– Yaser Khan
Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Sonali Kulkarni, Aamir Bashir, Naveen Kasturia, Kabir Sajid, Beena Banerjee, Virti Vaghani
Direction: Sudip Bandyopadhyay
Naseeruddin Shah rarely stars in an out an out family drama and with Sudip Bandopadhyay’s ‘Hope Aur Hum’, he returns to the silver screen after a break and is paired with acclaimed actors Sonali Kulkarni, Naveen Kasturia and Aamir Bashir among others.
Story: The story is of the Shrivastav family where we have the typical brother and sister pair Tanu (played by Virti Vaghani) and Anu (played by Kabir Sajid) who love fighting with each other, their grand father Nagesh (played by Naseeruddin Shah) is obsessed with his antique copy machine which once gave his all the luxury that he can afford today. He gets criticized for the bad copies that his vintage machine makes but has a deep emotional connection with it and is almost like a friend to him. The machine occupies an entire room’s space and this angers his daughter-in-law Aditi (played by Sonali Kulkarni) who is determined to be rid of it and hands her husband Neeraj (played by Aamir Bashir) the task of convincing his father to give it up.
Meanwhile, Nagesh’s youngest son Nitin (played by Naveen Kasturia) returns from Dubai to surprise his father with a xerox machine of latest technology and it doesn’t go too well with his father. Nitin realizes he’s lost his phone at the airport, and his constant search reaches him to the mystery woman who has his phone. The youngest member of the family, Anu who loves life and cricket suddenly gets saddened by an incident that takes place at his Nani’s (played by Beena Banerjee) place and he’s fighting his inner demons, which threaten to turn his life upside down. Will the Shrivastavs lose their faith in the most dearest things to them? Will they overcome their individual struggles and become one? That’s what we’re set to find out!
Naseeruddin Shah is brilliant as always. As an old man, he’s vulnerable and emotional like any man aged as him would be who cherish the things dearest to them and crib about the updating world. He keeps you gripped with his emotions, his sadness and love towards his grandson, everything makes his character adorable.
Kabir Sajid is such a talented kid. To match the level of Naseeruddin Shah in a film is almost impossible. But this little champ gives you so many shades in one character. In the first half, he’s joyful and his cricket commentary for real life situations is so comical. He connects with the audience with emotional scenes too in the second half.
Naveen Kasturia is playing a millennial who is not keen on marriage and is all about making money. He falls in love with a mysterious girl who has his lost phone and hasn’t ever met her. He has less screen time but does full justice.
Sonali Kulkarni has a relatable character but almost nothing to do apart from making sure everyone around her isn’t having a tough time.
Aamir Bashir and Virti Vaghani do a decent job.
Music and Dialogues: Rupert Fernandes has given the background score for the film and he mesmerizes with just a guitar. There are two songs on the film, one named ‘Acche Bacche Rote Nahin’ sung by Sonu Nigam and the other is ‘Aye Zindagi’ by Shaan. More than the melody, the lyrics are quite enjoyable, it’s quirky. The dialogues are quite relatable, especially the wise words of advice mouthed by Naseeruddin Shah for his grandson, played by Kabir Sajid.
Direction: Sudip Bandopadhyay makes his feature film debut after a successful ad film making career and he proves he’s here to stay. He has an amazing star cast to back his beautiful idea of a family which has its individual struggles and by the end of the day come to the dinner table to become one. The bottom line to their stories is the believe in Destiny and the hope that one day you’ll reach there. The first half of the film is truly enjoyable, we get to explore what each character is going through and the characters of Naseeruddin Shah and Kabir Sajid, give you all types of emotions. After them it’s Naveen Kasturia’s unusual love story that catches your attention but it’s short spanned. Also why Sonali Kulkarni’s character who comes from a royal family is married to a middle class household is questionable. It’s the first half of the second half when their emotional turmoil hits the family where it gets a little slow and monotonous, especially the obsession of the vintage copy machine. It’s the climax sequence that brings the film back to the track and leaves a smile on your face. The message is loud and clear, let go of things for others and value the people around you, rather than those things. The essence of the movie is the feel good factor you have around your family. The cinematography by Ravi K. Chandran especially for the palace and it’s surrounding areas is done beautifully, the aerial shots and the close ups, all compliment the film very well.
Cinespeaks Verdict: ‘Hope Aur Hum’ serves you comedy, romance, heartbreak, loss, and nostalgia and the emotions, all in one platter that shall inspire you to rise above your individual problems and look at the bigger picture with positivity. This is complete family film, which should be watched with the entire family in a theatre. Some small budget films tend to leave an unimaginable mark in your heart and mind, this is one of them. Cinespeaks gives ‘Hope Aur Hum’ 3 out of 5 stars.