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Saturday, April 28, 2007

TA RA RUM PUM: External Movie Review 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

So finally after two good reviews, we have a negative review. You can read it here too.

(Click on the photos to enlarge)

In director Siddharth Anand’s Ta Ra Rum Pum which releases at cinemas this week, New York-based racing-car champion Saif Ali Khan hits a bad spell when he’s injured in a racing accident that leaves him with the kind of emotional scars that he doesn’t quite recover from even a year later when he returns to the racing track. He’s lost his speed and as a result, he loses his place on the team. With no savings to fall back on, and no job that’ll stick, Saif has no choice but to move his family from a sprawling home in Manhattan to a modest apartment in Queens. His loving wife Rani Mukherjee stands by him like a rock, they decide to face all hardships with a smile, never once letting their two young kids realize that they’ve fallen upon hard times. Taking up odd jobs here and there, the couple try their best to make ends meet, until one unfortunate incident involving their child, makes Saif return to the race track to regain his lost glory and save his family forever.

How do you even begin to explain what’s wrong about a film, that does nothing right to begin with? The one, the only, the real problem with Ta Ra Rum Pum is that there’s absolutely nothing new about it. The plot’s been borrowed generously from such films as Cinderella Man, In America and Life Is Beautiful, but it’s also littered with so many Bollywood clich├ęs that barely twenty minutes into the film, you can predict exactly where it’s going and how it’s going to end. Another big problem I have with this film is the ooh-so-cute factor which almost made me puke. Kids should behave like kids, and watching them starve themselves to save money, or reach for other people’s half-eaten doughnuts is just not cool. I know it’s all meant to tap at your tear-ducts and choke you up, but honestly the only feeling you’re overcome with is anger towards the director for his blatant attempt at emotional manipulation.


Also, when will we ever be spared those Bollywood stereotypes - the heroine’s father who insists his daughter has chosen the wrong guy? Then years later when she’s going through a bad patch, he’ll remind her that he’d warned her not to marry this guy. And the honourable heroine who’ll defend her husband and reject any help that her dad is willing to offer. God help us, surely Siddharth Anand could have done better. Like so many movies before it, Ta Ra Rum Pum is one of those glossy-but-soulless films which aren’t insufferable to sit through, but they’re an exercise in futility because they fail to touch you or move you or affect you in any way whatsoever. Even though it’s meant to be an emotional story, you can’t really empathise with the characters because it’s all so plastic, so fake, so calculated and clinical.


This family doesn’t have food to eat but they’re still dressed in designer clothes! Also I’d like to ask the director of this film if he really thinks this film is meant for kids. Dude, what do you want them to take from this? That revenge is okay? That it’s cool to be speeding like a madman even when you’re not on the race-track? Also, will someone please tell me why everyone’s screaming in the film’s first hour? Rani, Saif, Javed Jaffrey, why’re they all yelling at the top of their lungs? I understand Ta Ra Rum Pum is a well-intended film and it’s probably even trying to send out a positive message. But the way it goes about doing so is unimaginative and dull, to be honest. Even the car-racing scenes aren’t particularly impressive - there’s none of that edge-of-the-seat, nail-biting tension that you’d like to see.

In fact I’m going to go so far as to say that there’s a sense of indifference I get from this film. It just seems like nobody cared enough to work hard on this picture. Vishal-Shekhar’s music is way below average, nothing to sing and dance about. Rani Mukherjee’s been styled so badly, you can’t help wondering if her designer was getting back at her for something. Of the performances, neither Saif Ali Khan nor Rani is able to make much of an impression because their characters are so unidimensional and boring. Saif’s just playing himself all over again and that’s because the writers didn’t bother to give him anything solid to work on. As for Javed Jaffrey who’s playing Saif’s best friend and team-manager, I don’t know if that kind of humour is funny anymore - speaking English with a smattering of Gujarati thrown in, it’s just annoying if you ask me.


You know, when you leave the cinema after watching Ta Ra Rum Pum , you’re overcome with a sense of exhaustion. You feel like you do after a long, hard day at work. And that’s not a good thing because cinema is meant to entertain you not wear you out. So I’m going to go with two out of five for director Siddharth Anand’s Ta Ra Rum Pum, it’s old wine in a new bottle. What you take back with you at the end of the film is a pain in the backside because you’ve been stuffed in that seat for so damn long. In fact I came up with a jingle for it - Ta Ra Rum Pum, have mercy on my bum, ta ra rum pum!

Rating: * * (2/5) [Average]

(Note: the images and text are used strictly for INFORMATIONAL purpose and they are not used commercially)

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