‘Super Nani’…From Nani’s era!

MUMBAI: Indra Kumar, lately known for his crass comedies, this time tries an old fashioned family drama, a typical tear jerker about a suppressed woman who is taken for granted and generally insulted by her husband, son, daughter and daughter-in-law. The film is adapted from the Gujarati play, Baa Ae Mari Boundary (Mom Hits A Boundary).

Rekha is told by her husband, Randhir Kapoor that her place is in the kitchen. He treats her just like a servant. According to him, the only contribution by his wife Rekha in his life was that she produced three children for him. Following his example, even her daughter, son and daughter-in-law treat her the same way. She has no place in their lives except to cook and serve them meals.

Rekha is an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna and a regular at the local temple where she keeps making deals with God, like if God made sure Kapoor gets the best CEO award she would visit the temple to thank the God. Her son keeps making losses in the stock market. As a solution, she wants him to tie a sacred thread on his wrist and she also takes it upon herself to fast on his behalf, a ritual suggested by the temple priest.

Producers: Indra Kumar, Ashok Thakeria.

Director: Indra Kumar.

Cast: Rekha, Sharman Joshi, Shweta Kumar, Randhir Kapoor, Anupam Kher, Rajesh Kumar

All this religious stuff and her suggestions are totally unwelcome for all her family members. Her only sympathiser in her house is her servant who competes with Rekha in shedding tears every time she is humiliated. She prays to God to end her misery somehow. The servant’s plea is soon answered as her grandson, Sharman Josh, arrives from the US. Joshi adores Rekha and sees how badly she is treated by his nana and others in the house. He can’t tolerate his nani being treated the way she is. After all, she is educated, a Kathak exponent and though she may look washed out now, she was a pretty woman as Joshi remembers her from his childhood days spent with her.

Joshi wants to change things for Rekha and decides that she can still be made to look as pretty as she was. Always with a camera around his neck, Joshi does a photo session with her making her dance to some of the old classic numbers from Shri 420, Mughal E Azam etc. While he sends copies to an ad agency managed by Anupam Kher, he also decides to blow up the pictures to display them in the family garden to surprise the family members.

The display does not surprise the family members the way Joshi had planned. They are all livid and Kapoor asks his son, Rajesh Kumar, to burn the pictures.

Anupam Kher, on his part, is impressed with Rekha’s pictures and turns up at her house with a contract for her for modelling. Kher also turns out to be Rekha’s childhood buddy. Kapoor as well as rest of her family wants her to reject the contract but, finally, Rekha rebels. She accepts the offer and is an overnight success.

The family is handicapped without Rekha to run the household. But for Rekha, it is now time to turn her wayward family members around using her resources and the emotional connection with Joshi by her side thinking up ideas for her. Joshi is also romancing Rekha’s neighbour, Shweta Kumar (Daughter of producer- director, Indra Kumar).

The problem with Super Nani is that while as a stage play it has to cater to a limited audience in a particular language, a film has to carry universal appeal. And, to top that, the story is too old fashioned for today’s generation as well as predictable as Rekha wins her family over one by one. The film also has limited face value. Direction is passable. Musically the film has one good song to offer in Maheroo Maheroo… and using a medley of old songs for Rekha’s photo shoot makes one conscious how deficient today’s music is. Rekha looks pretty as ever but not much fun to watch shedding tears all throughout. Joshi is good as her aide. Rest of the cast is okay with limited scope.

Super Nani has had a poor opening and may find some patronage only from ladies audience.

‘Roar: Tigers Of The Sunderbans’....Visual pleasure

Producer: Abis Rizvi.

Director: Kamal Sadanah.

Cast: Abhinav Shukla, Himarsha Venkatsamy, Achint Kaur, Subrat Dutta, Nora Fatehi, Ali Quli Mirza, Aadil Chahal, Varinder Singh Ghuman, Aaran Chaudhary, Pranay Dixit, Pulkit Jawahar.

Roar is one of those rare films on wildlife India makers. Some producers in the south did venture into films involving animals but those were emotional dramas with animals acting as best friends of human master. Producer MM Chinappa Devar specialised in such films with Haathi Mere  Saathi, Gaai Aur Gauri etc. There have been other such films too like K C Bokadia’s Teri Meherbaniyan. Roar follows earlier films like Kal and Forest.

Roar is about seven youngsters descending on Sunderbans, the famous Tiger Reserve in West Bengal which is known to have white tigers.

These seven include trained commandoes and they are here in Sunderbans with a mission to kill a man-eater white tiger which had killed the brother of one of them. However, being a commando is not enough to face a man eater tiger, which they realise soon. Instead of them killing the tiger, they become its target.

The film uses a lot of special effects and blends shots of Sunderbans with parts shot with trained tigers brought in from abroad. The film is directed by actor turned director, Kamal Sadanah whose direction as well as enthusiasm about the film is laudable.

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