Movie Review: Good Acting Doesn’t Save ‘Zubaan’
(Photo Courtesy: <i>Zubaan</i> promotional material)
(Photo Courtesy: Zubaan promotional material)

Movie Review: Good Acting Doesn’t Save ‘Zubaan’

This week’s newest release is Zubaan, written and directed by Mozez Singh. It’s a coming-of-age musical drama about a young boy’s tearing ambition to make it big. A tough childhood and overwhelmingly tragic events render him a stammerer. But this little boy gets his biggest life lesson from a man we come to know as the “Lion of Gurdaspur.”

Neither people nor god the only one who can help you is you! This important sermon about writing one’s own destiny is what leaves a lasting impression on this young child’s mind. Now all grown up and emboldened by this talisman, he comes to Delhi and orchestrates a meeting with him. The rest, as they say, is a “yawn”!

(Photo courtesy: Youtube screengrab)
(Photo courtesy: Youtube screengrab)

Zubaan works sporadically and that’s only because every time Vicky Kaushal and Manish Chaudhari are together in a scene it is so delectably engaging that you don’t mind the stuttering pace of the narrative. Interestingly, this is the first film that Vicky Kaushal signed, but thanks to Masaan and his magnificent performance, we expectantly wait for him to peddle his wares which he does with élan.

As Dilsher, a small town boy trying to climb up the ladder and follow the footsteps of his childhood hero, he is brilliant. If there is anything that this film does it is to make us want to see more of him!

Manish Chaudhary is a consummate actor himself and here in the role of a self-made business tycoon from humble roots, Gurcharan Sikand is bristling with just the right dose of arrogance and venom. There is also Raaghav Chanana playing Surya Sikand, the jealous son fighting for his dad’s affection and is easy on the eyes.

(Photo courtesy: Youtube screengrab)
(Photo courtesy: Youtube screengrab)

But these performances can’t save an otherwise languid affair.

The narrative thread gets subsumed by some forgettable songs and Sarah Jane Dias. Her character’s presence might be a cinematic tool to bring out the nuances in Dilsher and take us through abrupt flashbacks while trying to sew up the patchy writing but her gorgeous self has precious little to do. Amira is a singer, mostly intoxicated with substance or personal suffering. Such a badly written character is she that her presence has a disorienting effect on the whole proceedings.

(Photo courtesy: Youtube screengrab)
(Photo courtesy: Youtube screengrab)

For a musical to be inundated with forgettable songs is never an exciting spectacle. Zubaan is nothing more than a stuttering tale about a small town stammerer who is in search of the ‘zubaan’ or language of his soul. By the end of the film, when he finally understands his true calling, it’s too late.

I’ll give this off-tune musical a generous 2 QUINTS out of 5 and that too only for Vicky Kaushal and Manish Chaudhari.

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