When you decide to adapt the Iranian film by renowned director Majid Majidi, CHILDREN OF HEAVEN , which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, you’re shouldering a big responsibility. People are bound to compare the two films. It’s inevitable, isn’t it? For those who’ve watched the Iranian film, you’ll realize that BUMM BUMM BOLE is not a patch on that film. And those who haven’t watched the Iranian film and would view BUMM BUMM BOLE as an isolated case, BUMM BUMM BOLE still disappoints. So what ails this film? There’s no denying that Priyadarshan is one of the finest storytellers around, but if you’ve watched some of his recent films, you may’ve realized that they have been stretched beyond a point. That’s one of the prime reasons why BUMM BUMM BOLE suffers. Reason II: The finale of the film should be the best part of the enterprise, since the viewer carries home the end of the film, besides several wonderful moments, while making an exit from the auditorium. In this case, the finale is a complete letdown. What comes across is on-the-face, blatant promotion of a shoe brand and also an energy drink, which actually robs the film of its innocence. A film that should’ve been pure and considered a piece of art falls prey to commercial diktats. Why Priyan? Every once in a while Priyan makes a departure from the kind of films he’s known for and attempts a film that’s real and unadulterated and for that, the avid storyteller deserves a salute. But is it necessary to make a 2-hour film, when the story could’ve been Indianized in approx. 1.30 hours? What elevates the film to a watchable level at times are the two kids – Darsheel Safary and Ziyah Vastani – who are simply adorable, besides a few individualistic sequences. That’s about it! Khogiram [Atul Kulkarni], his wife [Rituparna Sengupta] and their kids Pinu [Darsheel Safary] and Rimzim [Ziya Vastani] belong to a terrorist-dominated region. Khogiram and Ritu have a hand-to-mouth income and can barely manage things. The kids are affected by this as well. They go to a respectable school as it is Khogiram’s ambition to give them the educational opportunities he missed. But the financial crunch makes it difficult for kids to match the standards of the school. They don’t have enough money for uniform or shoes. Things worsen when Pinu misplaces Rimzim’s only pair of shoes. Rimzim can’t go to school without her shoes. They work out a scheme where both of them will share the same shoes. Pinu comes to know of the Interschool Marathon where one of the prizes is a pair of shoes. Pinu plans to run for it and win the shoes for Rimzim. Will Pinu be able to win the shoes for his kid sister and avert his father’s anger? BUMM BUMM BOLE has a simple, uncomplicated story and that’s its USP. But what could’ve been narrated in a concise format is stretched so much that it tests the patience of the viewer. Besides several unwanted sequences, especially towards the second hour, the pacing of the film is painfully slow, which only adds to the woes. The film falters mainly towards the finale, when Darsheel takes part in a marathon, but the entire sequence doesn’t make you euphoric. Ideally, the race should’ve been an exhilarating experience, which it is not. Also, you can spot Darsheel wearing orthodontic braces; it’s there in some scenes, it’s missing in some scenes. Even otherwise, the braces don’t go with his character. There’s no denying that Priyadarshan has shot the film well and the lush green locales make a sweeping impact. Also, he has executed a few sequences with panache, but BUMM BUMM BOLE doesn’t come across as a film that would be lapped up by either kids or adults. Cinematography is top notch. Musically, the song on the kids is eye-catching. Darsheel proves that he’s no fluke. Of course, you can’t compare Darsheel in BUMM BUMM BOLE with Darsheel in TAARE ZAMEEN PAR, since both were different movies, but what you do notice is that the kid knows the grammar of acting right. Ziyah is a scene-stealer and looks like a doll. In fact, you can’t take your eyes off her, every time she appears on screen because of the innocence she radiates. Atul Kulkarni is in top form, while Rituparna doesn’t get much scope.
On the whole, BUMM BUMM BOLE starts off well, but loses focus as it develops. Nothing to rave or rant about!