Laal Singh Chaddha Movie Review Rating: 3/5
After an excruciatingly long wait of four years, Mr. Perfectionist Aamir Khan is back in cinemas with his latest film Laal Singh Chaddha. The wait could have been shorter had there been no pandemic. But the global health crisis delayed the release of his much-anticipated film by two years. Laal Singh Chaddha was originally slated to enter theatres in December 2020, but the team could not finish production on time due to the coronavirus pandemic, which led to a delay of two years in its theatrical release. The film is the official remake of the cult Hollywood film Forrest Gump, which had Tom Hanks in the lead role. Here is what our reviewer has to say about the high-profile remake, which also features Kareena Kapoor Khan, Naga Chaitanya, and Mona Singh in key characters.
STORY: The film tells the story of slow-witted but eternally optimistic Laal Singh Chaddha (Aamir Khan) who we first meet on a train journey. He is on his way to meet the love of his life Rupa (Kareena Kapoor Khan). The film takes us through various phases of his life, starting with his childhood. There is one special person who supports him at every stage of his life, starting with his mother (Mona Singh), followed by Rupa, and then Balaraju (Naga Chaitanya), among others. His mother has been a pillar of strength in his life.
HIGHS: Laal Singh Chaddha is adapted by well-known actor Atul Kulkarni. For the most part, he remains faithful to the original source material. Having said that, Kulkarni does not shy away from experimenting with the material in his hand instead of playing it safe. He sets the film against India’s socio-political and cultural context and succeeds in Indianising the entire plot so effortlessly. A shout out to him for his incredible efforts. Be it Ram Rath Yatra, Mandal Commission, Operation Blue Star, the Emergency of 1975, India's historic 1983 World Cup victory, the Kargil War, or the 1993 Bombay bomb blasts that led to the Hindu-Muslim riots, you will see a glimpse of every important Indian event in the film.
Coming to performances, Laal Singh Chaddha lies a lot on the shoulders of Aamir Khan. This has been his passion project for several years and you see his efforts in the film. There is no denying the fact that if Khan has taken up a character, he will give it his sweat and blood and make sure it leaves an impression on the audience. He has been doing so successfully for several years now. But in Laal Singh Chaddha, you feel he is too involved in his character that it fails to establish a connect with the audience. His character is of a simpleton, but he makes it appear so complex with his act. Overall, Khan’s performance fails to achieve the height some of his previous performances have over the years.
If we talk about Kareena Kapoor Khan, she is like a breeze in the film. She will partly remind you of Geet from Imtiaz Ali’s Jab We Met (2007). The actress pulls off her character so effortlessly that you forget for a second that this is a film and she is acting in it. Yes, her performance is so natural and impactful. Mona Singh, yet another powerful performer on the cast, plays her part with utmost sincerity. Manav Vij also impresses you with his acting. He is simply outstanding. Naga Chaitanya, who makes his Bollywood debut with the film, is also good.
LOWS: We have already discussed Aamir Khan’s lackluster performance in the film. When someone buys tickets for an Aamir Khan-starrer, he enters cinemas with loads of hope. But those hopes get crushed this time around. The production design of the film is average and so is its soundtrack. Barring “Kahani” and “Phir Na Aisi Raat Aayegi,” you struggle to find a good song on the soundtrack. The editing should have been better.
FINAL VERDICT: Laal Singh Chaddha has some terrific moments and is performed really well. However, the film falters when it comes to maintaining a consistent arc and pace. It tries to tell too many things but fails to do justice to everything. The screenplay could have been far better. Those who have not seen Forrest Gump may still find it appealing in bits and parts. But those who have seen the Hollywood classic will squirm in their seats more often than not. I am going with 3 stars.
Watch Laal Singh Chaddha trailer:
Banner: Aamir Khan Productions, Viacom18Studios
Director: Advait Chandan
Cast: Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Naga Chaitanya, Mona Singh
Runtime: 164 Minutes