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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Toonpur Ka Superrhero

Toonpur Ka Superrhero mixes Hindi cinema and our addiction to it,and family values into a sweet mix.

Written by Rajiv Vijayakar | Mumbai |
December 31, 2010 9:18:28 pm

Aditya (Ajay Devgn) is a top action star who has no dates till 2017,and little time for his kids Kabir (Amey Pandya) and Raima (Chinky Jaiswal). The angry Kabir (Aditya made it very late to his Sports Day) calls his dad a ‘fake’ hero because he actually does not do any of the action but the ‘duplicates’ or stunt artistes do so.

Though wife Priya (Kajol) tells him not to fret at his son’s passing irritation,Aditya feels that all his fame and fortune have no meaning if his kids have no respect for him.

Meanwhile,in far-off Toonpur,a world of cartoons that Aditya’s kids watch,the good toons (Devtoons) are being tormented by the evil ones (Toonasurs) led by Jagaaro,who has imprisoned their noble king. Since they watch Hindi films there on television,they feel that Aditya,the superhero of so many films,can help them destroy the Toonasurs.

Two of them land in Mumbai and kidnap Aditya,leading to a sensational scoop in town,consternation in Aditya’s home and repentance on the part of Kabir. But Aditya,waking up,in toon-land,first does not believe where he is and then tries to tell the toons that he himself isn’t a real hero. But soon,he realizes that this is the only chance he has of showing his son that he can be a real hero.

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A delightfully original concept,Toonpur Ka Superrhero mixes Hindi cinema and our addiction to it,and family values into a sweet mix. The technical aspects (Climb Media,Pixion and others) are awesome and given the markets and budgets,world-class,but the film scores because of the content – the way children look up (or otherwise) to their parents,a father’s concerns that are above material accomplishments,the mother’s gentle reminder to her son of what is a real-life hero and Aditya’s final message to the good toons – that life is not about dhishoom-dhishoom (fights) but about handshakes.

The toons are an assorted lot – from stereotypes of Indian communities like Big Ben,the dhokla-peddling Gujarati,the Marathi constable Pandu,the South Indian scientist et al. Then there is the jewellery-addicted musician Guppy and two girls,Loveena,who is smitten by Aditya and the villain Jagaaro’s moll. But the best one is perhaps Rubdoot,son-in-law of Yamdoot,the god of death,who rubs off cartoon characters,which is the only way they can be destroyed!

The second half has loads of action,and today’s GenerationX will instantly identify with the climactic videogame contest between hero and villain – a perfectly apt end for such a film.

Where the film falls short is in the excess stereotyping in the characters and the too-little fun quotient – the film takes itself too seriously and a higher proportion of simple comedy that is a must in animation amidst the emotions would have lifted it by leagues.

Ajay is outstanding,especially when with the toons – which is really tough for an actor – and Kajol (who is barely there) and the kids are natural. Anu Malik yields a superb number in Jeetoge tum and the technical side is flawless. Kireet Khurana does an accomplished job of mixing inspiration (in some of the toon characters),Hindi cinema grammar and originality into a tale that is perhaps the first truly contemporary animation film in India. The team effort deserves unrestricted encouragement. Meanwhile,kids may have a blast and I am sure most parents can have fun (rather than squirm or snore!) and regret only one fact – that no one made such films in India when they were kids! Otherwise,despite the constraint in budgets and markets,we would have been churning out animation classics by now!

Rating:

One for the intention and two stars for the execution and the teamwork in a film that pioneers a new genre in India.

rajiv.vijayakar@expressindia.com

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