Director Aaryaan Saxena’s film conveys an emotional idea but fails miserably in making even miniscule impact
A wife gets to know over phone call that her soldier husband is no more. But she has to smile because her little daughter is in the middle of celebrating her birthday. What do you call a film that’s noble in intentions but pathetically primitive and naive in writing? If only intentions made a film, Mera Fauji Calling would be a winner, hands down. But apart from sentiments, nothing else in this film feels right.
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The film deals with the struggles that a martyr’s family goes through, to a stage of their world getting torn apart, each passing day, on an emotional and mental level.
Written solely by Saxena himself, the story has substance, only at the stage of ideation. The thought is good. The reason why this film should have been made is also genuine and justified. But this alone doesn’t solve the troubles. Infact, there are so many troubles in the narrative, that even while you like certain aspects, you are in no mood to feel for them.
A wife has to dance despite her husband’s demise, a mother just can’t weep over her son’s death, a family has to burn newspapers carrying the news of the soldier’s death, and how the wife wears her husband’s uniform and cries out loudly- are all sequences that you do feel emotional about, but the utterly weak direction never lets you stay with that feeling. It’s like a plain moment with just a hint of intesity only showered.
Not only is the film poor in its production value, it is also a laidback effort in making scenes convincing. It is the cumbersome quality of the film that burdens you much in the initial parts itself. There is a little girl making the narrative move forward. Forget innocence, she seems outrightly plastic, in the most part of the film. Her mannerisms involving God, her activities, her attitude- is all very artificial. Not to blame the child actor, it’s the director who hasn’t been able to extract meaning from her.
Just 10mins into the film, you get bored and start waiting for the film to end. In most probability, you won’t be able to sit through the entire runtime. The subject is emotional but you are far from experiencing an inch of it. Half hearted direction, half baked story, and meaningless scenes do nothing but add to your woes, making the film seem much longer than it is.
The makers could easily focus on the tragic life and hardships that a martyr’s family faces. Instead, it gets to revolving around the wait of a little girl who doesn’t know her father has passed away. This is something that is totally unnecessary and just keeps the film going without any path. This remains the weakest link in the film.
The second half takes a turn in the plot, although not plausible, but taking an emotional stride, does some good for the plot. Some talk of a woman and her frame of mind, her dynamics with a new man in her life, the daughter reacting to the new situation and so on- there is some action happening. But not much to fade the agony off.
You can’t believe Sharman Joshi, who appears in the interval point here, has given us so many amazing films in the past. Why did he sign this one? Is he out of work to this harsh level? He has been our favourite. And here, you refuse to believe he is the same man. Performance wise, he is good. He comes across as a mature actor. But even his stint isn’t able to save the film from its own miseries.
Bidita Bag does good in some parts, falls flat in some. She is just average. Zarina Wahab, on the other hand instills confidence in the plot and whenever she appears on screen, you expect atleast decent performance. She doesn’t disappoint.
Same can be said for Shishir Sharma who in a very small role establishes faith in the scheme of performances.
Ranjha Vikram Singh has an elaborate role and he does fine. Reasonable. Mugdha Godse in a blink-and-miss appearance is just okay. Mahi Soni, the little girl on whom the film majorly relies, is mostly too melodramatic and loud. She can be tolerated though, in some scenes.
Music does no good at all for the film. The songs appear at right points, but they are not even soothing to listen, forget giving the film any depth. Score by Mannan Munjal is mostly loud and futile. Some tunes seem so out of place that you clearly know that things have gone haywire.
Cinematography by Subhranshu Das could be so much better, in every scene. The frames, shots, angles do no good in conveying any essence of the scene. This man has many films to his credit, but in this one, it seems as if the film has been shot by some amateur student. Art direction by Sachin Patil is manageable to watch, but definitely could better.
Editing by Praveen Angre couldn’t be any better than this. The duration of the scenes, or the transitions are okay. When you have a plot that’s so weak, with nothing to absorb, how can you complain of other aspects not falling into place?
It’s said that a story from any given point can take a number of directions. The path that this one moves on, gets terribly wrong. Had it focussed on the mishaps or emotional turmoil that may occur in a family, the film would have been still likeable. This is a film that’ll get passé in no time. Already there are negligible promotions for this one. This will surely get lost in time.