Solid: Kajol, Vishal Jethwa, Rahul Bose, Rajeev Khandelwal, Aahana Kumra, Prakash Raj, Priya Mani and Aamir Khan
Score: Three stars (out of 5)
A dying boy’s final want and a mom’s unyielding struggle on her son’s behalf earlier than life ebbs out of him represent the narrative kernel of Salaam Venky, a fictionalised account of a real story that director Revathy skilfully mines for all its tearjerking potential however with out going overboard with it.
Maudlin tales of terminal sickness typically go off the rails once they push too arduous to activate our lachrymal cells. Salaam Venky does not.
Working with a beautiful forged of actors led by the redoubtable Kajol – she is totally luminous as a mom swaying between despondency and despair on one hand and hope and resolve on the opposite – Revathy packs what is actually a socially related ‘dialog’ movie with innate emotional verve, ideational depth and interesting dramatic highs. The result’s a story of a bitter private and authorized battle that may hold the viewers invested in the best way it unfolds and concludes.
Elements of Salaam Venky might seem a contact simplistic and unsubtle, however there is not a lot out right here that could possibly be dismissed outright as unduly gratuitous. The movie succeeds in pulling again from the brink when, on a few events, it veers near courting a touch of extra. Among the credit score for that difficult-to-attain steadiness should go to the actors.
The director, who herself places in a cameo look as a decide’s spouse who cites a line from the Bhagvad Gita that Lord Krishna addresses to Arjuna, employs tried and examined strategies to report the trauma and grief of a single mom counting all the way down to an inevitable tragedy. But, she manages to speculate Salaam Venky with a veneer of freshness.
The camerawork by cinematographer Ravi Varman stands out because of lighting and angles that clearly have not been derived from the playbook of standard household melodramas. A transferring musical rating by Mithoon, too, performs its half in imparting energy to the movie.
Based mostly on the e book The Final Hurrah written by Srikant Murthy, Salaam Venky tells the story of a spirited younger chess participant, Venkatesh (Vishal Jethwa), who’s troubled with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and is inching in the direction of demise as his limbs and muscle groups degenerate at a gradual, irreversible tempo.
Venky’s doughty mom, Sujata (Kajol), resistant at first to the boy’s suggestion that he be granted the correct to go in for euthanasia in order that his organs may be donated to sufferers who want them, adjustments her stance and goes all out to have the regulation in opposition to mercy killing modified.
Mercifully, Salaam Venky doesn’t lose its manner in a welter of mush as a result of the writing by Sammeer Arora and Kausar Munir displays an acute consciousness of the pitfalls alongside the best way. The script skirts round them to current a drama that addresses advanced points surrounding euthanasia whereas maintaining the discussions on its dynamics and ramifications refreshingly easy and simple.
The movie’s moorings in fashionable Indian melodrama are clear. Cinema is Venky’s second love – the primary, after all, is chess, a recreation that he teaches the nurse who takes care of him in hospital – and he by no means tires of referring to the noughties movies that he loves (most of them starring SRK).
Salaam Venky, which opens with a music that borrows its catchline from Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s timeless Anand – zindagi lambi nahi badi honi chahiye – seeks to intensify the poignance of the state of affairs on the coronary heart of the movie by mentioning (or alluding to) the SRK starrers Most important Hoon Na, Kal Ho Na Ho and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge.
Salaam Venky is definitely not in the identical league as Anand as a movie a couple of terminally in poor health man, but it surely does have the meat to be a considerable addition to the canon. Somebody says to Venky: Itni filmi hone ki zaroorat nahi hai. A lot later, the decide appointed to listen to the writ petition filed on Venky’s behalf reprimands the lawyer for resorting to an excessive amount of drama.
These are clear indications that Revathy and her screenwriters are aware of the road that separates the calls for of a slice-of-life story and a dramatization of it for the aim of enhancing of mass acceptance. It’s a tightrope stroll.
It’s arduous to say if Salaam Venky will ring a bell with most of the people with a real-life story that made an up-and-coming chess star Venkatesh Kolavennu a authorized trigger celebre about a few a long time in the past. However it’s simple to see that that is the type of movie that can discover an viewers way more readily when it hits a streaming platform.
Admittedly, Salaam Venky may need executed nicely to minimize its debt to movies of the previous and to shorten its size a bit. Regardless of what number of of its passages may seem condensable, if not solely expendable, the movie as a complete makes its level firmly, clearly and with a variety of coronary heart
Factored into the story of impending doom is a love story and a household drama that play out parallel to one another. Venky’s childhood love Nandita (Aneet Padda), with whom he as soon as dreamt of finishing a bucket checklist of issues to do in life, continues to be certainly one of his principal anchors.
Venky’s life, no matter is left of it, additionally revolves round Shekhar Tripathi (Rajeev Khandelwal), the physician who has executed all that he can to maintain the boy alive, and his youthful sister Sharda (Riddhi Kumar), who was as soon as torn between her father (Kamal Sadanah) and her mom after the messy break-up of her mother and father however is now by the facet of her bedridden brother.
Salaam Venky has an array of different supporting characters performed by actors who add vital worth to the movie regardless of the size of time they’re on the display screen – Prakash Raj as Choose Anupam Bhatnagar, Rahul Bose as activist lawyer Parvez Alam, Aahana Kumra as tv journalist Sanjana, Priyamani as public prosecutor Nanda Kumar and Ananth Narayan Mahadevan as an avuncular guru. Final however not least, Aamir Khan has a vital particular look.
Excellent because the performances are, Salaam Venky doesn’t ultimately hinge on the glamour of a star. It’s the story that’s the star. The director does full justice to it.
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