You know, if you are ever in a philosophical mood on Fridays (not that I recommend it), you could always wonder about the worrisome fates of child stars who seem to do so well as young, cute kids, but lose luster as they grow up, and re-appear on-screen as boring, weak caricatures who canâ€™t act. And I would be sympathetic, if only a bad film, starring the afore-mentioned child stars hadnâ€™t quite blighted my evening.
Sikandar features (I canâ€™t quite bring myself to say stars) Dastur as young, twittery orphan Sikandar, and Ayesha Kapoor as his classmate Nasreen. Parzan was last seen as the very cute little Sardar boy in Karan Joharâ€™s Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) and I must say his cuteness is quite diminished. Kapur, we saw as the wild-haired blind and deaf child in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Black (2005). The film is set in Kashmir, against a back-drop of terrorism . Sikandar plays a school-going kid bullied by classmates, and befriended by the relatively smarter and stronger Nasreen. One day, walking to school, Sikandar comes across a gun, and picks it up, possibly thinking of it as a deterrent to his bullies. However a gun has many other uses, as well-meaning Sikandar soon finds out . . .
OK â€“ first things first, this film has great locales â€“ itâ€™s shot in Kashmir, so itâ€™s beautiful scenery, and green glades, and narrow, not-so-trodden paths where you would, you think, if you ever ventured there in real life, be over-awed with the Lordâ€™s Great Work. However, it fails on almost every other count. Weak story, poor screenplay, dodgy direction, cryptic and very false-sounding dialogue-baazi, and atrocious acting!
This filmâ€™s story has loopholes the size of Texas. And then there is weak-kneed little boy, and his fathomless female friend ; really Nasreen drove me up the wall with all the speaking with her eyes. Only her eyes were on a maun vrat. And Sikandar, good boy and all, yeah ? But brains â€“ not so much. And Iâ€™m not asking for Mensa quality IQs here, but common-sense just enough for a teenager? I ask not for too much, do I Lord?
I know that this is not your usual 'song-dance-melodrama' trash, so will agree with other reviewers who say that this film has good intentions. But are good intentions enough to channel someoneâ€™s poor vision on screen and market it, and actually inflict it on poor, unsuspecting viewers ? I think not. This film did nothing for me, and nothing I suspect for the film-makerâ€™s careers either.
You have been warned. And since you have read this review, you are no longer in the â€śpoor, unsuspecting film-viewerâ€ť category.