Salaam Venky Movie Review Rating: 3.5/5
Kajol has always tried to take on characters that bring out something different in her every time. That is perhaps the secret of her long, storied career. Last seen in a Netflix film called Tribhanga, the award-winning actress plays a mother to an ailing child in her new outing Salaam Venky. The film, directed by actor-filmmaker Revathi, deals with a sensitive topic and is based on a true story. Our BollywoodMDB reviewer has seen the film and here is what he has to say about the same. Read the detailed review to know if you should watch the film in theatres or skip it.
STORY: Salaam Venky revolves around Sujata (Kajol) and his son Venkatesh alias Venky (Vishal Jethwa) who is suffering from a fatal medical condition called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). People who suffer from DMD generally do not live beyond the age of 16, but Venkatesh’s determination and soaring human spirit to live beyond surprised medical science. He passes away at the age of 24 and out of his own will. But before he bid adieu to the world, he challenged the state and the law of the country with the help of her mother, to set an example that is going to make him live in people’s hearts forever.
HIGHS & LOWS: Kajol delivers yet another fantastic performance, showcasing her terrific range as an actress. Though the audience is more used to seeing her in happy-go-lucky characters, she steals the show here in a serious role also. She beautifully navigates through a sea of problems and emotions in her relationship with her ill son who is not going to be there forever. It is a challenging character that requires you to be on the edge all the time and Kajol plays it wonderfully, leaving your eyes welled up more often than not.
Another fine performance comes from Vishal Jethwa. The young actor was earlier seen in Yash Raj Films’ Mardaani 2 (2019) in the role of a psychopath. Despite the presence of a powerful performer like Rani Mukerji, Jethwa managed to leave his own mark. He does the same in Salaam Venky. Most of his scenes are with a seasoned actress like Kajol, but he still shines, thanks to his natural performance and a great hold over his craft. The actor is in bed most of the time in the film, but despite that restriction, he delivers a performance that is set to be one of the major highlights of his career. He definitely has a long way to go. The rest of the cast members also deliver a fine performance.
Having said that, what disappoints a bit is the fact that director Revathi fails to utilize superstar Aamir Khan well. Khan plays a cameo in the film as Kajol’s friend. He could have added so much more to the film with his brief appearance, but sadly that does not happen. It was not a well-written cameo to justify his presence, to be honest.
FINAL VERDICT: Salaam Venky is an emotionally charged film featuring some terrific performances from Kajol and Vishal Jethwa. Director Revathi delivers a beautiful film that will keep you engrossed throughout its runtime. Do not forget to carry a pack of tissues along if you are going to the cinemas to watch the film. I am going with 3.5 stars.
Watch Salaam Venky trailer:
Banner: Blive Productions, RTake Studios
Cast: Kajol, Vishal Jethwa, Aahana Kumra, Rahul Bose, Rajeev Khandelwal
Runtime: 136 Minutes