Before I begin, I want to state the purpose of writing this review. I want my friends and acquaintances to watch the movie.
Wow! Hindi cinema is changing! This is how I reacted while watching Cheeni Kum. I am sure there are many like me who will welcome these winds of change.
Cheeni Kum subtly disturbs our beliefs and inhibitions about the role of age in romance. No, Cheeni Kum does not preach anything. And there lies its beauty. It is about two individuals who meet in the backdrop of Indian flavours in a foreign land. They meet, they flirt, and then they fall in love. Now comes the time to face the giant problem they had all this while assumed to be trivial. The boy is older than the girl's father! How does he pop the question to his prospective father-in-law?
Cheeni Kum is not a 'Nishabd' or a 'Ek Chhoti Si Love Story'. It is a light-hearted yet a more thought-provoking movie. On the one hand, you see the eccentric Buddhadeb, irritatingly obsessed with his work, and on the other, you notice his equations with his mother and his little neighbour, so strikingly different. When he meets Neena, we see another facet of him. And all this while, ignoring the fact that he is well past his sixties. He is not a father, an uncle or a father-figure. He is just him. The human relationships have been well portrayed in the movie. He plays his little neighbour's boyfriend with all sincerity, as does he play the kid-son to his mother.
It would be very difficult to meet someone like Buddhadeb in real life, but I am sure you can run into a Neena at some point in your life. Neena is more real. She is lovely but not coy. At 34, she does not flirt like a teen. She takes charge of the romance and leads it. She is the better half of the couple - stronger, smarter, more sensible.
Simple, day-to-day lines impart amazing drama to the dialogues. The romance is fairy-tale sans the over-the-top sweetness. The movie is aptly called Cheeni Kum. Cheeni Kum is a mint-fresh movie, thanks to the cinematography and the fresh performances.
Oh yeah, the performances! Amitabh Bachchan and Tabu will leave you convinced that they are a couple. Amitabh is adorable as Buddhadeb. I wonder if anyone else could have played Neena with as much grace as Tabu has. The little girl, Swini Khara is good. There is little doubt that she is a confident actor. If you have missed Zohra Sehgal for a while, you will enjoy watching her in this movie. Her character is witty, sarcastic and adorable. Paresh Rawal did not have much to do in this movie. He is somewhat wasted in this role. However, I think Balki cast him considering no one else can bring along with his presence what Rawal can.
Last but not least, the music is extremely fresh and soothing. However, you are left craving for more as the movie does not play the songs completely.
Only one bad point in the movie: The movie limped for a while when Rawal went on Satyagraha. I expected a little more than what happened at that point.