Laal Singh Chaddha (Aamir Khan) tells the woman sitting in front of him in the train, “My mother used to say that life is like golgappe, even if the stomach is full, the mind is not filled.” Along with that he takes out some golgapi and a bottle of spicy water stored in the box and with these he opens the pack of memories of his life. The woman sitting in front is initially uninterested in Lal’s words. But as Lal’s words increase, not only he but the people of the entire compartment begin to listen to his stories with interest.
Lal’s story begins with his mother (Mona Singh) who always tells him that he can do anything. Lal, who was weak in intelligence, could hardly make progress in studies and writing, but was a champion runner. His first girlfriend at school becomes Roopa (Kareena Kapoor Khan), who plays an important role in every different phase of his life. The story of Lal Singh Chaddha starts from his childhood, then from the 1983 World Cup to Operation Bluestar, Indira Gandhi’s assassination, 1984 riots, Babri Masjid, Mumbai blasts, Sushmita Sen’s Miss Universe win, the war in Kargil, 26/11 The Mumbai attack reaches all the way back to Anna Hazare’s movement and Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Some special relationships of Lal Singh Chaddha were formed at different stages of this journey. Apart from Rupa, he befriends Balaraju (Naga Chaitanya) in the army and then meets Mohammed (Manav Vij) during the war. These relationships form an important part of Lal’s life.
In the character of Lal Singh Chadha, Aamir Khan brings a certain naivete. You get an association with this character right from the very first scene, which also proves to be helpful for the development of the film’s story. The entire film revolves around Lal Singh Chaddha and his various relationships, so Aamir had plenty of opportunities to win hearts with his acting on an emotional level. The actors succeed to some extent, but they lose touch because of a certain expression on their faces that shows their gullibility. His Punjabi accent and language pattern have slipped in many places.
Kareena Kapoor Khan has done a good job portraying Roopa. Be it Roopa’s relationship with Lal or her own tragedy in life… Kareena has captured every emotion perfectly. This is Yuga superstar Naga Chaitanya’s first Bollywood debut where he plays Bala, Lal’s friend. To be honest, this character was very weak for Naga Chaitanya as per the debut. At least the director could have given him strong dialogues. Nevertheless, Mona Singh as Laal Singh’s mother Chadha gives the film an emotional heft. Manav Vij is effective in his role.
Advait Chandan’s second directorial venture after ‘Secret Superstar’ is ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’, an official remake of the Hollywood film Forrest Gump. Writer Atul Kulkarni has beautifully adapted it for the desi audience by adding some important events of Indian history and culture. The films range from India’s 1983 Cricket World Cup win, Operation Bluestar, Indira Gandhi’s assassination, 1984 riots, Babri Masjid, Mumbai blasts, Kargil war, 26/11 Mumbai attack, Movement of Anna Hazare and Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat campaign. Until.. all events are included. Directing this film must not have been easy for Advait Chandan. But how Lal taught Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan his signature dance style and came up with the idea for an innerwear ‘Rupa’ in memory of his friend Balraju has meticulously woven these subtexts into the story. Where the film falters is on the emotional side. So many incidents happen one after another that you cannot relate to Lal’s story on an emotional level. At the same time, the slow pace of the story sometimes tests your patience.
Technically the film is very good. Be it the mustard fields of Punjab, India Gate in Delhi or the beach in Kanyakumari… Cinematographer Satyajit Pandey captures the whole of India beautifully in his camera. He has shown various scenarios in Lal’s life very well. Hemanti Sarkar’s editing should have been more nimble. The biggest weakness of the film is its length which is boring at times.. It could have done on the editing table.
The film’s music is composed by Tanuj Tiku, while the film’s music is given by Pritam and the songs are penned by Amitabh Bhattacharya. The songs of the movie are good and remain in the mind for a long time. ‘Main Ki Karan’ in the voice of Sonu Nigam and ‘Phir Na Aisi Raat Aayegi’ sung by Arijit Singh are featured in the film quite effectively.
Aamir Khan starrer ‘Lal Singh Chaddha’ does not disappoint as the official remake of Hollywood’s much-loved film ‘Forrest Gump’. There are some flaws in the film’s writing, but the acting overshadows those flaws. 3.5 stars for ‘Lal Singh Chaddha’ by Filmbeat.
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