Laal Singh Chaddha Review: Cautious, Boring & Tiring
If there is one person who can put cinematic excellence above commercial interests, pursue the creative vision relentlessly and surpass the self-fuelled expectations, it is Aamir Khan! He has a Midas Touch and beautifully ignores the social media trolling machinery. The decision to remake Forrest Gump in Indian context was a courageous bet and an open invitation to eternal comparisons – but Aamir Khan is known to take the bulls by horn. Alas, Laal Singh Chaddha fails and Aamir Khan makes him fail – ironic!
Laal Singh Chaddha is an official adaptation of the award winning iconic Tom Hanks starrer Forrest Gump. Laal is a simpleton who shares his story of life to the fellow passengers on a train journey from Pathankot to Chandigarh. He describes his childhood, his feisty and inspiring mother, his lova saga with Rupa, his friendships and his loneliness. He is a witness to the most extraordinary events of the Indian history – 1983 World Cup Win, Operation Blue Star, Indira Gandhi Assassination, Sikh Riots, L K Advani’s Rath Yatra, Mandal Commission, Babri Masjid Demolition, Bombay Bomb Blasts, Sush’s Miss Universe Crowning, Kargil War, Modi Sarkaar etc. He accidentally inspires a superstar’s signature move and creates India’s biggest hosiery brand.
Aamir Khan is a known perfectionist but he comes across more caricaturish than innocent, likeable and charming Laal. The movie is all about Aamir Khan and Laal oversimplifies. Kareena shines in a meatier role with shades of Geet and Mahi. Mona Singh, Manav Vij and Naga Chaitanya provide excellent support. Manav Vij and Laal Singh track is very interesting and easily the home of movie’s wisdom.
The music and cinematography are awesome. ‘Phir Na Aisi Raat Aayegi’ song is a class act – soulful rendition by Arijit that describes the pain of unrequited love! Tur Kalleyan, Kahani are other nice songs.
The screenplay is totally loyal to the original screenplay. There was an excellent opportunity to be imaginative – but the movie does not explore any difficult terrain or offer anything new.
Box of Chocolate becomes Box of Gol Gappa
Garden Bench becomes Train Seat
Shrimp Business becomes Chaddi Banian Business
Vietnam War becomes Kargil War
The India and world of 2022 is so much different from 1994 – more complex, highly political and less tolerant. The cinema audience and their sensibilities have changed as well – spoilt by OTT platforms, best of World and South Indian cinema and all graduating from Whatsapp University. The choice of remaking Forrest Gump should be seen in this context.
Forrest Gump was better. Tom Hanks was better.
Watch the original Forrest Gump!