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Laal Singh Chaddha - Punjabi Gump da jawaab nahi

Meri mummy kehti hai “Movie, zindagi jaisi hondi hai, jab tak khud mehsoos na karo, logon ke kehne se samajh nahi aati”. As you can probably guess, I saw Laal Singh Chaddha this evening. First things first - let’s cut the comparisons to PK (2014). A wide eyed Aamir Khan is where it begins and ends. He brings a completely different sensibility to this. An alien discovering the befuddling ways of Earth and a sentient albeit innocent human are chalk and cheese. In that case Rajni, SRK, Salman have been doing the same role and movie for years with nary a complaint from their bhakts.

Also, even though it is an official adaptation of Forrest Gump (1994), it has been customized well to the Indian milieu and historical events. Yes it could have been 20 mins shorter but that bloat is a malaise afflicting both Bollywood and Hollywood nowadays. Kareena Kapoor Khan as his girl friend Rupa and Mona Singh as his Mummy deliver. Naga Chaitanya (ex husband of Samantha Ruth Prabhu of Oo Antava fame) in a brief role as Bala obsessed with an undergarment business idea does a good job of channeling Bubba with a similar shrimp obsession in the original. (The origin story of the nomenclature of the business is laugh out loud funny even though I remarked to my wife a few minutes before the reveal that that’s where it was going 😄). The songs and music are also pleasing and in tune with the movie’s tone. But in the end, it’s an Aamir Khan vehicle and the man is in stellar form and has the ability to tug at heartstrings like no other in recent times. It may not be his best ever but even that is leagues ahead of the rest of his peers. It’s a sweet and savory treat like a box of chocolates and golgappas.

August 13, 2022

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