Planet Bollywood
Bubble Gum
Producer: Sushma Kaul
Director: Sanjivan Lal
Starring: Sohail Lakhani, Apurva Arora, Sachin Khedekar, Tanvi Azmi
Genre: Drama
Recommended Audience: General
Reviewed by: Stutee Ghosh  - Rating: 7.0 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 410 viewers)
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We have all had our share of a bubble gum haven't we? There is nothing volcanic about it. It is not revolutionary and definitely will not be life changing. However we somehow can't do without it. It’s almost a compulsive habit, to go on chewing it while we may eschew all that we don't like. Take in the slight hint of a flavor and feel content. This is exactly how the movie Bubble Gum leaves us feeling.

Unadulterated nostalgia is what is up for grabs and we are transported into the world where everything is sepia toned. The story seems to be set light years ago. At a time when relationship status was put up not on Facebook but as graffiti on loo walls or engraved on school desks. Friends were not merely adorning friend lists but actually playing together and kicking up a riot and where feelings were not expressed only in 142 characters but endearingly put down on perfumed hand written love letters. In such a world still unstained from tweets and pokes is set a tory of two brothers Vedant and Vidur (Delzad Hirale, Sohail Lakhani) separated by age, distance and capability. Growing up in Jamshedpur is our 14 year old hero Vedant shackled by a disciplinarian father, loving mother and tickled by the first flushes of love. Joining him is his elder brother Vidur. He is deaf and mute, living in a hostel because his own city offers no educational opportunities to students like him.

Just like a bubblegum holds no promise of either satiating our hunger or quenching our thirst, the movie by the same name adopts these very characteristics. There isn't really a story to speak of. We are meant to chew along and peep into the world of these two brothers. It makes an attempt at not just portraying turbulent teenage but also gives glimpses of picturesque parenting. How much should parents resist and how much should they let go? How to take care of the ambitions and aspirations of both kids who might be poles apart and yet let each of them have their moment under the sun. It’s a film that makes us part of its world - a world that although represents the past, but the questions it throws up are ones we are grappling with even in our present.

So what’s good about the film? Firstly Tanvi Azmi. Yes she absolutely needs a special mention and deserves to top the list of reasons for watching this film because of her charismatic screen presence. The film wouldn't have been half as good had it not been for her. Playing a mother to the two boys, Tanvi Azmi impresses one and all. Then we have the beautiful detailing of the film. The risk that films such as these run is of caricaturing the past. However the detailing and research that has been put into the story lifts it to another level. Be it the long polka-dotted frocks that the girls wear to yellow paged Tintin comics, old rupee notes to bell bottomed pants and round bell switches. It’s an amazing time machine! Finally it definitely has high EQ percentile - a film that instead of targeting our heads makes a shot straight for our hearts. The brother’s fights and their eventual bonding, the parents and their bewilderment, all are endearing and can gift us a few cathartic tears.

The performances are also noteworthy. Sohail Lakhani as the deaf and mute elder brother, Delzad Hirale as the 14 year old in love hero, Sachin Khedekar as their out of breath dad and Apoorva Arora as the sweet neighbourhood damsel are a delight. Nothing could have convinced us more to believe in the story than their performances.

Things not so good about the film include a lack of solid story. There is no build up and no resolution. We are bound to feel a little clueless at times. There are also moments in the film when we want to rush things up a bit. The pace of the film can prove to be really burdensome for someone who likes to guzzle down their drinks in one go. Editor Suresh Pal could have made this 120 min movie crisper.

Overall Bubble Gum is like Sunday Siesta. Although we laze around and end up doing nothing much it nevertheless is close to our hearts and we wouldn't want to trade that time with anything else. It is well made and thoroughly enjoyable but it could have been better.

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