Rick Baitz, Wayne Sharp
Mahima Choudhary, Anupam Kher, Suhasini Mulay.
Hope And A Little Sugar Movie Review
April 19, 2008 11:42:23 AM IST By Martin D'Souza, Bollywood Trade News Network
The introduction of the character central to the theme of the film is feeble. Even after the movie ends, you cannot make sense of why Ali Siddiqui (Amit Sial) had to be introduced in the manner he was. Saloni (Mahima Chaudhary) mistakes him for one Sukhbir, and after some brief talking of how he looks different without his turban and beard, she invites him over to her house for a party the next day. Of course, Ali is not Sukhbir but he is smitten by her beauty and asks her where she stays. She says the same place and leaves. He gives chase on a bicycle, collides with a car and lands at the party in the same clothes he was giving chase. So, was the party the day he was invited or the next day?
Also, at the party everyone thinks he is Sukhbir and he continues as Sukhbir for a few days visiting Saloni’s house where she lives with her husband Harry (Vikram Chatwal) and in-laws Colonel Oberoi (Anupam Kher) and Mrs Oberoi (Suhasini Mullay). Not one of them knows that he is not Sukhbir. Strange. Nor do any of us know who this Sukhbir really is! Fiction is stranger than fact!
Anyways to cut the long story short, after a few days, Ali tells Saloni and Harry that he is not Sukhbir to which they both reply that they knew because if he was Sukhbir he would have been drunk by 8pm and Ali does not drink! Phew! Talk of a silly premise to move the film forward. Better was expected from director Tanuja Chandra. Once you shake this irritant off you try and settle to watch what is a decent attempt set in New York, touching on the 9/11 incident which changed the lives of Colonel Oberoi’s family.
Visually, the film is good; acting-wise it stands out but for this one major flaw. Because Ali then ends up wooing Saloni after she loses Harry in the 9/11 attack. In between, there are scenes of how Colonel Oberoi blames Ali calling him a killer because he is a Muslim and how Ali wins him over. You see, even he (Ali) has witnessed the 1992 riots in Bombay as a child.
Mahima Chaudhary scores in all departments; looks, dialogue, diction and acting. She is first rate as the young wife who has lost her husband and fighting her father-in-law to keep her friendship alive with Ali. Anupam Kher as the father so in love with his son, hoping he will come back some day and finally breaking down when he allows reason to sink in is very convincing. Suhasini Mullay as the wife bearing the brunt of her husband’s ‘lunacy’ and wanting to let Saloni free is believable. Amit Sial does a decent job while Vikram Chatwal gives one the impression that he is still playing his real father’s son even on screen.
PS: A few multiplexes had to strike off the morning show because the print had not reached them. Talk off marketing in times when good movies last a few weeks and small budget ones just a few days! Also, most multiplexes have just two shows. Is Tanuja expecting a lukewarm response to her film?