Finally watched the movie yesterday (13th August) along with my wife. To be honest, I didn't go with much expectation. Yes, this time I didn't rely on any review, be it in IMDB or any media for obvious reason, but I myself wasn't very much happy with the trailer. Still I went for two reasons- 1) To honor the original 'Forrest Gump'; 2) To honor an attempt to make a good Bollywood movie.
The hall was more than half empty even on a Saturday evening. The movie started and I sensed that people around me (including my love) are liking it, even those weird grunts from Aamir. However, me, already dissatisfied with the trailer and obsessed with the original cult classic, was actually waiting for the moment when i would start hating this movie. And the movie went on, then came the interval. And I was surprised, didn't realize when 80 minutes have passed by, and let alone hate it, I was actually starting to like this movie. But I was still waiting for the second half, because in some of the reviews I had read that the movie gets worse there. But eventually I gave up, I cannot hate this movie. In fact, no one can hate it unless that person is biased (either for the obsession towards the original movie or some other reason). When it ended and lights were turned on, I sensed satisfaction in everyone's face in the hall. This movie is good, definitely not as good as the original one (not even possible), but it is good enough tribute to Forrest.
If I try to think about the plus points, first thing comes in my mind is Mona Singh. She was just superb as Lal's Mother. The way she has portrayed a single mother's helplessness yet determination, is sublime. Also Manav Vij was good as Lt Dan's Bollywood counterpart. The cinematography was superb, each and every frame was made with utter care, like painting a picture. You might be happy to see some of your familiar places on screen. Even the brief war sequence was portrayed with such a detail and in such a realistic way, many dedicated war movies could take note of it. Apart from that, the make-up artist did a fabulous job, especially portraying the ageing characters. Music was superb. Some good social messages were there related to vices like family violence, terrorism, religious intolerance etc. Also it touches many historical events. Those who are boycotting this movie might actually be happy to see some of their beloved persons on screen, and definitely not in a disrespectful way. And like the original one, the biggest strength of this movie is it's simplicity. Watching this movie was as pleasing like eating a good meal, or reading a good book, or travelling to a picturesque location or listening to a good music. You won't realize when the time has passed by.
Now coming to the area of improvements. First thing as many have pointed (and I agree), was Amir's acting. Even if I ignore the similarity with some of his earlier characters, it was simply not good. Many times the overacting was cringeworthy. But despite of that, it is also true that his bad acting doesn't harm the movie that much. Second weak point in my opinion was Kareena. She looked good as always, but somehow she lacked the energy. Her acting could be much better in some of the definitive sequences. Also it was felt that she has actually aged over 40, even through the character's early 20 make-ups and glamorous dresses. Now it might be my mistake or because we know how she used to actually look in her 20's (For example, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham), but I wanted to honestly express what I felt (but let me be very clear here, I have no problem with actresses aging, I am not among those who think actresses finish when they age). Apart from that some big plot holes were there. I have already mentioned Manav Vij was very good as Lt Dan bollywood counterpart, but that character was not at all believable even though it was heart touching (I won't spoil the movie by describing why, you will realize if you watch the movie). Apart from that the movie never addresses important facts like what Rupa (Kareena) did during almost a decade (2000 - somewhere around 2010/ 2012), or how Lal used to manage his industrial empire from Pathankot. But the biggest weakness what I felt was the historical events depicted. Firstly, it casually touches many incidents, like just showing it as Lal hearing it from someone. Showing events in such way actually don't have any impact on viewer's mind. Many powerhouse incidents actually couldn't be felt because of it. Also another fact is that many recent incidents were shown, but as you know recent incidents actually have lesser impact on human mind than historical events. I was actually expecting a period piece here, starting from 1947 (the partition), ending in the 90's. However, that's totally my own opinion, you may agree or disagree.
So to summarize, go and watch the movie. You won't regret. It definitely deserves a much better rating than it actually got (Should have been around 7/10).
My personal rating - 7.5/10.
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