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If wishes were horses…

 
 

Aao Wish Karein

Rating: 1

November 13, 2009

Cast: Aftab Shivdasani, Aamna Sharif, Johnny Lever

Direction: Glen Barretto

About time filmmakers stopped second-guessing kids by making films they think children would like, instead of taking the trouble to find out what they indeed want to watch.

Aao Wish Karein, inspired from the Tom Hanks-starrer Big, is the kind of film its misguided makers seem convinced kids will enjoy. Good luck with that, considering it’s a painfully predictable, sickeningly romantic, unfunny film that talks down to kids as if they’re stupid little creatures who don’t deserve anything smarter.

Anguished on discovering he’s adopted, hurt by his father’s indifference, and heartbroken that he can’t hook up with the woman of his dreams, 12-year-old Mickey wishes that he were older. Lo and behold, the next morning he wakes up to find his dream has come true.

Mickey (now played by Aftab Shivdasani) runs away from home, gets a job inventing children’s computer games, and woos local ballet teacher Mithika (played by Aamna Sharif) who gradually reciprocates his feelings, even though he’s basically a bumbling fool. By concentrating mostly on the love story between Mithika and Mickey, the film’s makers pass up the opportunity to treat this as a light-hearted comedy, and deliver the kind of innocent gags this plot was ripe for.

When they do give you comedy, it’s of the kind that doesn’t belong in a children’s film. Like the scene in which Mickey encounters a prostitute who he invites home unsuspectingly, then dodges her advances when she’s there. Or then you get an over-the-top Tiku Talsania who screams and shouts and bellows maniacally as Mickey’s mad-hatter boss. And Johnny Lever in an embarrassing costume and matching wig as Hitchcock, the modern-day fairy godmother who grants Mickey his wish.

The film comes down like a house of cards because it doesn’t get its basic principles right. It’s a kid’s film with barely any fun. Alternating between sappy romance and sentimental fluff, the film offers nothing in terms of unbridled excitement.

Much of the blame for the film’s failure rests with its principal star Aftab Shivdasani who plays Mickey as a crackpot of sorts instead of investing in him an irresistible child-like innocence. His co-star Aamna Sharif forever looks like she’s walked out of the fashion pages of a women’s magazine, but doesn’t contribute much in the acting department.

Far from achieving the fairytale feel it was going for, Aao Wish Karein is a colossally boring film that packs clunky dialogue, a predictable narrative and a muddled message in the end. Barring a few superb songs, this film is a miscalculation on all counts.

I’m going with one out of five for director Glen Barretto’s Aao Wish Karein; to be honest, I’ve seen fifth standard students put up school-plays more entertaining than this!

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

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