Rating: 2.5/5 Stars (Two and half stars)
Star Cast: Sarah Jane Dias, Vicky Kaushal
Director: Mozez Singh
What’s Good: Vicky Kaushal, Manish Chaudhari deliver strong performances in this tale of self-discovery.
What’s Bad: The film slumps badly in the second half. The editing is unfortunately not on par in spite of making it a crisp 118 minute affair.
Loo Break: May need more in the second half.
Watch or Not?: Zubaan has a platter of themes to offer and it may not be a great thing for everyone. It is a musical, coming of age tale of self-discover, a love story all rolled into one. This film may appeal to a very limited audience.
Our lead here is Dilsher (Vicky Kaushal), an overly ambitious lad from Gurdaspur. He has a troubled past, a stammering problem and a dream to be the ‘lion of Gurdaspur’ just like his idol, the business tycoon Gurcharan Sikand (Manish Chaudhari). Manipulating his way to attain his goal, Dilsher not only comes to Delhi, but also makes his way up to becoming Gurcharan’s close aide and the wishful son, much to the dislike of the latter’s wife Mandy (Meghna Mallik) and son Surya (Raghav Chanana).
In the midst of his new life as Dilsher Sikand, he meets Amira (Sarah Jane Dias), a singer who is mourning the death of her brother by drowning herself into music and drugs. It is Amira who makes him realize that music is his true calling, something that he learnt as a child from his father and that he doesn’t stammer when he sings.
The rest of the film chases Dilsher’s journey to self-discovery.
Zubaan Review: Script Analysis
Zubaan revolves around its protagonist Dilsher who is at times unscrupulous, at times humble and even star struck. His character is so real that everyone may relate to him at some point in the film. The story is layered enough so we shuttle between Dilsher’s past and present, which includes his troubled childhood due to his stammer as well as his father’s death that has left a huge impact on his life.
The best written scenes in the film remain, when Dilsher meets Gurcharan after years and is dumbfounded over the latter recognizing him so easily.
The places where the story truly lacks is, creating a proper setting for Dilsher and Amira to fall in love. Most of the their meetings seem abrupt in the story and the entire sequence of ‘Dhruvtara’ – a celebration that Amira organizes in the memory of her late brother is something that doesn’t fit rightly with this otherwise realistic tale. That is one sub-plot which seems quite over-the-top.
Zubaan’s disjointed plot, does not let you enjoy it as a whole and appeals only in parts. Co-written by the director, the film’s narrative fails to justify its character’s contradictions and forays into other themes such as being a musical on the side.
Zubaan Review: Star Performance
After winning hearts with Masaan’s Deepak, Vicky Kaushal once again delivers a superb performance. He impresses tremendously with his apt body language and the stammer as Dilsher. Picking up a near perfect Gurdaspur accent, the actor is easily the most watchable element in the film.
Second best performance after Vicky is none other than seasoned actor Manish Chaudhari. His act of a conniving business tycoon is brilliant.
Sarah Jane Dias as Amira turns out to be highly disappointing. She fails to leave an impact as an actor in the film.
Meghna Mallick and Raghav Chanana fit their roles quite aptly and form for a strong supporting cast in the film.
Zubaan Review: Music, Direction
Mozez Singh’s Zubaan is enticing at the same time unsatisfactory. It takes off extremely well with the first half forming a good build-up but slumps poorly in the second half. What form as a disturbing element in the film are infrequent musical performances, especially the one with a context-free dance number that portrays pinpoint choreography with rear projections. The choreography by Uma Gaiti is languid in certain pieces such as for the song ‘Music Is My Life’.
Swapnil Sonawane’s cinematography and Khyatee Kanchan’s production design give the film a good visual appeal. Especially, the stark difference of Dilsher’s dim-lit, dingy room to the classy Sikand mansion.
The music being not too conventional, puts you off with certain sequences that seem forcefully added to make the film a musical.
Zubaan’s pace wavers terribly and while it slows down in the second half, the climax is extremely hurried. Specifically the portions of Dilsher being involved in a legal soup, left unexplained.
Zubaan Review: The Last Word
Zubaan is an uneven ride that appeals partially. It is the stellar performances by its cast that truly make it stand out. I am going with a 2.5/5 for the film.
Zubaan releases on 4th March, 2016.
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