2h 45m, ‘U/A’ Certified.
What Is the Film About?
Laal, aka Laal Singh Chaddha (Aamir Khan), is a slow and simple-minded guy who is uncorrupted by worldly emotions. How this guy with a special outlook goes through his life, maintains relationships and where he end is the movie’s overall plot.
Aamir Khan is the whole and sole carrier of the movie. The entire narrative rests on his act as Laal Singh Chaddha. Sadly, it is a divisive one where the star errs most of the time on the negative side. To put it in simple terms – he overacts. Aamir Khan goes overboard playing a simpleton so much that it appears cartoonish.
What also doesn’t help Aamir Khan’s cause is that Laal Singh Chaddha is a remake where the original act is seen as an iconic performance. It is a double blow of sorts.
The actual act appears similar to his acts in Dhoom 3 (Samar role) and PK, but there is a slight difference. It is closer to Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory. Now, if only that were the case and similar ease were displayed, things would have worked out for Aamir Khan.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen, and what we have is a fully blown-out over-the-top act wherein Aamir Khan struggles to rein it in. A few sequences still work out emotionally, but that’s more to do with the actual content rather than the act itself. For the sake of the star and his future, one hopes that he doesn’t repeat it in future.
Kareena Kapoor Khan is seen in parts and is alright as always, playing a character that seems to be partly inspired by a famous ’90s Bollywood actress. The initial sequences are poor due to the terrible de-ageing VFX, though. In places, she is hardly recognisable. The Telugu dubbing further makes it worse.
Advait Chandan directs Laal Singh Chaddha. It is his second attempt after the small film Secret Superstar. Here, he gets a much bigger set-up, star and a remake to boot. Laal Singh Chaddha is a remake of the Hollywood classic Forrest Gump.
The problem with remakes is always the comparison, whereas the challenge lies in the adaptation to the nativity. Advait Chandan gets it right with the latter, which should ideally make it easy regarding the former. Sadly, the acting choice and the presentation of critical events ruin the whole effort.
Laal Singh Chaddha belongs to the rare case of movies where it ends up with disastrous results due to the acting. Sadly, it is the lead actor who gets the blame here. It, in turn, redirects to the director, who should have the control and focus on understanding where things are going wrong. Nothing of that sort happens here.
From the introduction of Aamir Khan as Laal Singh, one can sense something is off. There is an earnestness, but it is overdone. There is a visible attempt to be simple and dim-witted, which makes it look laborious. What it does is brings down everything else that is beautifully executed.
The script follows the original to the T with superficial changes aligning with it. Whatever is done is alright, but nothing that changes course from the original. The template is strictly followed.
Despite the over-the-top performance, there is some intermittent connection with the proceedings. As mentioned, it is mainly because of the existing drama in the material. It is adjusted to suit the local tastes and that one thing done right.
The first half, therefore, feels alright with a couple of emotional moments and scenes between the lead working alright.
The second half, unfortunately, falters after a decent take-off initially. The religious angle and the message (Mohammad track) don’t look organic. It also feeds on the massive polarisation happening religiously in the online world. The story turns more predictable, and the drama is syrupy without any emotional connection.
As we move further into the second half, things get more dry and soulless. There is a tremendous effort via the songs to bring emotions, but it doesn’t work out. Another key element from the original, involving real-life incidents, also lacks impact.
When one reaches the climactic portions, a restless feeling sets in. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that one might find it challenging to sit through to the end. The final few minutes test one’s patience like never before in recent times while Laal Singh Chaddha goes on and on with his emotional outpour. Ultimately, it sucks on all our energies and leaves us high and dry.
Overall, Laal Singh Chaddha is a faithful adaptation of a classic that goes wrong. Though beautifully mounted, it is long, boring and tiresome without emotional appeal. If you have seen the original, the remake offers nothing new. If you haven’t, it fails to engage. In either case, the remake disappoints.
Performances by Others Actors
Apart from the lead essayed by Aamir Khan, and Kareen Kapoor Khan, there are a few critical roles. They appear in parts but are vital to the narrative. Naga Chaitanya is one such role. However, he is not that effective due to a stereotypical caricaturish presentation. The good thing is that he isn’t as irritating as the promos make him be. Mona Singh is the better off the lot. She plays the mother part convincingly. Manav Vij fails to leave an impact due to a haphazardly written role. Shah Rukh Khan appears in a cameo but lacks any effect.
Music and Other Departments?
Pritam’s music is a significant highlight in the movie. It is excellent replete with old-school melody. The background score (Tanuj-Tiku) too is alright and compliments the music and emotions. Setu’s cinematography is fabulous. The visuals are dreamy and stay in our minds long after the movie is over. Hemanti Sarkar’s editing should have been better. The film feels way overlong. The writing is fine, mostly. The Telugu dubbing is weak. It further dents the emotions, and the whole thing looks lacklustre.
Few Emotional Scenes
Missing Emotional Connect
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Laal Singh Chaddha Telugu Movie Review by Mirchi9