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‘Aladdin’ proves just one thing: Indian filmmakers should stay strictly away from the fantasy genre.

Written by Shubhra Gupta | New Delhi |
October 30, 2009 6:57:31 pm

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan,Riteish Deshmukh,Jacqueline Fernandes

Director: Sujoy Ghosh


‘Aladdin’ proves just one thing: Indian filmmakers should stay strictly away from the fantasy genre. The magical mystery tour that this film is meant to be falls way short of its target.

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Aladdin Chatterjee (Riteish),derisively dubbed Aloo by some college mates,is a straight,sweet guy. He gets bullied by a gang of nasties. He yearns for pretty Jasmine (Jacqueline) from afar. One day,he chances upon a magic lamp,causing Genius (Amitabh) to bestow upon him three life-changing wishes.

This re-working of Aladdin and his ‘jaadui chiraag’ could have been our own filmed version of Tolkien and Rowling. There’s a genial genie and a magic lamp and an enchanted mirror and evil magicians,all the ingredients that a self-respecting fantasy ought to have. But Sujoy Ghosh’s ‘Aladdin’ shuttles between bland and boring.

Nothing rises above the vapid treatment and the stolid script– not the heavily embellished Harlequin jackets that Amitabh (who comes off a lot like his ghost in ‘Bhootnath’,all forced jollity and camaraderie) sports,not Riteish’s persistently pleasant loser,not newcomer Jacqueline’s perfect smile,nor,alas,Sanjay Dutt’s wicked Ringmaster,who wants to rule the world by crook,not by hook.

The special effects are spectacular,though,absolutely the best that Hindi cinema has had,more so even than the late-lamented ‘Drona’. Clearly,the film got so busy with the window dressing that it forgot to focus upon feeling. ‘Aladdin’ is a gorgeous-looking but dull ride.

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