Mumbai, 11 May 2018 12:58 IST
Naseeruddin Shah and young Sajid Kabir create some heartwarming bits in this laidback film.
Not all stories need big conflicts to be watchable. Case in point: Sudip Bandyopadhyay's Hope Aur Hum — a simple and sweet film that explores the little world of the Srivastava family.
The eldest member of the family, Nagesh Srivastava (Naseeruddin Shah) is obsessed with his old photocopy machine who he calls Mr Soennecken. His photocopy shop is also occupies a crucial room which could be useful to the growing family. As older people generally do, Nagesh finds it difficult to let go of his old friend and embrace new technology.
His little grandson Anu (Sajid Kabir) is obsessed with cricket, delivering some hilarious commentary on the daily ongoings. On a trip to his maternal grandmother's (played by Beena) home, Anu is faced with his own demons when he comes across someone inside an old trunk and is ridden with guilt.
While there is a generation gap between Nagesh and Anu, they find more things in common as their fears and apprehensions are philosophically similar.
Nagesh's elder son, Neeraj (Aamir Bashir), is worried about his promotion, while his younger son, Nitin (Naveen Kasturia), who lands from Dubai, loses his phone but finds love. When Nitin lands up with a technologically advanced photocopy machine, Nagesh has to come to terms with the fact that it is time to let go of his old friend.
While Neeraj kind of understands his father's predicament, Sonali Kulkarni, who plays Anu's mother, is more practical and wants to do best for her family. She chooses reason over nostalgia. Her struggles are explored silently and get lost amidst the motivations of all the other characters around her.
The film's recurrent theme is transition — moving on and adapting to the changing times and situations around you. And at all times being hopeful that things will turn out well. Bandyopadhyay's characters refer to faith in destiny often through the film.
Hope Aur Hum meanders along, giving us some sweet moments and heartwarming family relationships and interactions. But incorporating the younger son's love story takes away from the more interesting central plot. Laidback storytelling and lazy sub-plot development hamper the film's overall feel.
The scenes between little Anu, most adorably played by Kabir (he did so in his first Hindi film Secret Superstar as well), and Nagesh are ones to relish. The little actor stands up to the veteran to deliver a solid performance.
Though the film is set in contemporary times, it feels a little old-fashioned in its approach, and that doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing.
Director Bandyopadhyay gives us simple cinematic bits and several sweet moments, but ends up overplaying the destiny card.
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