Where there’s a road, there’s a way: to bond, exchange confidences, encounter a weirdo or two, get drunk, whizz past cool nature scapes and generally chatter on about the trivial and not-so-trivial pursuits of life.
Right. The Tanuj Bhramar-directed Dear Dad travels down this idyllic route, albeit with a suppressed confession to boot. Armed with an out-of-the-Bollywood-bogs screenplay, the economy-budget film is defensible to a degree. At the very least, it dwells on the generation gap in an era of cell phones, internet surfing and assorted gizmos. Forget emotional contact, the distance between middle-aged parents and their teenage children has been widening to the point of no return.
So far, so purposeful. Disappointingly, the narrative’s battery is on a low charge, almost dying out before it completes its journey of 90 minutes. Truth be told, you come out somewhat askance, wondering, “Was that a movie? Couldn’t it have been a shorter 20-minute indie film which belongs to the Internet sites?”
After all, its focal point is that aforecited confession, which comes from Daddy Cool (Arvind Swamy) of the all’s-swell Swaminathan family. As it happens, the revelation leaps out of the closet much too saves, which saves me the bother of beating around the bush (better known as spoiler alert).
So, here it is. The 45-year old dad must tell his teenage son (Himanshu Sharma) the reason why he has opted for a divorce at this stage of his life. Dad hints at this by mentioning the name of English cricketer Steven Davies, and then hey what the heck, son must understand that dad is gay. Take it or leave it.
Mercifully devoid of melodrama, the film does have an emotional charge and is daringly different. Conventionally in cinema, it’s the younger generation which has had to make parents come to terms with their sexual orientation. In this case, it’s vice versa.
The father-child’s relationship is well-etched, especially during their conversations and stray tender moments. However, the other characters, particularly the mother, are caricatures. And the intrusions of a TV reality star and a bizarre Bangali Baba are likely to set your teeth at edge.
Designed obviously as a comeback-to-Bollywood vehicle for Arvind Swamy, Dear Dad re-registers his companionable screen presence. His performance is shorn of artifice and glamorous trappings altogether. Himanshu Sharma is endearing enough.
To wrap, Dear Dad is neither a must-see nor must-avoid. But yes, for sure, it’s a well-intended addition to the library of coming-out-of-the-closet movies.
Categories: Is the movie worth your buck?