Hum hain Lajawab
Director: Brad Bird Voices: Shah Rukh Khan, Jaaved Jaferi, Rakshanda Khan, Vindu Dara Singh, Ami Trivedi, Asif Ali Baig, Malishka Mendonca, Aryan Khan
'Tussi great ho!', as one of the Jaaved Jaaferi-written dialogues goes in Hum Hain Lajawab. In the swadeshi version of Brad Bird's Disney-Pixar animated film, The Incredibles, the same accolade is earned by, not Papa Shah Rukh, but son Aryan. Aryan not only inspired Papa to take up the challenge of following the Hollywood practice of stars like Humphrey Bogart, Tom Hanks, Eddie Murphy, of bringing animations alive, but has put in a most inspired performance himself.
Shah Rukh had rightly read the awe in Aryan's voice, when on seeing the stills of the film, the seven -year-old had said that only a real hero could play this character. An awed Papa had to live up to that, and does so. Perfectly modulating his voice to sound like his character, the huge and muscled Mr Baldev, so unlike his own slender form.
Varying his modulations from scene to scene, distinctly Shah Rukh, like when persuasively crying, 'Edna, Edna', while arguing with the marvellously visualised fashion designer, voiced by Asif Ali Baig, sounding typically like his 'Kiran, Kiran' tone. Or, the very unlike Shah Rukh, dull, flat, bored tone adapted to sound distinctly Mr Baldev, as he appears in those scenes.
But it is the oh-so-cutely impish voice of Aryan, who plays Baldev's son Tez, who really brings alive the Lajawab family of five. It is forced by circumstances to live with anonymous identities, trying to rediscover once again the true source of their powers, as they get ready to fight the villain, Sankiman. Jaaved Jaferi as his voice has delightfully sprinkled the film with Mumbaiya lingo, yet being in sync with the characters and mood of this Hollywood film.
Old, old hat
Director: Ravi Kinagi Cast: Jeet, Koel Mallick, Victor Banerjee, Soma Dey, Master Angshu, Shyamal Dutta, Sumanta Mukherjee, Santwana Bose, Ravishankar Pande, Locket Chatterjee, Sonali Chakraborty
Chances are that Ravi Kinagi and Jeet, the director-actor duo in Bandhan, will now receive the made-for-each-other tag after their three-in-a-row ventures (Premi, Mastaan and now Bandhan). Kinagi's female lead slot is up for grabs though. After Chandana (Premi) and Swastika (Mastaan); it's now Koel's turn, and she recently seems to be on a roll following Devipaksha and Shudhu Tumi. Even if this is only Koel's second pairing with Jeet (after Nater Guru) and her first in a Kinagi movie, the pair shows good coordination with a maturer Jeet having a slight edge over the fresh-faced Koel.
But the story sadly is old, old hat. The idea of a prudish patriarch (Victor Banerjee) hating his Singapore-based businessman son-in-law Jeet for his daughter Koel's death is an anachromatic legacy of the Chhabi Biswas-Uttam Kumar era. It's like trying to encash an invalidated cheque with Victor playing the poor man's Chhabi Biswas. Jeet and his son (Master Angshu) try to win him over and then suddenly, as a twist in the middle, a second Koel (first Koel's twin, hitherto unknown to Jeet) bursts upon the screen. That's Kinagi's way of blending the old and the new trends into a stale cocktail. The music (Jeet Ganguly) and lyrics (Gautam Sushmit) do not help matters, either. Master Angshu chanting Sanskrit mantras is a clever ploy to tap the root-searching NRB response. And the Singapore locales are there to entral deshi Bongs. Not a bad marketing strategy at all. Gauche execution, though.