I Am Kalam Hindi Movie Review
Recently, at an event, filmmaker Prakash Jha very bluntly confessed there are very few sellable stars in the industry and one has to succumb to roping them if one needs any recognition or weightage for one's film. Quite true as there come many a small budget films that go unnoticed in the slew of mega starrer ones that make it to the box-office. One such small wonder is I Am Kalam.
Set in Rajasthan, I Am Kalam is the story of Chhotu (Harsh Mayar), an intelligent child and his hunger for education, something which he cannot aspire to have because of his family's poverty-stricken status. He has to work at the roadside Dhaba so that he can send some money to his mother back in the village home. Luckily for him, Dhaba owner Bhati (Gulshan Grover) is a kind man and indulges him after finding out that Chhotu is a fast learner. One day, upon hearing a speech from Dr. Abdul Kalam, the former President of India, Chhotu vows to change his future. Just like him, the former President too suffered great hardships as a child, but through sheer determination, perseverance and hard work mapped his own course. From that day forward, the enterprising lad drops the name Chhotu - a tag used to identify countless labouring boys across India, and adopts the pseudonym 'Kalam'. Like the former President, Chhotu pledges to become a hero someday. He is aided in his mammoth quest by his loyal friend Prince Ranvijay (Husaan Saad).
The film has done the rounds of many film festivals and has won a lot of awards as well and it is but natural for such an inspiring tale to receive appreciation from APJ Kalam as well. But it's fate at the box-office is still unknown. But keeping the economics aside, filmmaker Nila Madhab adapts the pauper to prince narrative and puts across an interesting built-up to a story that captivates your attention literally making you a part of their lives and complexities. It gives a very heart touching representation of millions of child labourers who have dreams manifold to become big someday.
What takes the cake in this film is the spell binding cinematography Mohana Krishna who captures the heart of Rajasthan stupendously. Harsh Mayar as Kalam gives a very compassionate performance and for a first timer he does a fantabulous job. Coming from Delhi Slums to 35 MM cinema and performing with such ease Harsh is a living example of the character he plays onscreen. Gulshan Grover as well as Pitobash Tripathy are brilliant in their parts.
What could've made the film flawless was the pace and the editing. Being an art house film, it should've been consistent in its plot without straying into unneeded scenes that only slump the narration of the plot. Even the part where Kalam runs away all the way to Delhi only to handover a thank you letter to APJ Abdul Kalam, a little bit of drama out there could've made the film more intense but at the end of the it one doesn't care about the nitty-gritty's for a film as beautiful and compassionate as I Am Kalam.
To sum it up, I Am Kalam is that little gem which needs recognition. If it takes a star to promote a great film (read Salman Khan producing Chillar Party purely for its brilliance), I Am Kalam definitely deserves one too.