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Boyz review: Enjoyable tale of family bonds and school friendships

Release Date: 08 Sep 2017 / Rated: U/A / 02hr 15min

Cinestaan Rating

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Blessy Chettiar

Boyz tries to be a lot of things. The film deals with a number of issues — familial bonds, friendships, the futility of the education system, discipline and whatnot.

The buzz for Boyz has been zilch, which is odd as it is presented by celebrated music composer and singer Avdhoot Gupte. Until the release date, there had been little clarity about the film’s release. The film is fairly enjoyable, as we follow a bunch of teenagers stepping into adolescence, just beginning to understand the complexities of life.

Young Kabir (Sumant Shinde) has a tumultuous relationship with his mother. Questions about the absence of his father seem to nag his very existence, but mother Gayatri (Shilpa Tulaskar) won’t answer them. Perhaps if she did, there would be no reason to make this film at all.

This leads to a breakdown in communication between mother and son. Gayatri’s sister Radhika hopes to keep the peace but in vain. It is decided that Kabir be sent to a boarding school till tempers cool. However, two years pass and Kabir seems to have distanced himself even more from his mother. All this while, Kabir excels at studies and sports but seems incapable of enjoying any accolades.

Enter the unapologetically mischievous Dhongya (Parth Bhalerao) and Dhairya (Pratik Lad) from Satara who come to the boarding school through a social scheme. As the newest SSC students, they are everything the disciplined kids detest — unrefined, wicked and disrespectful. To make matters worse, Kabir is made to share his hostel room with them. After initial scuffles with almost everybody, the village boys start blending in with the others in their own way. Slowly the tide turns and Dhongya and Dhairya become fearless heroes in the eyes of their schoolmates.

Will the three ever become friends? Will Dhongya and Dhairya’s carefree outlook towards life change Kabir?

The film is replete with comic situations, thanks to Killa (2015) actor Bhalerao as Dhongya, who effortlessly delivers a perfect performance. His expressions and repartee in a thick village accent leave you chortling for a major portion of Boyz. Lad as his accomplice Dhairya offers good support even as he takes a back seat to let Dhongya shine.

Shinde is confident as the brooding Kabir, waiting for his moment of freedom. He chips in with a measured performance, especially in the emotional scenes where he holds his own despite the presence of senior artistes like Zakir Hussain, Santosh Juvekar (as Mandar sir) and Tulaskar as his mother.

Tulaskar is assured of her sorry state in the film, and goes the extra mile to live her character. She gets philosophical at times, making painful puns on her condition and fractured relationship with Kabir. You feel pity for her, but then again why can’t she just have a conversation with her only son, so that they can heal together? Jamenis as Kabir’s aunt has an important though underdeveloped role.

In the technical department, a few aerial shots of winding roads are quite pleasing to the eye. Dialogue writer Hrushikesh Koli needs special mention for lines that are delivered by Bhalerao with natural flair. Koli is also the screenwriter.

Boyz tries to be a lot of things. The film deals with a number of issues — familial bonds, friendships, the futility of the education system, discipline and whatnot. Juvekar as a friendly teacher a la Aamir Khan in Taare Zameen Par (2007), Zakir Hussain as the overtly strict principal a la Amitabh Bachchan in Mohabbatein (2000), a classmate’s parents separating a la Akele Hum Akele Tum (1995) — Boyz borrows a little from here and there.

Story writers Vishal Devrukhkar and Rahul Odak probably wanted to present a serious as well as merry story of teenagers going through life. Somewhere the main plot point of Kabir and Gayatri’s relationship is overshadowed by the shenanigans of Dhongya and Dhairya. Their antics are thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless.

Some illogical sequences do stick out like sore thumbs — Gayatri insisting on not making up with her son, school kids sourcing a bike and enjoying a lavni show by none other than Sunny Leone, Dhongya and Dhairya landing up at Kabir’s home, etc. Just as Kabir finds no answers to his questions, the audience wonders why such basic logical problems were ignored. All said and done, Boyz is a fun watch, especially for Bhalerao’s act as Dhongya. It’s enough reason to sit through the 135-minute film.