Wave Cinemas, Sikhya Entertain­ment and Metamozez Entertainment’s Zubaan (UA) is the story of a young man who wants to become big and rich like his idol.

Dilsher (Vicky Kaushal) idolises Gurucharan Sikand (Manish Chaudhari) who he had met as a child (master Harmehroz Singh) just by chance. As a little boy, Dilsher used to sing hymns in the gurudwara with his father (Malkit Rauni) whose full-time job was to sing hymns in the gurudwara. But Dilsher’s father was replaced by another singer when he started singing out of tune because of his hearing problem. Unable to bear the shock, the father had committed suicide. Little Dilsher had begun to stam­mer while talking, after the shock caused by his father’s death.

Now, a young man, Dilsher comes to the city and lives with his maternal uncle, H.P. Mehta (Rajeev Gaur Singh), who used to be close to Gurucharan Sikand many years ago. Dilsher expresses a desire to meet Sikand but his uncle dissuades him, saying that Sikand had become too egoistic and proud. By means fair and unfair, Dil­sher comes in contact with Sikand who sees a spark in the young man.

Sikand takes Dilsher under his wings and trains him, much to the annoyance of Sikand’s son, Surya (Raaghav Chanana). Gurucharan Sikand hates his son and his wife, Mandira (Meghna Malik). Surya and Mandira can’t bear it when they see Gurucharan giving so much importance to Dilsher.

Amira (Sarah Jane Dias), a friend of Surya, develops fondness for Dilsher, which angers Surya even more. Amira makes Dilsher realise that he doesn’t stammer when he sings. This realisation, coupled with the feeling that Gurucharan Sikand was going out of his way to promote him (Dilsher), only to spite his son and wife, prompt Dilsher to take a decision which will change his life.

What is that decision which Dilsher takes? Why does Gurucharan Sikand hate his own wife and son? What has he got against Dilsher’s maternal uncle, H.P. Mehta?

Mozez Singh has written a story which starts off well but loses steam as it moves. Thani, Sumit Roy and Mozez Singh’s screenplay moves at a leisurely pace, perhaps, because there is not much to say. It becomes boring in the first half and unconvincing towards the end. The climax does not appeal because the audience wonders what has changed for Dilsher to take the life-changing decision he takes. In other words, Dilsher takes a big decision although the circumstances haven’t changed at all. Again, Dilsher stating that although his father had committed suicide, he was still ‘present’ in the gurudwara, makes his father’s act of committing suicide look silly and stupid, which is not what the story intends. The interesting part of the screenplay is the portion in which Surya and Mandira first resent the attention and love being showered by Gurucharan on Dilsher and then even confront him for the same.

At one point, Dilsher is shown challenging Surya that he’d now climb the ladder of success in his (Surya’s) father’s company to teach him (Surya) a lesson. But soon thereafter, Dilsher himself gives up that challenge all too easily, making the entire drama look futile.

Sumit Roy’s dialogues are very good and the ones written for the confrontation scenes between Gurucharan and Mandira are excellent.

Vicky Kaushal does a truly fine job as the stammering Dilsher. He underplays his character beautifully. Sarah Jane Dias is good as Amira. Manish Chaudhari shines in the role of Gurucharan Sikand. His expressions and body language are praiseworthy. Raaghav Chanana is not only handsome but also very effective in his portrayal of the frustrated and vain Surya Sikand. His diction is wonderful, whether he speaks in Hindi or in English. Meghna Malik is splendid as Mandira Sikand. Master Harmehroz Singh is natural as young Dilsher. Malkit Rauni (as Dilsher’s father), Anita Shabdeesh (as Dilsher’s mother), Rajeev Gaur Singh (as H.P. Mehta), Raj Sharma (as Tulsi Ram), Chittaranjan Tripathy (as Ajmani), Kunal Sharma (as Yadav), Abhimanyu Garg (as Hafiz), Paras Sharma (as Dhruv), Preeti Gupta (as Gurucharan’s friend in the party) and the others lend able support.

Mozez Singh’s direction, like the script, is aimed more at the class audience. Credit must be given to Mozez Singh for having extracted good work from out of his actors in his very first film. Ashu Phatak’s music (with additional music by Ishq Bector, Shree D. and Manraj Patar) is melodious and a cou­ple of songs are appealing too, but they are not popular. Lyrics (Varun Grover; Punjabi lyrics by Surjit Patar) are very nice. Background music (Ashu Phatak) is quite good. Swapnil Sonawane’s camerawork is alright. Sham Kaushal’s action scenes are effective. Khyatee Kanchan’s production designing is of a good standard. Deepa Bhatia’s editing is fairly nice.

On the whole, Zubaan is a well-made and well-enacted film but its commercial prospects are poor because at the end of it all, it appears as an exercise in futility and without purpose.

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