Sunday, September 16, 2007

Nanhe Jaisalmer

It’s a little bit of a fairytale, a little bit ‘preachy’ but beautifully made, supported by great acting and some well-sketched characters and so connects with the audience very easily.

Nanhe Jaisalmer is the story of a ten year old boy, the primary bread winner of his family, who cannot read or write but can converse with tourists in four languages. When he was four, Bobby Deol, the film star, had picked him up during a shoot and called him his friend. So Nanhe calls Bobby his ‘dost’ (friend), has a room full of his posters, watches his every film and writes countless letters to him. Suddenly, there is news that Bobby’s latest film is going to be shot in Jaisalmer…and Nanhe just knows that he will come and meet him. Does he ? Watch and you’ll find out.

There are some interesting sub-plots regarding his sister’s wedding and also about the ‘Madamji’ who forces all the elders / young to attend night school to become literate. What lifts the movie though are the rustic touches – the simplicity of the lives of the different characters shown – the paan wala who reads the newspaper to Nanhe, the drunk who asks Nanhe to shield him during night class whenever he wants to take a swig, the bespectacled folk singer, the shop owner etc. Dwij Yadav is great as Nanhe – his dimples and enthusiasm are contagious. And the mom and sister also act beautifully.

Only disappointments were the music (I thought it was ordinary), a slightly prolonged and unnecessary opening sequence and a little, just a little heavy handed preaching during the movie. It was a bit like Aesop’s Fables with a moral after most sequences in the second half.

However, its nice, good, clean fun. Even if life in small towns is no longer really as simple or nice as depicted, it’s a lovely portrait of how we would like it to be. Definitely worth a watch, with or without the kids.


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