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Stumped Review

Ajay Bhashyam / fullhyd.com
EDITOR RATING
3.0
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suggestions
Can watch again
NA
Good for kids
NA
Good for dates
NA
Wait to rent it
NA
Picture this - you're walking along the street, minding your own business, when you see a little Chinese man running at you from across the street. He starts blabbering in rapid Cantonese and gesticulating even faster. Then he gets really excited - starts jumping up and down, says something about your mother (you don't understand, but get the basic idea), slaps you a couple of times and runs away. Would you feel...ah... stumped?? This just might make a better story and screenplay than Stumped.

Reena (Raveena) and Raghav Seth (Aly Khan) live in a society with four or five other families, with the usual stereotypes. Raghav is an army major and the story basically revolves around the Kargil war and the cricket World Cup '99. Anjan Srivastav (remember Wagle ki Duniya?), Viju Khote and all else are cricket crazy, and half the movie is taken up by their discussions on the subject and the junta sitting and watching the matches. The other half gets somewhat diluted by Raveena's buckets of tears and lost somewhere under her gobs of lipstick and 127 layers of makeup.


The Seths are the quintessential happy couple, but Reena's obvious complaint is how Raghav is away for such long periods of time. But some sweet luuuuuve always makes up for it. The horny neighborhood teenagers decide that Reena is the 'experienced' woman they'd like to introduce them to the 'ABCDs of love'.

So we have a teenage fantasy diversion (with some Debonairs thrown in) through the firm belief of one of them, Girish, that she wants him. Amin Gazi, who plays Girish, does okay and quite visibly gets better at acting as the movie progresses. He looks suspiciously like the guy in Preity Zinta's new Perk ad - the boy who's had too much helium going 'Dravid ka hook yaar!'

Anyway, the whole thing sort of meanders till Raghav gets a call to go back to the front. From then on, Reena becomes a weepy, inconsolable army wife, but she pulls it off okay. The cricket, too, intensifies, with the India-Pak match. So everybody's glued to the TV, but only Reena is watching the war news. Come to think of it, that is significant at so many levels, isn't it?


Anyway, it all comes to a head on one evening - Reena calls Girish over for an evening dinner date (as reward for helping her paint the house), the society is watching the India-Pak match, and Reena gets THE telegram - '... missing... presumed dead...'

If it was possible, Reena becomes even more sad-looking. This little 15-minute period is not so bad from a cinematic point of view, with some sensitive direction and decent acting by Raveena. Of course, Indian cinema hasn't quite had the guts for sad endings since the great Guru Dutt, barring a few exceptions, so there's a decently believable ending.

The genius of Aamir Khan combined two of the nation's great passions successfully. Stumped is what Lagaan might have been, if it was made by a hot-blooded, hormonal, impressionable teenager. Cricket may be the opiate of the masses, but God knows we've had an overdose. Even war had to share the stage with this game.


In the larger sense, Stumped began as a good idea and is on the border between commercial and experimental cinema - and an extra half in the rating is for the conviction to do that. Salman Khan is just there to get jiggy with it for 3 minutes, which had me looking for the barf bag. All in all, I'd wait for the Max premiere.
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STUMPED SNAPSHOT
USER RATING
8.8
5 USERS
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  • Cast
    Raveena Tandon, Mac Mohan, Asha Sachdev, Anjan Srivastava, Aly Khan, Suresh Menon, Viju Khote
  • Music
    Shamir Tandon
  • Director
    Gaurab Pandey
  • Theatres
    Not screening currently in any theatres in Hyderabad.
STUMPED USER REVIEWS
USER RATING
8.8
5 USERS
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
NA
NA
NA
NA
Can watch again - NA
Good for kids - NA
Good for dates - NA
Wait to rent it - NA
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