Actress: Manjari Fadnis
Release Date: 22nd April, 2011
Cast: Darsheel Safary, Anupam Kher, Manjari Fadnis
Director: Satyajit Bhatkal
Plot: Zokkomon is the story of the adventurous journey of Kunal (Darsheel Safary), an orphan and destitute child. Kunal realizes very early in life, that to survive in this cruel and heartless world, he will have to fend for himself. He draws from his inner strength and courage to do so. Thus, he discovers the hero within himself and his transformation into Zokkomon.
Writers: Satyajit Bhatkal, Svati Chakravarty Bhatkal, Lancy Fernandes (Screenplay), Divy Nidhi Sharma (Dialogue)
Soundtrack: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have composed the soundtrack for the movie. The lyrics are penned by Javed Akhtar.
All about the movie: Zokkomon is produced by Walt Disney Studios making it, Disney’s third Indian project. The movie stars child artist Darsheel Safary who tugged at our heart’s strings with portrayal of the dyslexic child Ishaan in Taare Zameen Par with Aamir Khan. In this movie, he is the superhero, Zokkomon.
Zokkomon Plot: Kunal (Darsheel), an orphan is taken to his uncle’s (Anupam Kher) village where he is exploited at school along with his classmates. In order to inherit the money that Kunal’s parents left for him, his uncle takes Kunal to Mumbai and leaves him alone. Kunal finds solace in Kitu didi Manjari Fadnis), who takes care of him. Before long, Kunal returns to his village and is inspired to seek revenge on his uncle and rid the villagers of their superstitions. For more, read the full review.
Business rating: 0.5 star
Star cast: Darsheel Safary, Anupam Kher, Manjari Fadnis, Gargi Datar, Jai Vyas.
What’s Good: Very little.
What’s Bad: The simplistic and illogical story that will entertain neither the children nor the adults; the average acting performances; poor direction.
Verdict: Zokkomon is a disappointment. It will fail at the box-office.
Loo break: You can miss several scenes without losing out on anything substantive.
Watch or Not?: Only if you want to see a child as a superman.
Walt Disney Studios’ Zokkomon is the story of an orphan who rises above his difficult circumstances to come out triumphant.
Kunal (Darsheel Safary) is an orphan, who has lost his parents in an accident three years ago, and is being taken care of by his school authorities. Soon, Kunal has to go to his uncle’s village as the uncle is his legal guardian. The uncle, Deshraj (Anupam Kher), runs a school in the village and stays with his wife and a pampered son. Deshraj is evil and makes the students do all the menial work like cleaning and sweeping the floor. He also holds sway over the superstitious villagers, being hand-in-glove with a fake Swami, whom the villagers respect a lot.
Soon, Kunal realises that his new home and school have no place for him. He makes friends with two of his classmates, Rani (Gargi Datar) and Arju (Jai Vyas). One day, they accidentally reach a deserted bungalow which is said to be haunted. But Kunal, the brave one, enters the bungalow and comes out unhurt.
Deshraj falls upon bad times and needs Rs. 60 lakh urgently. He and his wife hatch a plot to kill Kunal so as to inherit the Rs. 75 lakh that Kunal’s parents have left for him. Quite inexplicably, Deshraj takes Kunal to Mumbai and leaves him alone in the middle of an amusement park instead of killing him as per plan. He comes back to the village and declares that Kunal is dead.
Kunal finds a friend in Mumbai in Kitu (Manjari Fadnis), a street-smart girl. Much against his wishes, Kitu soon decides to take him back to his uncle. As they are about to leave by train, Kitu is apprehended by the police. She asks Kunal to continue on his journey, promising that she would join him.
Back in the village, Kunal is taken to be a ghost and everyone runs away from him. Only Deshraj knows that Kunal is back for real. He now plans to murder his nephew once and for all. Not knowing what to do, Kunal lands up sleeping at the haunted bungalow, where he meets Magic uncle (Anupam Kher again), a scientist who leads an isolated life in the bungalow. Years ago, Magic had come down to the village to get rid of the villagers’ superstitions but had failed in his mission. Magic inspires him to use science in the fight against superstition. The duo soon gets to hard work and they are ready with ‘Zokkomon’, the superhero avatar of Kunal, who can fly.
Now, Kunal a.k.a. Zokkomon gets down to the job of terrorising the evil school teachers. The children become his fans and start imitating him and fighting the exploitation by the school authorities. Deshraj, on the other hand, is waiting for an opportunity to get his hands on Kunal. Soon, Zokkomon exposes Deshraj and the fake Sawmi. As a result, the villagers start shedding their superstitions. Kitu also arrives in the village and finds Kunal. What happens thereafter? Is Kunal/Zokkoman successful in his mission? Is he able to survive in spite of Deshraj’s evil designs? What happens to Deshraj and the villagers? The climax reveals the rest.
Zokkomom Review – Story & Screenplay
The story of Zokkomon is too simplistic and ordinary, even though it is meant for children. The plot is so sketchy that even the kids will not find it plausible. Satyajit Bhatkal, Lancy Fernandes and Svati Bhatkal’s screenplay meanders meaninglessly without creating any impact. The whole Mumbai trip of Kunal makes no sense at all, apart from the possibility that it was added to introduce Kitu’s character. Kunal’s transition into the purported superhero, Zokkomon, is hardly believable. Moreover, all that Zokkomon does is intimidate people by talking in a scary voice. His costume and other features are also not very likeable. As such, Zokkomon too, is far from being an endearing character. The screenplay writers also seem to be confused about the point they want to drive home – a superhero story, or the story of a village where superstitions rule? Emotions fail to touch the heart. The first half of the film, at the end of which Zokkomon is revealed, disappoints. In the second half, we see some action, but it is not enough.
Zokkomon Review – Star Performances
Darsheel Safary does a fair job but remains under-utilised. Anupam Kher is not very impressive in either of his roles. Manjari Fadnis has a small role in which she does an ordinary job. The child actors, Gargi Datar and Jai Vyas, perform well. Tinnu Anand and others lend able support.
Zokkomon Review – Direction
First-time director Satyajit Bhatkal does a poor job of the narration. Since he has also co-written the film, he needed to have thought twice before picking up such a dull story. The film has five songs, of which only one, Jhunjhunamakadstrama (sung by Kailash Kher), is okay. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music and Javed Akhtar’s lyrics are average. Overall, the songs add little value to the narrative. Keshav Prakash’s cinematography is dull. Visual effects are below standard. Suresh Pai’s editing is haphazard.
The Last Word
All in all, Zokkomon disappoints. It will fail to make any mark at the box-office.