A rattling old story that falls apart even before it's built up sounds the death knell for entertainment in Saajan's new film that has been titled 'Progress Report'. Well here is a report for starters, and the film shows no signs of making it to the winner list.
It's all about a young boy Achu who decides to leave his doting parents (Lalu Alex & Geetha) in Kuttanadu, since they are unable to meet his medical expenses. He doesn't want to add on to the troubles that they already have, and hence sneaks away. He is hit by a car at Coimbatore, and the rich childless couple in the car (Siddique & Sona Nair) take him under their wings, and get him treated in a jiffy.
If this reminds you of an archaeological excavation where you dig up fragments of films from another century, I wouldn't really blame you. Things at hand are pretty worse, and 'Progress Report' shakes you all up with its inanity.
There are two younger couples in the film, who serve no purpose whatsoever, except that each couple gets to sing a song. The romance in both the cases is quite revolting, and in the latter half of the film, you look for a place to bury your head, every time love is in the air.
As I said earlier, this is a script that is literally falling to pieces, and there is nothing much you can do about it, except wait for the ordeal to finish. There are all the obligatory pieces of what one called the 'family film' of the eighties intact, and the makers refuse to move an inch further.
What would one comment on a film that cooks up a temple festival as an excuse for a song in 2013? Nothing, except that there are people out there, who still believe that you could possibly hold the interest of an audience with gaudy costumes and what seems like polythene shoes.
Most of the actors in the film are quite senior, and they do what they have been entrusted with, masking all embarrassment (if any) with elan. Of the younger breed of actors , there is just Kishore who looks presentable and acts pretty well, while the others prance around like fish thrown out of water.
There are a few offensive scenes as well, and one in particular involves Nelson, the upcoming comedian, who is around like many other actors who are there sans any purpose. The scene does not evoke any laughter, and instead stretched on and on until you snap in disgust.
Technicalities are strictly in tune with the general mood of the film. At around one hundred and fifty minutes, it appears to be an unbelievably lengthy film, especially with the kind of story that it has to tell. The music is less deafening on the ears, but is definitely taxing on the eyes.
'Progress Report' is a really hollow version of a family saga that had lost its takers eons back. It's astonishing that even as cinema seems to going through times of change, regressive attempts as these continue to be made.