Lal Singh Chaddha is the official adaptation of the American classic, Forrest Gump. As lovely as Forrest Gump is, it is definitely not easy to adapt it, especially for the Indian audience. The makers revealed that it took them more than 8 years just to get the rights of the original from Paramount, and overall the film took close to 15 years to come on the big screen. It was natural to go in with big expectations, especially with Aamir Khan on board.
The story is kept more or less the same with minor changes and the occasional drift away from the original plot. The writing tries to keep the essence of Forrest Gump and does not try to do things much differently, so it feels like a conservative and safe approach. It works sometimes, and sometimes it doesn’t. The major real-life events are ‘indianized’ well and have been crafted to be very relatable. The dialogues are also translated nicely for the Indian audience in a way that doesn’t seem unnatural or unrealistic for the character.
The lead performances are praiseworthy, especially the portrayal of Aamir Khan as the titular character. Khan is convincing and very faithful to the character played by Tom Hanks in the original film. His hard work and determination are clearly visible whenever he is on screen. He also brings a sense of vulnerability to the emotional scenes, especially ones without dialogues. The other supporting cast is decent as well.
Advait Chandan brings beautiful visuals that might go unnoticed in scenes with low intensity. The running montage in particular was shot really well showcasing multiple gorgeous locations which leave the viewer in awe. He also successfully flushes out the core emotions of his characters in impactful scenes. He also creates an engaging visual narrative where you can understand the characters’ feelings despite the slow pace of the film.
One of the major highlights of the film is its music and background score. Pritam hits the right notes with melodies that complement the situations and raise the impact of the scene. Bhattacharya’s lyrics also get the right thoughts needed to understand the characters’ feelings. The album is soul-stirring and the songs are induced brilliantly with the screenplay. The score is also impactful.
The editing was average and could have helped the pacing and length with better stitching. Some of the supporting characters are also not flushed out as well as done in the original film. There are also some moments that seem over-the-top and unnecessary throughout the film. Some of the storyline changes also did not work for the film, especially for the character of Rupa. But the thing that makes Lal Singh Chaddha inferior to its predecessor is the lack of hard-hitting and thought-provoking moments. Hence, It does not end up being an absolutely faithful adaptation.
Aamir Khan is largely called ‘The Perfectionist’ of Bollywood. However, Lal Singh Chaddha does not justify that label. It does not meet his high standards but nonetheless, it is a heartwarming film that has plenty of humorous and emotional moments. If you can stay away from the obvious comparison with the original and view this one as a separate movie, then audiences will get something out of it.
Rating – 72%