Indian filmmakers (at least the bitten ones) have realized that weaving dreams
for the viewers is a big gamble. Instead, they have decided to give the viewers
a chunk of reality that comes at a far lower price. As a result, Bollywood has
given birth to a genre of experimental cinema having small budgets, no star value
and carrying themselves solely on the theme along with sticking to the fundamentals
of good filmmaking. Such films recover their costs without any hitches and in
fact, if made slickly, may become surprise successes, too. Kasoor
is one such example.
Coming close on the heels of such cinema is Rahul, produced by the self-proclaimed dream merchant, Subhash Ghai, and directed by Prakash Jha, famous for relentlessly churning out commercial turkeys after some good offbeat stuff like Damul and Hip, Hip Hurray.
Rahul is a classic example, in this genre of cinema, of a mediocre attempt at
filmmaking with the makers basking in the fact that they have nothing to lose
anywhere by making such a movie. Take a run-of-the mill theme of a child caught
between the marital problems of its parents (dealt with quite successfully in
films like Kramer vs. Kramer, Kaash
and Akele Hum Akele Tum
a sleepwalking and clumsy cast, classic clichés, some jarring music by Anu Malik
('cos it was original) and what we have is a movie which is quite avoidable but
for one reason - Yash Pathak as Rahul.
Yash as the five-year-old Rahul is extremely cute and is clearly the USP of the
movie. There is an instant chemistry with the viewers, making it, by far, the
most heartwarming performance of a child artiste since that of master Raju in
the Gulzar classic Parichay
. Rahul stays with his divorced father Akaash
(played by Jatin Grewal, who walks and talks like an adrenaline-pumped mannequin),
who keeps on harping to Rahul that his mother is a very bad woman who left them
to live in her riches.
A flashback shows that poor Akaash and rich Meera (played by Neha) get married
amidst the resistance of her mother and brother. Later their marriage is on the
rocks when swabhimani
Akaash refuses to have anything to do with Meera's
family's flaunting ways. Rahul longs for his mother's love until he meets her.
The rest of the film is about how he tries to reunite his parents. A near-death
situation of Rahul results in a predictable ending.
Rahul, if seen from an optimist's eye, can be a refreshing change about a child,
his world of butterflies, cherubic talk, cute friends and most importantly, his
way of looking at the world. Try concentrating on these things and you may enjoy
the film. But avoid it for any other reason pertaining to filmmaking.