Release Date: 13th May, 2016
Cast: Arvind Swamy, Himanshu Sharma, Ekavali Khanna, Aman Uppal
Writer/Director: Tanuj Bhramar
Plot: “Dear Dad” is a bittersweet coming of age story; involving a father-son duo – 14 year old Shivam, & his 45 year old dad Nitin Swaminathan.
Rating: 2/5 Stars (Two stars)
Star Cast: Arvind Swamy, Himanshu Sharma, Ekavali Khanna, Aman Uppal
Director: Tanuj Bhramar
What’s Good: The attempt of coming up with an interesting film that tackles a special father-son relationship.
What’s Bad: A poor script that gets slightly over ambitious.
Loo Break: You could use one!
Watch or Not?: Dear Dad sets out to be an emotional roller-coaster ride but rarely touches your heart.
The story revolves around Nitin Swaminathan (Arvind Swamy) and his family consisting of his older son Shivam (Himanshu Sharma), daughter Vidhi and wife Nupur. While from the look of it they look like the perfect family, there is a startling revelation that Nitin has to make and talk to his son about.
Shivam is a teenager put up at a boarding school in Dehradun. After his summer break is over, Nitin decides to drive him to his school and break the news about him and his wife heading for a divorce because of his sexual preferences. A clueless Shivam embarks on this road-trip happily. After hinting at a personality being gay, Nitin finds it difficult to convey it to his son.
On the way to his school, they drop by at Shivam’s grand mother’s place where he accidentally hears Nitin talking to his dad about coming out of the closet.
Shocked and unable to fathom the truth, the film further explores how this father-son relationship comes full circle after going through ups and downs.
Dear Dad Review: Script Analysis
Tanuj Bhramar tries to come up with a realistic yet high on dramatic effect sort of a film. Unfortunately, his script is all botched up and hence one can neither enjoy its light moments nor the intense ones.
The father-son relationship at start itself seems quite unconvincing. There is a vague exchange of dialogues that come across as an existent distance in their relationship. It is strange when the duo are travelling to the school, Nitin asks Shivam if he is allowed to watch TV in his school. Why would a parent whose kid goes to a boarding school not know about the facilities provided to the kids?
Also, there is a huge difference between the first half and the second half. After the big revelation, post-interval, the film starts to acquire a comic flavour which does not work well with the timing. On Shivam’s friend’s suggestion, he visits Baba Bengali asking for a medicine to cure gays. This could have been believable if the film was set in the early 90s but given the youth today, I find it hard for a 14 year old guy from a boarding school to do such a thing. We live in the Google era don’t we? The kid has a phone too!
Another loophole in this plot is the sheer negligence towards the mother’s character. Rarely would a woman agree to the idea of confessing to her kid, that his father is gay on the way to his school. Aren’t these things supposed to be talked about in the comfort of your home and with your loved ones around?
I would suggest Bhramar to see Step Mom and in particularly the scene where the parents break the news of divorce to their kids. That’s how natural it should be!
Dear Dad Review: Star Performance
Arvind Swamy makes a Bollywood comeback after ages. He does a decent job of being under pressure to talk to his son. He pulls off the emotional scenes with much ease. The scene where he gets drunk is slightly over the top.
Himanshu Sharma as Shivam, the teenage son does a fairly decent job. His reactions, the anger and further regret are conveyed extremely well.