Film Review: TaRa Rum Pum


Film: TaRa Rum Pum

Director: Siddharth Anand

Producer: Aditya Chopra

Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Rani Mukerjee, Jaaved Jaaferi, Angelina Idnani, Ali Haji

Rating: 2/5

Every time a film releases from the Yash Raj stable, you are sure of what to expect. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Ta Ra Rum Pum is about a family and traces their ups and downs in life.

Pitted against the New York backdrop, Rajveer Singh, aka RV (Saif Ali Khan) is a racing team pit worker who eventually gets discovered by Harry (Jaaved Jaaferi). On his recommendation, RV gets sucked into the racing world, with ‘Speeding Saddles’. While his racing career takes off, his love life is faring well too. Radhika, aka Shona (Rani Mukerjee) and RV hit it off after a few fleeting encounters. Before you can blink, he turns out to be a great father of two and one of the country’s best racers.

RV meets with an accident, which continues to hound him even after he recovers from it. The good turns ugly, But determined to rise again, RV seeks to reclaim all that was taken away.

The good wins over the evil and everyone lives happily ever after. Ever thought what if it was otherwise? Well, thanks to films like these, you’ll never know, for they will never provide you with a glimpse of it. This film is simply the prince to pauper story retold in a foreign locale, with slick racing scenes and an adorable dog thrown in. Every possible string has been pulled in this one, from drama to animation, youthful essence to romantic bouts. There is nothing that is spared in this film. It’s safe and clearly well thought of.

If you deconstruct the film, it’s almost like the family life cycle table you studied in marketing and management school. This way, you not only ensure yourself of a good response from each segment of audience, but have something to offer them as well, that they generate a response to. The animation, dog and children offer value to kids, while the characters’ nature and image will appeal to adults. The plot is a general line that people can relate to. This unbelievable level of safeness is what rankles the most. It’s almost like the art of filmmaking has been turned into a science.

The film has shades of various characters from a million other films, those that are best loved and can be recalled instantly. While Shruti Seth is almost like Anahita from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ); Saif’s character resembles his character Nick from Salaam Namaste. Rani’s styling is similar to that of Preity Zinta’s Salaam Namaste.

There’s a sequence in the movie when the family has to vacate their plush apartment and move to a one room apartment in a locality, which has mostly Indian residents. When doing so, the parents tell the kids that this was a reality show that they were participating in. The rule, in order to win the big prize, was that no one should be caught being sad on the hidden cameras. The germ of this idea has been picked up from the Oscar winning Italian film Vita è bella, La (Life is Beautiful), which revolves around a Jewish man who is in a Nazi death camp with his son. He uses his great sense of humour and tells his son that it was all a part of the game that they were playing and in the end the survivor will be rewarded. However, in TaRa Rum Pum, the director doesn’t really do justice to this sequence.

Shades of performance and scenes can be associated with other films as well. Ok! That may be reading way too much into the film, but still, with all this, there is no depth whatsoever in the characters. Besides, what was with the overdose of Chevrolet Aveo and Good Year tyres?

No one asks for the film to portray reality. There is no confusion that this is meant to be a commercial mainstream film. But then, there’s an overload that even commercial films cannot handle.

The dialogues are no doubt well written and are to the point. The theory of minimum words maximum impact holds true, this film is a good example of that. The camerawork by Binod Pradhan is great. (Pradhan also has a cameo in the film) .The editing is crisp and production values are certainly neat. The film overall has a spunk to it and a sense of being slick. It’s no doubt clean and well crafted, but the empty well of a story, catches up too soon.

It is understandable that with the amount of films that release, actors are constantly pressurised to deliver varied performances. But isn’t that their job? Rani Mukerjee who has proved to be a storehouse of emotions, does well with her character. Her transformation from a sassy girl to a composed woman, allows her to perform and showcase an array of emotions. Saif undoubtedly renders a good performance, but one has seen it in Salaam Namaste.

TaRa Rum Pum is well paced and tells the story in just the amount of time at just the right pace. The grey area is the lack of depth and uninteresting story line. Nevertheless, the film is well packaged like all other Yash Raj films.

The story telling format and treatment are clearly directed at an urban audience, mostly those abroad.The film, surprisingly unlike any of the other YRF films, is riding low on the marketing. So the question primarily on everyone’s mind is – With no films competing this week what’s the show at the box office going to be like?