Aao Wish Karein
Cast: Aftab Shivdasani, Aamna Sharif
Direction: Glen Barretto
Josh, 35-year-old in appearance, but mentally a 13-year-old, finally manages to get the girl of his office dreams over to his swanky apartment. The first thing he says to her as he reaches the door is, he should get to be on top. The girl’s a little taken aback by that audacity. Only later does she realise, he meant, sleeping on the upper berth of his teeny bunk-bed. She gets the lower bed. They play on the trampoline for most of the night. At some point there is a precious lesson on lovemaking as well. This, the 13-year-old takes in with an equal measure of curiosity and nervousness.
Few people of my vintage have probably not been swayed by that scene, or that ultimate fantasy flick. I’d seen it more than a few times as a child, which is what movie-buffs do with films they love. Movie-buff filmmakers in Bollywood, on the other hand, make that same film over again to profess that same fondness. Big released in 1988. It starred Tom Hanks.
Aamir Khan, at an early part of his career, was likened to Hanks. Aftab Shivdasani, for most part, has been ascribed a wannabe Aamir. It fits in perfect that the Hindi remake of Big star Aftab in the lead. It doesn’t suit us fine that the movie itself isn’t entirely a scene-by-scene rehash. You lose interest only at portions (huge chunks of them) when the filmmakers attempt to be original.
A little kid grows up into a man, overnight, as his wish is granted by a ‘wishing well’. From hereon, you only wish the film well.
This adult can apply his kid’s aptitude with products that children consume; he’s closest to their preferences. The boy finds himself a cracking career at a gaming company. The boss of this firm is played by one, Tikku Talsania, an actor we’ve seen yell out for so long on screen that by now I fear for his failing larynx.
The hero, meanwhile, makes us wonder if he’s really 12 years old, or an imbecile with a curiously deranged mind. He makes strange expressions, exudes morbid manners, and hams it up by McDonald’s. Over the film, he aims for a girl born to soft-light and a perennially pasted smile (Aamna Sharif). The best way to chat her up, the leading man thinks, is to mug up dialogues from Mughal-e-Azam: “Google ke zamaane mein Mughal.” What works instead is the sure-shot: You want to do ‘frandship’ with me? Of course.
He makes friends. He could even make babies. He saves his father his job. He hops around for no reason. He bores you to death. Unfortunately those who don’t make good films don’t know how to finish them either.
Unlikely you’ve heard of a half-decent 2004 flick called Let’s Enjoy. It could have been sold in hinterland India then with the title Dilli Ki Rangeen Ratein. It featured the mellifluous number Sabse Peeche Hum Khade. Over years, I’ve noticed this track turn into a drawing room classic by word of mouth alone. It’s used again in this film, with another, similarly brilliant soft song Toh Aao. Those are the two moments the screen lights up. Like many others, this movie will be forgotten. The song, I suspect, will circulate. So should Big, if you’re 9 years old, and haven’t seen it yet.