Laal Singh Chaddha (Aamir Khan) tells the woman sitting in front of him on the train, “My mother used to say that life is like golgappe, even if the stomach is full, the mind does not fill”. Along with this, he takes out some golgappas and a bottle of spicy water kept in the box and with it opens the bundle of memories of his life. The woman sitting in front is not interested in Lal’s words at first. But as Lal’s words increase, not only him, but the people of the entire compartment start listening to his tales with interest.
Lal’s story begins with his mother (Mona Singh), who always tells him that he can do anything. Lal, who was weak in intelligence, could hardly progress in studies and writing, but was a champion in running. His first friend at school becomes Roopa (Kareena Kapoor Khan), who plays an important role in every different phase of his life. The story of Lal Singh Chaddha starts from his childhood, then from 1983 World Cup to Operation Bluestar, assassination of Indira Gandhi, 1984 riots, Babri Masjid, Mumbai blasts, Sushmita Sen’s victory in Miss Universe, Kargil War, 26/11 The Mumbai attack reaches all the way to Anna Hazare’s movement and Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Some special relationships of Lal Singh Chaddha are formed at different stages of this journey. Apart from Roopa, he befriends Balaraju (Naga Chaitanya) in the army and then encounters Mohammed (Manav Vij) during the war. These relationships form an important part of Lal’s life.
In the character of Lal Singh Chaddha, Aamir Khan brings a certain kind of naivety. You get an association with this character from the very first scene, which also proves helpful in taking the story of the film forward. The entire film revolves around Lal Singh Chaddha and his different relationships, so Aamir had a lot of opportunity to win hearts with his acting on an emotional level. The actors have been successful to some extent, but lose connection because of a certain expression on their face to show their gullibility. His Punjabi accent and language pattern has slipped at many places.
Kareena Kapoor Khan has done a good job in the character of Roopa. Be it Roopa’s relationship with Lal or her own tragedy in life… Kareena has captured every emotion perfectly. This is the first Bollywood debut of South’s superstar Naga Chaitanya, where he plays Lal’s friend Bala. Truth be told, this character was very weak for Naga Chaitanya according to the debut. At least the director could have given him some strong dialogues. Nonetheless, Mona Singh as Laal Singh Chaddha’s mother gives the film an emotional height. Manav Vij is effective in his role.
Advait Chandan’s second directorial venture after “Secret Superstar” is “Laal Singh Chaddha”, an official remake of Hollywood flick Forrest Gump. Writer Atul Kulkarni has beautifully adapted it for the desi audience by adding some important events from Indian history and culture. Films range from India’s Cricket World Cup win in 1983, Operation Bluestar, assassination of Indira Gandhi, 1984 riots, Babri Masjid, Mumbai blasts, Kargil War, 26/11 Mumbai attack, Anna Hazare’s movement and Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat campaign. Till.. all events are included. Directing this film must not have been easy for Advait Chandan. But how Lal taught Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan his signature dancing style and gave the idea of ’Roopa’ innerwear in memory of his friend Balraju, has meticulously weaved these subtexts into the story. Where the film staggers is the emotional side. So many incidents happen one after the other that you are not able to connect with Lal’s story on an emotional level. At the same time, the slow pace of the story sometimes tests your patience.
Technically, the film is very good. Be it the mustard fields of Punjab, India Gate in Delhi or the beach in Kanyakumari… Cinematographer Satyajit Pandey captures the whole of India beautifully in his camera. He has shown various scenarios in Lal’s life very well. Hemanti Sarkar’s editing needed to be more agile. The biggest weakness of the film is its length, which is boring at times.. It could have been handled on the editing table.
The film’s score is composed by Tanuj Tiku, while the music in the film is given by Pritam and the songs are penned by Amitabh Bhattacharya. The songs of the film are good and stay in the mind for a long time. “Main Ki Karan” in Sonu Nigam’s voice and “Phir Na Aisi Raat Aayegi” sung by Arijit Singh have been incorporated into the film quite effectively.
Aamir Khan starrer ‘Lal Singh Chaddha’ does not disappoint as the official remake of Hollywood’s much-loved film ‘Forrest Gump’. There are some shortcomings in the writing of the film, but the performance of the actors suppresses those shortcomings. 3.5 stars to ‘Lal Singh Chaddha’ from Filmbeat.