The second release this week is Sujoy Ghosh’s Aladin starring Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Ritesh Deshmukh and introducing Ex Miss Sri Lankan Jacqueline Fernandez. This fantasy film has been in the making for about 2 years and is based on the classic fairy tale “Aladin & the Magical Lamp” and boasts of visual effects never seen before on Indian screens.
About the director: Sujoy Ghosh is an actor, director and a writer. He played small roles in Rahul Bose’s Everybody Says I’m Fine (2001), My Brother…Nikhil (2005), Bluffmaster (2005) and Ta Ra Rum Pum (2007). He wrote & directed Jhankaar Beats (2003) & Home Delivery (2005) before moving on to directing Aladin (2009). Jhankaar Beats was entertaining and received good response. Home Delivery was a critical & commercial flop. With Aladin, Sujoy Ghosh also debuts as a producer.
Expectations: I have always loved fantasy films but unfortunately Bollywood has never made a world class Fantasy film. Hence, after reading about the visual scale, the interesting idea, the huge star cast I expected a lot from this film but after seeing the track record of the director I was a little confused. And, somehow I also feel the hype required for the film wasn’t created but on the other hand it could possibly be the best fantasy film of Bollywood if made properly. Huge
Doesn’t that sound interesting? Let’s find out what exactly is delivered.
Script/Story: The story is written by Sujoy Ghosh who has also penned the screenplay along with Suresh Nair & Ritesh Shah. Story begins in a fairytale land “Khwaish” where Aladin, the looser lives. He has no one in his life, enters Jasmine who he starts liking, enters Genius who wants Aladin to ask for any three wishes so that he can be free from the contract of the Magical Lamp and in between all this enters the Ring Master who wants the lamp so that he can conquer the whole world. The first 20 minutes are excellent and the film looks promising but from there on, it looks strictly average. I believe the idea was luminous but the screenplay didn’t compliment it well. To be honest, I feel the whole film could have been shown in 90 minutes instead of dragging it to 121 minutes. Or if they wanted to make it a 120 minutes film they could have kept the entertainment level the same as in the beginning. Also, adding soo many songs made a tiring affair. Like many other films this year, Aladin also has a nice concept but wasted due to the screenplay. Average
Acting: Amitabh Bachchan has done a lot of action in this film after a long time and he still rocks and he has also acted well although he seemed to overact in a few scenes. I love to see Amitabh Bachchan in such roles rather than playing father to other actors. Roles like Aladin & Bhootnath are good for him at this age. Ritesh Deshmukh is top notch and has done his work with complete perfection by keeping it as simple as possible and this film can be counted as one of his best. Sanjay Dutt was still fresh in my mind after his wonderful performance in All The Best and I was expecting him to do wonders with this one but he was strictly average although I feel he had a huge scope which possible the director didn’t use properly. Jacqueline Fernandez is beautiful but has little scope in the film. Rest of the cast has done well but I feel they were underused. Good
Music: Although, I would strongly criticize the use of soo many songs in the film but somewhere from inside I also loved watching them on screen due to their great presentation & lavish sets. I heard songs of Aladin about a month ago when they were released and it didn't appeal to me than but as a measure I listen to all the songs of the film one day before the release which helps in creating a hype so I heard the songs on Thursday. After hearing them again and watching the videos on big screen, I liked a couple of songs which are You May Be & Tak Dhina Dhin. Rest all songs are fine and but overall Vishal Shekar disappoints as they have returned after about 1 year and still delivered average stuff. Average
Direction: Finally, I can say somebody has guts to make a fantasy film the way it should be made and in accordance with the requirements of the audience. The director has great vision which you can realize within just 5 minutes. The whole feel of the film is supreme and never seen before in India movies. Apart from minor flaws which can be ignored, the director has done a great job but how I wish he also wrote the screenplay better. It is really difficult to make clean films these days and he succeeded in it. Nevertheless, a better attempt than his previous films but I think he has played a big gamble by making this film so early in his career because fantasy films have not had a nice record in India. Very Good
Overall, Aladin is the cleanest film in recent times and the best fantasy film ever produced in Bollywood although it lacks a solid screenplay but scores on the great visuals & stellar vision of the director. Watch it once to celebrate the advancement of Bollywood.
Rating: *** (Good)
At the box office, it may not work due to the genre which it falls into and also the very dull opening it has got on the first two days but it should be a success later on the Home Video circuit.
Box Office (Estimate): Disaster/Flop
Recommended for Families and Children.