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All Is Well Movie Review

All is far from well with All Is Well

  | February 26, 2016 18:30 IST

Rating:

<i>All Is Well</i> Movie Review
  • Genre:
    Drama
  • Cast:
    Abhishek Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor, Asin, Supriya Pathak
  • Director:
    Umesh Shukla
SPOILER'S ALERT

All is far from well with All Is Well, but this road trip dramedy has just about enough impetus not to be thrown completely off its chosen track by its occasional inertia.

Director Umesh Shukla switches frequently from breezy slapstick comedy to intense family drama and does so relatively smoothly until about the last quarter of the two-hour film.

The climax of All Is Well, which centres on its Bangkok-returned singer-hero mending fences with his long estranged dad and his cruelly cold-shouldered girlfriend, is both overly contrived and cringingly preachy.

The rest of the film, the more sluggish stretches included, is passably watchable.

The protagonist of All Is Well is the perennially grouchy Inder Bhalla, a Himachal Pradesh baker's son who has had a choppy childhood and trusts nobody and nothing in this world.

The young man has lived in Thailand for a decade now to pursue a career in the music industry but has yet to find his big break.

Inder flies back to his hometown Kasol at the behest of Cheema (Zeeshan Mohammad Ayyub), a bumbling thug, to sort out a tangle related to the failed bakery run by his father, Bhajanlal Bhalla (Rishi Kapoor).

On the same flight is Gurdaspur lass Nimmi (Asin), who is madly in love with the commitment-phobic Inder but is headed back home to get hitched to another man.

Back in Kasol, Bhalla owes the goon lakhs of rupees and the latter is bent upon reclaiming his pound of flesh. The latter wants to grab the bakery but Bhalla will have none of it.

A wild goose chase ensues across Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, with the Bhallas and Nimmi in one vehicle (a convertible red Merc) and Cheema and his henchmen in another (a police Gypsy).

Between the numerous piss stops necessitated by the senior Bhalla's problematic bladder and the meal breaks at dhabas on the highway, the two groups keep switching vehicles as the cat and mouse game turns increasingly bizarre.

One particular dhaba interregnum gobbles up more footage than the others because it witnesses an item number featuring Sonakshi Sinha in which Inder joins in gleefully.

Inder's dementia-afflicted mom Pammi (Supriya Pathak) adds to the confusion by starying away from the family with a mobile phone strung around her neck.

The fracas is aggravated by a posse of cops led by Inspector Atwal (Jameel Khan); Nimmi's large family that has gathered for the imminent wedding (another ready pretext for a dance number); and the equally huge brood at the home of Inder's maternal uncle, who holds the key to his mother's jewels.

The film delivers agreeable fun until this point. Once it veers into emotive terrain, it turns unbearably starchy.

This stodgy passage is dominated by the father-son duo struggling to reconnect with each other and with the ailing matriarch who remembers nothing except the schoolboy who turned his back on her on attaining adulthood.

The film has a few good performances, which is the least expected from a cast headed by Rishi Kapoor and including the likes of Supriya Pathak and Zeeshan Mohammad Ayyub.

Abhishek Bachchan, too, makes a fair fist of a limited-bandwidth role that plays on his strengths.

The lightweight screenplay does not provide the actors with sufficient room to go the whole hog. Yet Rishi Kapoor hits a few out of the park and Zeeshan is delightfully rib-tickling at times.

All Is Well is obviously built on the myth of Shravan Kumar, celebrated for his devotion to his parents, ends with two weddings, one planned out to the last detail, the other accidental but facilely opportune.

For audiences that are disposed towards accepting the kind of climactic twists that All Is Well fabricates - the most ridiculous of which is saved for the very last - the film might pass muster as a one-time watch.

For everyone else, it would be too much to digest even at a generous stretch.

Be that as it may, All Is Well is, well, anything but a completely squandered effort.
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