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BIOSCOPEWALA - Not a pleasant extension of the cult story that can strictly be seen for a perfect Danny returning to the screen. (Review by Bobby Sing)
26 May, 2018 | Movie Reviews / 2018 Releases / ALL ABOUT INSPIRED MOVIES / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / B

It’s indeed thoughtful as well as courageous to go for an adaptation as well as extension of one of the most famous stories of Rabindranath Tagore (KABULIWALA) converting the dry fruit seller (from Kabul) into a pathaan showing bioscope to the kids often visiting their local lanes.
 
However if you are expecting a pleasant, sweet, emotional and feel good take on the subject fondly remembering the Bengali or Hindi film from the black and white era then that would turn into a disappointment, as this happens to be an emotional yet a dark, unpleasant take on the short story, bringing in hate, intolerance and family issues into the narration unexpectedly. More about the father-daughter relationship instead of the title character, BIOSCOPEWALA begins differently from the present and then reveals the past through flashbacks coming at regular intervals in its less than 100 minutes of duration.
 
Director Dev Medhekar adds several layers into the basic theme and uses strong references of communal hatred, riots, a plane crash, destroyed villages of Kabul and even Taliban hating various sources of entertainment in Afghanistan. Among these there is also an interesting mention of how people loved (and still love) watching Hindi Cinema in Kabul having small video theaters in their local areas (destroyed by the Taliban), straight away making you recall the settings of the famous CINEMA PARADISO (1988/Italy). But what remains missing is a more detailed account of the backstory of Rehman Khan - the bioscopewala, that should have been there justifying its so inviting title. 
 
Beautifully shot along a fine background score, the film has a catchy, likable title song composed by Sandesh Shandilya, written by Gulzar and sung by K. Mohan. However its biggest merit remains the strong performances led by Danny Denzongpa returning to the screen and he is just perfect and most aptly cast (completely believable) as both the young and old Afghani Bioscopewala. Gitanjali Thapa, as the daughter impresses staying away from any forced expressions or melodrama and so do Adil Hussain, Brijender Kala and Tisca Chopra in their short supporting roles. 
 
In all, BIOSCOPEWALA is certainly not for the masses or as per the expectations despite its own enriching moments deserving praises. May be because I personally wished to see more of Danny and the little girl in the film taking me back to the innocently pleasant past just like the earlier not to be missed classic featuring Balraj Sahni.
 
Ratings : 2.5 + 0.5 / 5 (with the additional 0.5 for the perfect Danny Denzongpa and the title song in particular.)

Tags : Bioscopewala Movie Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Hindi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, Danny as Bioscopewala
26 May 2018 / Comment ( 1 )
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