14 September 2012 | mahadyuti-adhikary
When the character is central, and not the hero
It does not revolutionize Bollywood in any way nor is it an example of superlative cinematic brilliance. There are flaws, and lots of them. But, at the same time it's a lesson in the long-lost art of simple filmmaking without being pretentious. The effort is so genuinely heartwarming that it comes out through the characters in the film. I've been extremely critical of Ranbir Kapoor in the past. Maybe he is dumb, but he can surely act! In Junior Kapoor, we do see glimpses of his grandfather. His goofiness is so bloody infectious. He does not play the sympathy-card, he just lets the film carry him along instead of trying what Bollywood heroes desperately try to do - to carry the film on their shoulders. The character is central, not the hero. One of the very few Hindi films I've seen where the audience connects with the character, and not the hero. Ileana is effortlessly sweet and quite unexpectedly brilliant. Saurabh Shukla delivers a standout and stellar performance. The strength of the film lies in the characterisation - so under-toned, and pitch-perfect to counter-balance the trappings of melodrama. The cinematography is breathtaking and so is the music. The visual imagery adds to the emotional quotient of the film. The earnestness of Anurag Basu does suffer a blow because of the predictability of the plot since the temptation of repetitiveness unwittingly underwhelms the magic created in the first half, and, of course, the disappointing performance of Priyanka Chopra. Instead of under-emoting, she overdoes it. Somehow she goes retard trying to portray an autistic girl. Don't judge this film through the prism of cerebral dissection and critical analysis. For once, listen to your heart, not the critics.