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Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic – Movie Review

June 29, 2008

The most important thing to know about Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic (A little Love, a Little Magic) is that it is a children’s film. It’s got four child characters, and like many children’s films, there is magic and fantasy. There is even a lecture about patriotism, civic sense and world peace!

It’s Amisha Patel’s character which doesn’t fit. Her role is more suited to an adult movie. That dance number of hers is likely to put many a cabaret girl to shame. I wonder what the director (Kunal Kohli) was thinking of…the dance has no class, and is crass and vulgar. Why should any director make a kiddie film with this kind of scene?

In an interview to Rediff, Kohli actually compares TPTM to Mr. India! But not only was Mr. India is a far superior film, it was a superhero film which could be enjoyed equally by adults and children. TPRM isn’t like that. Adults will not find it as entertaining as the kids. But where the kids are concerned, I think Amisha Patel’s vulgar dance number could make them uncomfortable. Kohli also denies that the movie is based on Mary Poppins and to be fair to Kohli, the story-line is different. But the theme, of a magical nanny who charms children, is like Mary Poppins. So while TPTM may not be a copy, nothing in it seems original. In fact it reminded me of so many movies (both English and Hindi) that it was too tiresome to list them all here.

The story (no spoilers)
This two and a half hour movie is about a rich guy, Ranveer Talwar (Saif Ali Khan) and a lonely one at that. And well fate throws him into the company of four children – all orphans. A feather–headed girl-friend Malaika (Amisha Patel) hangs around him – mainly to titillate audiences. She is supposed to be funny too…because she acts like a dimwit. I wasn’t comfortable with this stereotype and didn’t find it funny. I did wonder however why a rich and bright industrialist should have a stupid (steady!) girl-friend who flaunts her body at every opportunity. if she was part of a playboy’s entourage it would have been believable but Ranveer isn’t portrayed like that. He is serious, smart, a loner and something of a nerd. It would have been far more believable for him to have a girlfriend who was smart, cunning and a gold-digger. Oh but I forgot. Such a girl wouldn’t dance to the director’s sexy number. And titillating audiences is a must isn’t it! What a sad compromise to play to the gallery.

The other character is the demurely clad Geeta (Rani Mukherjee) who cycles into their life much like an angel from heaven. She is a do-gooder brought to bring light and cheer into the sad life of the characters. Completely covered up in long sleeves and long gown not even her ankle showing, she has a loving heart, a bright mind and loves children. The proverbial Hindi film heroine.

The children’s characterisation was unconvincing. They are shown swinging from extreme nastiness to loving, forgiving and cute…but as I said it’s a children’s fantasy movie so it’s alright.

There is actually a butler in this film (!) presumably for comedy. But he is straight out of an English movie! He was quoting Shakespeare and generally looked as if he had come on the set of TPTM by mistake.

Overall the mood of the film is light and cheerful and remains so till the end. The end is predictably a happy one.

The actors
Saif looked good and so did Rani and Amisha. The film didn’t really call for much acting. Saif is supposed to play a brooding loner and he sports a grim look almost throughout. Rani is supposed to be a happy bubbling sort and well she is that almost throughout the film. Amisha is the sexy dimwit who pouts once in a while…all she has to do is shake her assets and that she does that well enough.

If I have to advise someone whether to see the film or not, I would say see it with your kids if you don’t mind that one song in the pool with Amisha and Saif. In fact the movie hall was packed with families. Usually one sees young adults too…but there weren’t any here.

(Photo is from rediff.com)

Related Reading: Jaane tu…jaane Na review
Hancock review
Aamir Movie Review
De Taali Movie Review
Sarkar Raj Movie Review
Other Movie Reviews (English and Hindi movies)

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23 Comments leave one →
  1. June 29, 2008 10:53 pm

    u are spot on! you won’t watch the whole film for one hot song!

  2. June 29, 2008 11:16 pm

    so that means i should be away from TPTM :P
    i guess those inclusion of vulgur dances was basically to attract the adults :P

  3. June 29, 2008 11:26 pm

    I saw it today with my family. :P We all enjoyed Amisha’s number. :P Although it was ok, but yes, there was no need of it. Also, the movie could have been a bit better. I even didn’t liked the Gizmo God and the way he worked. But, yes, it was not boring atleast.

  4. June 30, 2008 12:35 am

    //But the theme, of a magical nanny who charms children//

    It sounds like Nanny Mcphee. Have u seen that movie?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanny_McPhee

    I agree with Arvind. Some directors put in an hot number just to draw adults. Like the Mallika song in the movie Guru..there was absolutely no need for it.

    //He was quoting Shakespeare and generally looked as if he had come on the set of TPTM by mistake.// Lol :D :D

  5. Manoj permalink
    June 30, 2008 1:46 am

    Well, i didn’t see this movie yet. I did not expect this movie would be fantastic either. I guess, for a movie to be a hit, people have to come watch it again and again. This does no happen with chidren films. The only families that go and watch them buy a DVD as a collection if they really liked it, but never come to the theater again. May be that’s the reason they tend to add “masala” numbers in the movies. But atleast, on the brightr side, it is good that Bollywood is churning out movies for kids (and adults alike), like Taare.. and now TPTM.

    By the way, I added you in my blogroll. I liked the cross section and most of all, the wide range of the topics you discussed here.

  6. June 30, 2008 7:19 am

    Myrani, well, most of us wouldn’t but I guess some people will! :)

    Arvind, that item number doesn’t have class. I’ve seen some fantastic item numbers (Rekha’s act in Bunty Bably or Aish’s number is Dhoom, or even Raakhi Sawant’s in some recent (bad!) movie. But yeah, Amisha’s number would be entertaining :)

    Amit, yeah, it wasn’t boring as such but for me that was because I like Saif and Rani. Otherwise I would have found it boring.

