Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic – Movie Review
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.
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.