source: General

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 3/5

Monday 07 March 2016

Movie Title

Zubaan review: Great build-up, tepid finale!


Mozez Singh

Star Cast

Vicky Kaushal, Sarah-Jane Dias

The film begins encouragingly enough. We trace the journey of Dilsher (Vicky Kaushal) who leaves Gurdaspur for Delhi to make something of his life.

Highly ambitious, he does all kinds of things to meet and nail a job with builder Sikand (Manish Chaudhary), who takes an instant liking to him.

With a job and accommodation straight in the Sikand estate, Dilsher finds intermittent happiness. He does his work diligently despite facing hostility from Sikand’s wife Mandy (Meghna Malik) and highly insecure son (Raaghav Chanana).

But slowly, when the thrills of working with Sikand begin fading away, Dilsher begins to probe deeper to find his true calling. This is aided by his new friend/love interest/ catalyst Amira (Sarah Jane Dias).

The film moves us when we watch flashbacks of Dilsher’s hometown. We witness the tragedy from Dilsher’s childhood. A tragedy that, in an instant, robs him of his childhood and his relationship with music. The incident also gives him a speech stammer - a ready reminder that he is not listening to the voice of his ‘zabaan’.

Also very interesting are the character equations. We are completely immersed in the story as characters surprise us, layers unraveling against the revelation of a family secret. The unlikeliest person turns violent, the motivations of another character are startling, and the one you thought to be ruthless turns out to be the one most in need of love. But perplexingly these wonderful nuances are left to the supporting characters.

Dilsher’s character does get some flourishes and texture, but we don’t quite get the character’s transformation as the story progresses. Vicky Kaushal is a wonderful performer, as we’ve seen in Masaan. He’s dependably good here too, but the character and journey haven’t been thought out as insightfully as the story deserved.

And drat, what about the romance? The ending is too conveniently wrapped up and shows the heroine in a disappointingly clichéd manner. But then, that is omnipresent throughout the film.

We don’t understand Amira’s character one bit, as it isn’t written like a real person at all. This character, always shown smoking a joint, dancing, singing or hanging out in some far-fetched location, merely exists to act as a catalyst to move the story forward. Sarah Jane-Dias is earnest, but let down by the flaky characterization.

The supporting cast - Manish Chaudhary, Meghna Malik, Raaghav Chanana - does exceedingly well.

There are a few other interesting touches. Aki Narula’s costumes are noteworthy, though a bit over-the-top with Amira’s character. There are small humorous touches like a rundown gym with a sticker that says -‘Don’t chew chewing-gum in the gym.’ One wishes there were more such insights.

Sadly, for a film about music, there are no noteworthy compositions. One so wanted to hear more soulful music, the very music that held the power to lead Dilsher towards his true calling. In a scenario where music holds such a powerful stake in the story, a plastic-y ‘Music Is My Soul’ just doesn’t cut it. It’s ironic that a film about music and aptly named ‘Zabaan’, has such a muffled voice.

Debut director Mozez Singh displays potential and gives us a film that has its moments, despite the weak areas. Zubaan, then, remains a film akin to a great story build-up, only to reveal a rather tepid finale.

Zubaan review: 2.5 stars

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