Film: Hari Puttar: A comedy of terrors
Director: Lucky Kohli, Rajesh Bajaj
Producer: Munish Purii
Cast: Sarika, Jackie Shroff, Lilette Dubey, Zain Khan, Swini Khara, Saurabh Shukla, Vijay Raaz
In every sense one is delighted that Hindi films now explore a whole new gamut of stories. Take Hari Puttar for instance, the first time someone has attempted to make an Indian Home alone of sorts. However and one can’t stress it enough that this film is the pits of such exploration. The film is tiresome and the least bit entertaining, if gnawing your hair is humor then trust this film to find loads of it.
The film much like the Home alone series revolves around a young boy left behind by his parents and the adventure that follows. In this case, the young lad in the spotlight is Hari (Khan) who is a bundle of sweetness (or something like that) and cannot seem to befriend anyone ever since having moved to London. Hari’s father (Rez Kempton) is some sort of a scientist who seems to have developed the ever so crucial micro chip that will change the face of the Indian defense system, catapulting them to being the best in the world. But sans any surprises Hari is in possession of the ‘Chip’. The adventure or anti climax in this case begins when his mother (Sarika), with friends and kids packs off for a trip leaving everyone but Hari and Tuk Tuk (Khara) behind. Left fending for themselves they are thrown to defend their home and the oh-so important micro chip from two goons, Diesel and Filter (Shukla and Raaz). Now it does not take a genius to figure out what follows, and if it does then, you don’t want to be it.
If you think the plot is fairly similar to Home Alone, then the ball does not stop rolling there. Even most of the pranks are altered versions of Home Alone. For starters it is important to clarify that the premise of the film is not the least bit faulty, however every bit of the execution is. There is little ingenuity and honestly is a confusing film as to who exactly is the target audience. If it truly were children then there is no explaining why some of the Humour is below the belt. Take for instance the scene where Shukla and Raaz are badmouthing each other with the most profound and bleeped words. There are more questions that arise from watching this film, to actual entertainment derived. What ever happens to the father, where did he disappear? If Jackie Shroff had his cool satellite phone why couldn’t he call the kids? Especially when in the previous scene we see him use it before he rushes out to catch the train. Couldn’t Hari and Tuk Tuk call the cops? How do you explain Diesel’ horrendous Hairdo?
Its not just the execution of the story, even the camerawork is shoddy and the editing even worse. The film lacks buildups and some of the shots are clearly not focused. Sitting in to watch the film all you hear are screeching voices of some of the characters. The same characters that are not developed the least bit and in all sincerity had no role to play in the film. Sadly enough had the film been shot with a few good locales to please the eye, it would have been a more entertaining watch. On the plus side, the animation in the film is good and is extremely well done. The music was sore and the opening track with the singers dancing was even more so. Not to say the film does not have any light and nice moments, but those can literally be counted on your finger tips.
It almost seems pointless talking about veteran actors like Sarika, Shroff and Dubey. The film is all Khan. The veteran actors are wasted to no end and their presence clearly sidelined. Khan is just as an all adventure young boy should be and Khara as tuk tuk is sweet. Shukla and Raaz are wasted too; there is no life in their characters for them to have any room to perform.
The one star is for the actors and the well rendered animation. Listening to bleeped sounds of abusive words and then having your kids pestering you to know them, is not ideally a family time. You are better off watching ‘Home Alone’ the millionth time. Think Savings.