Aladin (2009) *HQ*

Most stories sound interesting on paper or when narrated in 10/15 minutes flat.But when you watch the full-blown cinematic version, you realize why most Hindi films fall flat on their face.Sujoy Ghosh’s ALADIN promises the moon, but what you get is a mere flicker.

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Ritesh Deshmukh

This fantasy had the trappings to transport you to fantasyland, but…Seriously, Sujoy could’ve run his imagination wild and come up with a film that would’ve made the child in you jump, scream and clap with glee.But 15/20 minutes into the film and you realize that ALADIN is merely a visual spectacle.A film that lacks soul!

The story opens with Aladin Chatterjee (Ritiesh Deshmukh), an orphaned kid who is bullied mercilessly by his schoolmates because of his name and is made to rub innumerable lamps to make the genie appear. Anyway, this Aladin grows up and falls in love with Jasmine (Jacqueline Fernandes) but is unable to tell her about his love.Unwittingly, she presents him with a lamp, this one finally turns out to be a magic lamp and the genie, who calls himself Genius (Amitabh Bachchan) appears and wants to grant Aladin his three wishes.

It is with the help of the genie that Aladin manages to win Jasmine’s heart and beat the Ring Master (Sanjay Dutt). Genius tells Aladin that he is the chosen one to look after the lamp and also about his parents who died so many years ago in their bid to find the lamp. There is a flashback which shows how Aladin’s parents perished in a landslide during their encounter with the Ring Master after they had found the magic lamp. Of course, Ghose again leaves us confused as to why Aladin was the chosen one to get the lamp. Anyway, the film ends happily, like most fantasies. The Ring Master is destroyed and Aladin, Jasmine and the Genie live happily together.

The first half starts off well with light moments involving Riteish Deshmukh, but soon after Genius makes an appearance, the movie begins to drag. Songs after ever reel act as major speed-breakers. Seriously, those songs in the pre interval portions add zero value; instead just add up to the run time and boredom. While Sujoy Ghosh has handled the light hearted first half with brilliance, it’s the second half – the battle of the good over evil – when the movie goes from good to bad and eventually hits an all time low with a terrible climax.

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