    Reema, I haven’t seen Nanny Mcphee but yeah there seem to be similarities. In fact this movie has similarities with many movies and now this is one more! And about that Malaika number, well I liked that better than Amisha’s in TPTM.

    Manoj, I had higher expectations of the movie because I like both Saif and Rani. And yes that’s true, children’s films have a limited market as teens and young adults generally keep away! I think this movie is not worth seeing in a theatre in any case. And thanks for adding me to your blogroll!

  7. Sakhi permalink
    June 30, 2008 11:23 am

    Sorry nita, have not read the review nor the comments! :)

    Want to show this movie to my kid (actually she is eargerly waiting and i dont hvae choice but to show her) and didn’t want to spoil my suspense about the quality of the movie… ! shall comment once i see the movie! :)

    Sakhi, you can always read my reviews safely. I never reveal the suspense or even the story. The “story” that I reveal is about first five minutes of the movie! :) – Nita

  8. June 30, 2008 11:58 am

    hmm…should see if the DVD is available :)

  9. June 30, 2008 1:26 pm

    thanks, Nita, sounds like a good movie for me :) will try to watch it as soon as I get DVD and let you know!

  10. June 30, 2008 1:54 pm

    Even I was wondering why that item song was included in a children’s movie. cant bollywood movies now survive without item songs????

  11. June 30, 2008 1:56 pm

    Sad to see filmmakers stereotyping characters like this… haven’t seen the movie yet, and with this review in mind, i just may not… :)
    Kiddie movie with an item number! Ailaa! New lows of an already bad film industry!

  12. June 30, 2008 2:04 pm

    I didn’t like the movie, though I like Saif. I liked Kunal’s earlier work though. I too plan to blog about the movie.

  13. June 30, 2008 5:15 pm

    “That dance number of hers is likely to put many a cabaret girl to shame. Why should any director make a kiddie film with this kind of scene?” This same thought occured to me when I saw that number. I hadn’t seen any promos (the drawback of not watching TV :P) and I went to see it without realising this was made for children. Yes, TPTM can be enjoying for children (if Amisha’s character can be ignored) coz all the kids were really having fun time at the theater. I haven’t seen Mary Poppins, but while watching I couldn’t stop feeling that this had a hollywoodish taste to it.

  14. wishtobeanon permalink
    June 30, 2008 6:52 pm

    Maybe we should have ratings like the US does – G, PG, PG13, R etc. I don’t know what category this movie would end up in as I haven’t seen it and I don’t think I will.

  15. June 30, 2008 7:40 pm

    Hai Nita,

    Iam Ken..new to blogging…came to ur page thru Nikhil’s blog..There are 3 things which i liked…ur name, ur page and tht pic of urs…:) btw..plz visit my blog too and do drop in ur comments…its a request from a struggling author…hehehe…thnks

  16. June 30, 2008 9:32 pm

    Sakhi, thanks, have written a note to you in the comment itself.

    Xylene, commercial bollywood cinema can’t! At least they could have had a good item number, not the sleazy one they had here!

    Vishesh, Axinia, DVD is the best choice for this movie.

    Nikhil, this blatant attempt to lure adult viewers may just work! And the stereotyping, I hate it!

    Poonam, I guess the movie is not that good. Nothing original in it at all.

    wishtobeanon, we have ratings here but mostly just two either A for adults or PG (general viewing. This movie cannot be A at all, as there is no sex and no violence and the theme also is a children’s theme.

    CrazySam, yes it wasn’t fair on the director’s part to fool viewers this way. They should have straightaway said that it’s a children’s film. Those who enjoy children’s movies would have gone.

    Ken, thanks! :) yeah sure, will visit your blog.

  17. July 1, 2008 2:10 pm

    Hey, I posted my review here:

    http://alchemistpoonam.wordpress.com/2008/07/01/movie-review-thoda-pyaar-thoda-magic/

    Movie is Indianised Mary Poppins. :)

    Poonam, your review gives away the story and I have to mention it here! – Nita.

  18. Raj Sharma permalink
    July 2, 2008 6:52 pm

    The lazy lamhe song was not all about Amisha and showed her swinging only for the first 2 min of the song–the rest of the song showed the children and Rani making the party miserable. There is no hindi movie today without some exposure or love talk. Cmon, be fair –Thoda pyaar…..is an excellent movie with very good music and entertainment for the full family. The kids perform well and saif and rani are at their best. It is easy to complain but let us also be appreciative of something good

  19. clareevans permalink
    July 5, 2008 7:51 pm

    I was shocked when I saw Amisha’s ‘dance’, it was absolutely disgusting to show that in what is supposedly a family movie and a couple of mothers in the theatre seemed to think so too.

  20. July 6, 2008 10:09 pm

    WELL,I DON`T KNOW WHY PEOPLE R TALKING ABT AMISHA`S VULGAR NUMBER?THEY SHOULD ACTUALY UNDERSTAND THE MESSAGE WHICH IS HIDDEN IN THE MOVIE,SPECIALY IN SCENE WHERE RANI TALKS ABT PLUS &MINUS POINTS,IT IS A NICE MOVIE,EVERY KID SHOULD SEE THIS MOVIE & INFORMATIVE TOO-RACHNA.

  21. July 6, 2008 10:18 pm

    CHILDREN WILL LEARN SO MANY THINGS FROM THE MOVIE LIKE HOW TO HELP OTHER,S AND NOT TO MISBEHAVE WITH OTHER,S OTHERWISE GOD WILL PUNISH THEM

  22. kamaxi permalink
    July 8, 2008 6:14 pm

    Hey,
    In tamil too,i guess, we have dis film.Hero is Aravind swamy and heroine is Revathy but the film was a flop one.

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