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13 user 19 critic

Main Aisa Hi Hoon (2005)

Unrated | | Drama, Family, Musical | 6 May 2005 (India)
An autistic man fights for her daughter's custody in court and in the process he teaches his cold-blooded lawyer the meaning of love and life.

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Cast

Cast overview:
... Indraneel "Neel" Thakur
... Advocate Niti Sinha
... Maya D. Trivedi
... Dayanath Trivedi
Rucha Vaidya ... Gungun (as Baby Rucha Vaidya)
Raj Gokani ... (as Master Raj Gokani)
... Divesh Mathur (Owner of Cafe)
... Trivedi's advocate
... Ritu
Naresh Suri ... Judge
Dinesh Lamba
Sanjay Sood
Kaveri Ghosh
Rita Puri
Dhara Saraswati
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Storyline

Autistic Indraneel Thakur, who works for a living as a waiter in a Café in India, has a body of a grown man and mind of a seven year old. One day while closing the café, a young woman named Maya Trivedi, asks for his assistance as she has missed the last bus. Indraneel assists her, takes her home, finds out that she is pregnant, helps her give birth, agrees to take care of the child, Gungun, and thereafter Maya leaves, never to return. Years later, Gungun has grown up, attends school, and believes that Indraneel is her dad. Then their world is changed upside down when Maya's dad, Dayanath Trivedi, arrives from London, Britain, to take custody of his grandchild, if necessary through the courts. Indraneel refuses to part with Gungun, and as a result a case is filed in Court. The Judge initially hears this case, finds Indraneel incompetent to be a responsible father and tentatively puts Gungun in the Court's custody. Now a date is set when Indraneel must take up the gargantuan task of ... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A normal man in an abnormal world

Genres:

Drama | Family | Musical

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

6 May 2005 (India)  »

Also Known As:

I Am Like This  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

INR 19,708,000 (India), 13 May 2005
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Connections

Remake of I Am Sam (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An unfortunately Bollywoodized rip-off with surprisingly good acting
15 July 2006 | by See all my reviews

Main Aisa Hi Hoon continues a number of recent and not-so recent disturbing trends for Bollywood films. But in the end, it is saved somewhat by decent performances.

Most disturbing is the trend for producing uncredited remakes of American films. This is a remake of the far superior I Am Sam (2001). The copyright law in India must be such that it's impossible or at least not worthwhile to sue for these infringements, but artistic integrity and ethics would suggest giving credit where it is due.

As bad as the ethical problems is the fact that not many of these uncredited remakes are as good as the films they're stealing from. In Bollywoodizing them and sanitizing them so that they're more acceptable to Indian culture, the producers, writers and directors suggest that they often do not understand what made the films work in the first place.

There are a number of such changes in converting I Am Sam to Bollywood that are made to reflect conventional Indian morality and social myths. Here, the main character's one night stand was changed into a very muddled, longer-term relationship; the main character having difficulty coping in normal society was changed into a unbelievable, flawless social support system; questionable philosophical stances built into the system were mostly changed into a vindictive would-be father in law; and an unexpected, budding romance was drained of nearly all development and justification, not to mention that it's capped with a ridiculous bit of plotting at the end.

Other stereotypical stylistic changes were made, too, in order to make this a very non-challenging Bollywood film. Songs were added, of course, and although most of the lyrics are a relatively unusual and thus admirable attempt to say something relevant to the dramatic material, the songs and often the style in which they're performed are almost always sorely out of place. Also, melodrama is cranked up to the point of irritation, often accompanied by ridiculous musical or sound effects cues--Bollywood filmmakers seem to believe that their audiences are so stupid that they will not pick up on anything unless they beat them over the head with it. The concern for adding songs, melodrama and making the film not so controversial for Indian audiences resulted in often forgetting the need to tell a story that makes sense for these characters as they are presented. Storytelling should be the first concern in film-making. Concentrate on that and forget about making a combination soap opera/variety show with pointless "fancy" camera work (such as shots of the main character's house sideways and upside down).

Maybe surprisingly then, the acting in Main Aisa Hi Hoon is actually pretty good. Ajay Devgan is not nearly as convincing in the role as Sean Penn was, but especially as the film progresses, he turns in a moving, heartfelt performance. Sushmita Sen, Esha Deol and Anupam Kher are also impressive, especially in light of the fact that Bollywood actors are usually encouraged to overact rather than turn in a nuanced, understated performance. I also enjoyed the music, even though the breaks in the story to sing a song didn't fit very well.

Still, it's difficult to recommend Main Aisa Hi Hoon. Anyone interested in this story should just watch I Am Sam instead. And please, Bollywood, break some formulas, take some chances, and stop ripping off other films.


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