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Upperstall Review

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Aladin

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Hindi, Fantasy, 2009, Color





Aladin Chatterjee (Riteish Deshmukh) lives in the city of Khwaish, an orphan who has been bullied since childhood by Kasim and his gang. But his life changes when Jasmine (Jacqueline Fernandez) gives him a magic lamp- because it lets loose the genie Genius (Amitabh Bachchan). Desperate to grant him 3 wishes and seek the end of his contract with the Magic Lamp, the rock-star Genius makes Aladin's life difficult until the real threat looms on the horizon: the ex-genie Ringmaster (Sanjay Dutt). Why does Ringmaster want to kill Aladin? What is the dark secret about Aladin's past that Genius is carrying? And what is Aladin's destiny?



For all the money, time and effort spent on it and all of it in plenty, Aladin comes as a major disappointment. The film is tedious, fails to sparkle and ultimately ends up as a long and slow paced tale that fails to entertain.

After an interesting enough beginning, the film fails to draw you in and you are rather detached and uninvolved with the events unfolding on screen. The film is clearly not just for the kiddies and a tale like this is never likely to be one for the adults. But maybe in trying to make the film palatable for both parties in a quest for a wider audience, the film ends up in no man's land being neither here nor there. The film comes to life but sporadically and the narrative is paced rather languidly which is surprising as a film like this should have been one hell of a roller coaster adventure. As it is, it is nowhere near so.

The two central performances are sincere enough, no doubt. Take away Amitabh Bachchan and Aladin would collapse like a pack of cards. Whatever works in the film works thanks to him as he clearly seems to be having the time of his life even if he is very OTT at places. Riteish is perfect in the role of the goofy loser and he does his bit efficienty enough. However, Sanjay Dutt seems strangely indifferent but then the comic yet sinister villain is always a tough act to carry off and maybe he felt the effort required from his end would be too much. Jaqueline Fernandez is pretty and does acquit herself well in the action sequences but little else. The rest of the supporting cast is average at best to non-happening.

Yes, one can see the effort in the graphics and special effects and some of it is very good in places but to no avail if the content doesn't hold. Similarly, the fine efforts of some of the technical team like editor Suresh Pai and cinematographer Sirsha Ray ultimately goes waste while the music barring the Aladin De Taali number is hugely disappointing. In fact, the songs not only interrupt the narrative flow of the film but bring it to a grinding halt.

All in all, not happening.


Upperstall review by: Karan Bali aka TheThirdMan





 

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