Hope Aur Hum Review
Old man Nagesh Srivastava is stuck on his ancient photocopier, it occupies space which could be turned into his granddaughter's room. Son Aamir Bashir and daughter in law Sonali Kulkarni try to persuade him gently to let go of the machine whose spare parts cannot be found. The grand daughter tries hard to help him get that missing lens too...
But it is the cricket-crazy grandson who steals the show. This little boy is Kabir Shaikh and he is just brilliant. When he's commentating 'Gupta dadu pavilion ki ore stretcher par ja rahe hain' as the mourners take away the dead neighbor Guptaji away for a funeral. The little boy is better than most Bollywood actors when he feels guilty of leaving a kid inside a big trunk back at his grandma's home. His guilt, his fear, his inability to share the event with his parents, the joy at solving the dilemma are brilliantly acted by this little boy.
Just like the old photocopier, there is grand old palace like haveli which is being given to a hotel chain for redevelopment, there is a son who hankers for his old phone because there is data on it... Every problem is solved nicely but it takes so long you begin to lose patience.
Thankfully Naseeruddin Shah - who has in his last few appearances on the big screen been unrestrained and hammy - is really good. His performance is restrained even though his conversation with the old photocopier is annoying.
The drinking with dad scene between Aamir Bashir and Naseeruddin Shah is sweet. So is Sonali Kulkarni's apologetic but guilty for throwing away the old photocopier scene where she offers her father in law tea is heartwarming. The granny (beautiful and graceful Beena Banerjee) who teaches the cricket crazy grandson how to play the old gramophone record player is such a wonderful scene. Events you have experienced if you are living with a family that includes older parents. The only annoying part is played by the younger son, who comes bearing expensive gifts from Dubai. His connect to an old phone seems to be illogical and his story seems to be too forced in the film.
And when the aerial shot shows us how isolated and stand alone grandma's palace is, you wonder where the kids who were playing hide and seek and cricket come from?
This film has a decent slice-of-life feel and it comes to the screens a week after 102 Not Out - the movie that received big publicity, and starred two fabulous actors. But it should have gone straight to television.
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