Cast: Boman Irani, Minissha Lamba, Sammir Dattani, Ravi Kishan, Ila Arun, Sonali Kulkarni
Director: Shyam Benegal
Well Done, Abba – Wah Wah!
Well done Abba takes us to this quaint little town of Chikatpally in Hyderabad and into the life of Arman Ali (Boman Irani). He is a sincere and hardworking man who leaves his daughter Muskaan (Minissha Lamba) under the care of his twin brother Rehman (Boman Irani)and his wife Salma (Ila Arun), so he can make good income working as a driver in Mumbai.
The movie starts with Arman Ali's belated comeback to work after one of his trips to hometown. His explanation for why he came late to his boss makes up for this wonderful film.
Apparently, Arman's return to Chikatpally makes him a firsthand witness to the water scarcity in his town. He decides to makes things better for his loved ones by digging a well on his little piece of land before he gets his Mumbai groove back. Well, when he goes about this, he becomes a firsthand witness to the bad bureaucracy that sanctions free wells to those below poverty line.
As the film progresses we realize Arman Ali's life is not at all dry as the parched Chikatpally land. Infact, the soul of his life is Muskan who with her wit and razor sharp tongue keeps things crisp. Then there's Arman Ali's twin brother Rehman Ali. He and his wife never fail to keep the adventure alive in his life with their hilarious looting antics. Of course, when you have a daughter then you deal with 'guy' problems. So Arman has to see to it that Muskan doesn't go wayward with her soft corner for Aarif, a mechanic.
When greasing palms and several rounds to the Officials never gets Arman Ali his well, he is frustrated. But his daughter comes up with an ingenious plan to get their well that would also serve a well deserved spanking to the sleepy bureaucracy. Supporting them in their issue is besotted Aarif who helps with legal trivia as he happened to be one of those typists who sit outside the court.
Their endeavor takes them places, even to the Minister's house. They get their share of media attention too. The whole swell comes to a superb high when the trio finds the ultimate solution in Gandhian arm-twisting by going on hunger strike. All ends 'well' with Muskan's marriage to Aarif as the icing on the cake.
The conversion of a simple sweet story into a beautiful and inspiring film.
Inspite the dreary landscape and zero glamour factors, the freshness of the film is so appealing that our eyes are glued on to the screen.
Boman Irani's portrayal of the twins is endearing. Be it the honest and plain Arman or the naughty and helplessly crooked Rehman. He pulls both of them with ease!
The father-daughter chemistry between Minissha and Boman is irresistible. The way Boman tries to protect his daughter from slipping away but at the same time not to encroach her 'space' gives out a subtle message.
The detailing of the characters, for example, the quirky cello-taped spectacles of Ila Arun provide for the earthy authenticity of the film.
The no-nonsense kind of comedy is delectable.
At times, the film drags.
The horny scenes between Sonali Kulkarni and Ravi Kishan are gross. Eiew!
The music could've been better. Just the track of Muskan's sangeet sung by Ila Arun is peppy.
The scenes featuring the twin brothers aren't polished. The effects aren't convincing enough.
Yes or no?
The film doesn't fail to entertain you. Shyam Benegal has made a compelling and honest film that definitely deserves a see. You might want to re-think about taking your kids along though…
Reporter and Author: Susan Jose