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Review: Aladin

movie reviews Updated: Oct 31, 2009 11:16 IST
Mayank Shekhar
Mayank Shekhar
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Cast: Ritesh Deshmukh, Amitabh Bachchan
Direction: Sujoy Ghosh
Rating: *

Sabu Cyril’s gargantuan mythical world exists without any explanation of time or context. Aladin Chatterjee (Ritesh Deshmukh) is an orphan child here, badgered by his schoolmates to rub a lamp, because his name is from a famous fable. This joke continues to fascinate adults when he grows up. Really?

One of the lamps returns him a genie called genius (Bachchan). He wastes his three wishes on a girl he wants, then doesn’t want, and wants her to love him. Sure then.

A poor chef in this nowhere town called Khwaish suggests to Aladin that life’s like a restaurant. Everyone gets a table, but not the menu. You never know what you’re gonna get. Ok, Forrest Grump. While randomly plodding around pointlessness, something still makes sense up till this point. And then senseless special effects after special effects for special effects’ sake starts.

A portion of the lamp makes one Ringmaster (Sanjay Dutt) invincible. He needs the rest of the lamp. The good genie is securing the world. The two battle it out over a cliff. Boy Aladin is the only innocent soul among crores to claim lamp, though this town has no population to speak of. A mirror is Ringmaster’s motif; a woman with a mask saunters in. Many others too. Aladin’s dead father was on the lookout for the lamp. He died. So did his mom. A college professor helps Ringmaster find the boy... I’ve made a few calls to reliable sources (make that those who also watched this film) to tell me exactly what happened here. Last I took an IQ test was when a child. It appears I need another one again.

Sportsmen have possibly the shortest top-shelf life, outside of movie stars in India. Sunil Gavaskar made over 10,000 runs. If he’d also played against India (poorest team for most of his time), many wonder how many more runs Gavaskar could’ve ended up with. So could be said of Amitabh Bachchan’s guaranteed legacy. At 65, his on-screen presence is likely to get scarcer with age. Audiences are still interested in his work. If only he wouldn’t green-light unbelievable, hollow, expensive rubbish that’d be pelted on us merely because, he said yes.