My movie of the week: I am kalam

The movie which makes children happy. But asks a question to the society about the fate of these children.

ढाबे के गंदे बर्तन साफ़ करता छोटू,

ट्रक-बस के ऑइल में सना हुआ छोटू,

कचरे के ढेर में से खाना ढूंढता छोटू,

मेडम के बच्चो को नन्हे हाथो से खिलाता छोटू,

मालिक की डाट खाता छोटू ,

बाबा के कंधे पर बेठ मेले में जाना चाहता हे छोटू,

टीचर की प्यार भरी डाट खाना चाहता हे छोटू,

छोटू को एक नाम चाहिए,

छोटू के सपने को एक पहचान चाहिए,

क्या आप देंगे ?

You must have come across with this unfortunate child during your day to day life. Washing dirty plates of hotels, selling tea-biscuits or newspapers in railway stations or working hard in factories. In dirty torn clothes hoping for little humanity and sympathy from the people around and having a common unique name “Chhotu”.

‘I am kalam’ is a movie of one such Chhotu.

With central theme revolving around a child named Kalam (Chhotu) the movie makes the children happy. But it asks a question to the society about the fate of these children.

Story starts in an arid desert of Rajasthan where a boy and his mother are travelling to other town in search of a job. Famine has devastated their village. Nobody in the house who could earn bread and butter. So the mother leaves his son to a hotel where he can work and earn some money. Director Neela Madhav Panda has presented a simple story with meticulous care and creativity. He is a talented and sympathetic person whose movies are generally considered off beat, revolves around the problems of the society.

As a routine the boy sells tea in a royal palace part of which has been converted to the hotel. It is owned by the local lord. Here he meets the prince, Ranvijay (Husain Saad) who is of his age. Despite being from totally different strata of the society, the two developed childlike, innocent and unadulterated friendship. They learn, fill the weaknesses of each other and developed very strong bond of friendship.

Talented and astute chhotu watches the interview of Dr.A.P.J Abdul Kalam on TV. He vicariously feels the adversity faced by President Kalam which inspired him a lot and dr. kalam becomes his idol, his hero. In present era where most of the youth sees icon in movie star or cricketers.Neela Madhav Panda has shown that the character of chhotu is inspired by Dr. Abdul Kalam so much so that the Chhotu calls himself ‘kalam’ is really a paradigm shift.

Dr. Kalam used to sell news papers when he was in school, this inspired a boy a lot, emulating his idol, he learns while working in a hotel, speaks English even French by coping foreigners, teaches Hindi to Ranvijay even writes poem for him. All these imply that talent is nobody’s monopoly. The movie teaches us so many inspirational quotes and incidents of dr.kalam. However, it doesn’t become didactic anywhere.

No movie can be made without a villain. Well, in this movie nature’s adversity is the prime villain. Still a small villain character is there in the movie. Lapton (Pitobash Tripathi) who works in a same hotel and teases kalam frequently. Gulshan Grover as Bhati is the only famous face in the movie. The veteran actor has played his part as expected.

In the last part Kalam is wrongly accused of stealing the clothes of Ranvijay which have originally been given to him by the latter. The irony is that while Ranvijay is reciting the poem(Written in the beginning of the article) which is written by his dear friend kalam, at that time kalam is being accused.

Kalam was deeply hurt when he was accused and ran to Delhi alone. He is so excited to meet his idol that he almost forgets about the false accusation. He was not allowed to meet Kalam Saab so he gives a letter and goes away.

The end is made very emotional which I feel you should watch and know yourself. Ranvijay is a charming and compassionate child who tries to help kalam in every way. Hoping we would become Ranjvijay for at least one Chhotu.

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