|From left, Johnny, Selva, Rajesh, Malti, Lily|
Coming to the movie, the plot is very simple. So simple that you wonder if they could make a movie on it.
Rajesh Naidu joins Rockford, an all-boys boarding school and like all newcomers to a boarding school, immediately false prey to abusive bullies (read seniors). Before he could find the superhero to save him from his tormentors, he finds a friend and a sidekick in Selva (I did not remember the name, had to look it up). Now Selva is like any other side kick. Goofy, funny, irreverent and fiercely loyal to our young hero Rajesh. The superhero that would save him is the sports teacher, Johnny (Nagesh Kukunoor, also the director of the movie) who takes an immediate liking to Rajesh and becomes a sort of guardian to him. Then there is this really hot lady teacher, Lily (Nandita Das), that everyone has hots for.
The chief bully, a typical spoilt kid of a rich father, plans an elaborate prank that entangles the grownups like Johnny, the sports teacher and Lily, the English teacher. The grownups get into trouble because of these silly games. And then finally, like in all Hindi movies, the hero, our young hero, Rajesh, does his magic, things fall in place and everyone lives happily ever after.
Pretty simple. Along the way there are quite a few life lessons, cute moments, funny sequences that make the movie memorable. Especially funny are the bits where Selva does his antics, when Lily is introduced for the first time to the open jaws and wide eyes of young men and those sequences where Rajesh tries to do pull ups.
Of course movie also has one of my favorite songs of all time - Yaaron by KK. Its embedded here.
The thing with this song is that I have some of my happiest memories associated with this song. Goes back to the MDI days when I was part of the organizing committee of my college's cultural festival. This song was like an anthem for the team that worked on it. This song bonded us like nothing else. And then the singer, KK, was invited to perform at the same fest, like an icing on the cake.
So back to the movie, the hero is motivated by love, the guardian is righteous, the villain is owned by envy and the heroine, she just happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Actually for aspiring writers like me, we need to be able to think about characters in this manner. What rules the actions of a character. What role does that character play in the story. How does the story move forward. Etc. May be I'd take some inputs for Nidhi's story.
And since I havent seen the movie in a long time, I dont really remember other details (production value, camera, sets etc). But this has to be one of those movies that makes me warm and happy. Everytime I see it. And even everytime I talk about it. I wish they made more movies like this.
I'd say its a 4 on 5.
The movie has to be on my list of movies to see before you die. Others being Shawshank Redemption, Sholay. And if you have unlimited bandwidth, you can watch the damn movie here. But I'd rather you pay for a copy of the disc, if you can find it in market.
P.S.: This has been in my drafts folder for almost two years. Good to have finished writing this.