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Aladin movie review

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Cast Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Ritesh Deshmukh, Juhi Chawla    more...
Director Sujoy Ghosh
Fantasy / Children

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The Aladin Movie Review

Lacks magic
By Nikhil Kumar
Rating: 2/5

By Nikhil Kumar

Forget three wishes, just grant me one! O genie of the fabled magic lamp, please rid Bollywood filmmakers of the incurable habit of mechanically cramming their films up with song after song, with no rhyme, rhythm or reason. For that’s one of the blunders director Sujoy Ghosh commits in Aladin. A fantasy flick needs to keep the momentum building continuously with minimal possible, if not none, diversions. But in ‘Aladin’, lo and behold! song after song keeps popping up. You dodge, you duck, you doze off, but the songs keep coming.

Okay, I know it’s a Bollywood film and Amitabh Bachchan as the genie must shake his leg in his introductory scene and Ritesh Deshmukh and Jacqueline Fernandez must get jiggy while falling in love, and Sanjay Dutt too must have a song. But mercy! Even as the film trots to its climax…slam!...a song is squeezed in?

Discounting the average compositions of Vishal-Shekhar, the movie also ends up contemporizing the tale of the orphaned urchin Aladdin from Arabian nights into a confusing, tangled mess of too many subplots, not all of which are neatly tied up.

In a fantasy town called Khwaish, Aladin (Ritesh Deshmukh) is constantly bullied by Qasim (Sahil Khan) and other cronies into rubbing different lamps so that the genie could appear. Aladin, a meek and submissive loser, bears it silently. Enters the beautiful Jasmine (Jacqueline Fernandez) into the college campus and Aladin loses his heart. But he dare not tell her.

Aladin’s life turns round when Jasmine gifts him a lamp out of which a genie named Genius (Amitabh Bachchan) indeed appears and pesters Aladin to make three wishes quick so that he can retire. Aladin not just wastes all the wishes in trying to win the love of Jasmine, he’s manipulated by a wily Ringmaster (Sanjay Dutt) and his gang of clowns and jokers including fire-eaters, giants and knife throwers.

As this fantasy fable unfolds with a flashback sequence tucked in, it turns out that Ringmaster has a hidden motive which is connected with a comet and the magical lamp.

What might have been a nail-biting, awe-inspiring fable with breath-taking imagery and intriguing characters, turns out to be a convoluted story as the Genie, dressed in the most outlandish clothes, thwarts the evil Ringmaster’s plan. A word of praise however must be reserved for art director Sabu Cyril whose imaginative city Khwaish does offer something to marvel at. The special effects though aren’t really at a par with the standards one expects from the studios with the cutting edge technology.

Ritesh Deshmukh is perfectly suited to play the wimp Aladin and he delivers a neat performance. Amitabh Bachchan and Sanjay Dutt are over the top as their roles required, but neither of them is funny despite having many sequences aimed to make the audience laugh. Jacqueline Fernandez is gorgeous but has miles to go in acting department. In supporting roles Ratna Pathak Shah (as a café owner) and Mita Vashishth are forgettable.

To wind it up, ‘Aladin’ is neither a visual treat nor an awe-inspiring fantasy fable. However, kids may love to sit through it once.

Rating: 4/10

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