Thursday, November 5, 2015

I Am Kalam (2010) - Review

I am Kalam is a story of a young, innocent village boy Chotu aka Kalam (played by Harsh Mayar) who has been devoid of opportunities in life but dreams big nevertheless. While catching a glimpse of a parade on TV, he notices this man everyone salutes to. He doesn't know who he is but in that instant, his heart knows he wants to be like him. Like President Kalam. He is mocked but unwavered.

The premise is simple but I am Kalam is so beautifully nuanced you savor every bit. How he tries to get one step at a time, closer to his dream is what I am Kalam is all about. From the dialogues to the pauses, from the music to the imagery (Rajasthan's scenic landscapes), from the bond Kunwar Ranvijay (Husaan Saad) and Kalam share to the dhaba owner Bhati's unconfessed love story to the Bollywood-smitten Laptan, I am Kalam has everything going for itself. It gets unrealistic towards the end but by that time the film has already fortified a place in your heart to get you anything but critical about it.

The little Kalam is an actor nonpareil (he won the National Award for the Best Actor in the Child Artiste category for this film). He shoulders the film with a fine performance supported equally by a praiseworthy and an endearing act (surprisingly!) by the dhaba owner Gulshan Grover. Someone watching him for the first time would find hard to relate to him as the Bollywood baddie. Laptan played by Pitobash Tripathy is well cast too. He's liked as much in the light, comical scenes as resented for his bullying ways.

I am Kalam is an inspiring little masterpiece, which besides being technically brilliant, throbs with love and earnestness while being meaningful and relevant. It weaves in so many lessons of life. Of love. Of genuine friendship. Of humanity. Of integrity. And above all, of equality. This one is a heartening tribute to the legend! Don't miss it.

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