Film Review: Shaka Laka Boom Boom

Film: Shaka Laka Boom Boom

Director: Suneel Darshan

Producer: Suneel Darshan

Cast: Bobby Deol, Upen Patel, Celina Jaitely, Kangana Ranaut

Rating: 0.5

And that rating is only because one has to give something. Suneel Darshan’s latest masala flick has broken all records in how appallingly bad cinema can get. 

Shaka Laka Boom Boom comes in the category of less then B-grade movies with more than B-grade actors… umm… err… stars rather. 

The film revolves around the ego of a commercially superior artist and how it destroys everything that he cherishes. Bobby Deol (AJ) is a top musician in the US of A (???) with a string of five hit albums when in walks Upen Patel (Raghav aka Reggie), a rude and brash lad who is a genius at creating music but cannot create opportunities for himself. The film deals with the encounter of AJ’s painstaking talent for music with Reggie’s effortless genius, which spawns a rivalry in AJ that ends in a road to self-destruction. A very interesting premise that has immense opportunities to explore multiple layers, but fails to realize them due to faulty screenplay, faulty direction, faulty characterization, faulty acting, where does one stop. 

The ending pays tribute to the quintessential victory of good over evil in contrived situations and leaves you thankful that the trauma has ended.

The film proves that there really is a dearth of good writers in the industry and the industry needs to do something about this ASAP. A weak script is held together by some snazzy video album type editing, (which is becoming a standard and sadly, another definition of ‘slick’) which in turn is accentuated by some ear-splitting and nerve-jarring background music. Everything is told, every motivation, emotion, action is told rather than shown, a cardinal sin in scriptwriting. Besides, whatever events happen, happen in neat packages of convenience which pretend to take the movie forward ‘quickly’. Characterizations are weak and at all times mono-faceted. 

The remaining problems of the film arise from flawed characterizations. The fact that Upen Patel and Bobby Deol completely fail to evoke any emotions through their multiple manipulations of their face muscles is a result of that. The fact that the casting for the film except for the girls was all wrong is a result of that. And the fact that the direction could not elevate the characters, their emotions and the story from the resultant mess is a fault of that.

Each character has one emotion/ motive/reason in the film ‘to be’ and continues to be that for two and half excruciatingly boring hours. Bobby Deol, in the role of super-successful musician does not convince, (maybe a singer would be better choice for our star who looks like he has forgotten what a comb is). He tries hard to emote but the emotions fail to rise up from his lips to his eyes and at the most remain in the voice. Upen Patel, thoroughly miscast, badly needs to go back to London and learn acting or just do roles that don’t challenge him so. Celina Jaitley, has precious little to do and you thank the director for that foresight. Kangana is the only soothing sight for the eye not only with her gorgeous straight-hair look and Manish Malhotra clothes (which are fab) but because the woman manages to pull off a convincing performance in a drab role. And with someone else’s voice.

For a film which revolves around music and the music industry it was imperative that the songs and music in the film are striking. Sadly, they are not. None of the songs are distinguishable from each other mainly due to the almost same beat pattern in all and the same treatment. It makes all the more difficult to digest just why the character of Bobby Deol is so successful and that of Upen Patel a genius? And that too in the land of Uncle Sam!

Cinematography is strictly average except for a few songs which border around imaginatively shot. Tilting the camera a few times to establish evil intentions does not generate suspense. Watch Ashok Kumar in Kismet in the famous railway station scene, to see what simple yet ingenious lighting and involved acting can do. 

The film has some of the most prominent people in the industry heading various departments. If there is Manish Malhotra doing costumes, there is Bosco-Ceaser doing choreography. If there is Abbas Ali Moghul doing the thrills then there is additional cinematography by Sanjay F Gupta. But it all proves that without the foundation of a strong script all else is fruitless.

The film is meant for the B and C centers but is doubtful if it will catch on the fancy of the town-guy either. Let’s hope it recovers its initials at least.

Fatema H. Kagalwala

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