Out Of Theatre
21 Nov, 2014 2 hrs U
Jayasurya, Aju Varghese, Nedumudi Venu, Sandra Simon
Synopsis
The narrative is picked from the all familiar basket of single-day-multiple-characters type and could easily be dismissed as one replete with pitfalls that emerge out of bad film-making.
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  • Critic's Review
  • Times of India
Story: The film moves around three men; complete strangers reaching a city and how they get together pursuing a stroke of luck

Review: The film moves around three men; complete strangers reaching a city and how they get together pursuing a stroke of luck
Lal Bahadur Shastri leaves an after-taste, somewhat similar to the first experience of the brand-less, brightly colourful candies stacked in glass jars at way-side shops. The sweetness is sheer pleasure to feel and it leaves behind a splendid colour pattern on the tongue, which looks doubly alluring when reflected in a mirror. What get drowned in this moment of sweet pleasure are some plain, pricking realities. We might notice the partly open lid of the jar that welcomes flies and ants crawling in. We might not care for the fact that the candy is not even wrapped and even God cannot answer how old it is.

Retheesh Mithila in his debut film almost manages to make up for some obvious dearth of craft with a simple story that weaves together warmth innocence and fortune. The extent to which one could like this film may depend upon whether effusion of virtues gets suffocating or not. In case warmth and innocence played out in rich flavours on screen come across as exhausting and intolerable, this film would fail to engage. However, if there is space in the heart to accommodate flaws, jarring it may be, just for the sake of encouraging an attempt, Lal Bahadur Shastri deserves good mention.

The narrative is picked from the all familiar basket of single-day-multiple-characters type and could easily be dismissed as one replete with pitfalls that emerge out of bad film-making. An unemployed young man sets out hoping to meet a man who would ensure him a job as a driver. He meets an enterprising, flirtatious old man and another youngster who dreams of a career in cinema, in his journey. The film then swirls around a lottery ticket which one of them happens to buy.

There are instances where the characters are not even allowed to complete a dialogue in a sequence before the editor cuts to next scene to enforce meaning into the type of story being told. Emotional scenes are sketched with utter disregard for basic notions of time and place of action. A boy who arrives in a city for the first time easily finds his way back no matter where-ever he ends up and that too in most difficult circumstances. His sprint may put a seasoned marathon runner to shame for the amount of distance covered, the time he requires to do that and the energy he expends.

Retheesh still exudes promise for he tells a story that traces the faintest trace of goodness in a human being. The manner in which he accomplishes it may be crude, but he succeeds a bit, owing to exceedingly touching characters played brilliantly by Minon and Nedumudi Venu. Jayasurya and Aju Varghese display good heart in concealing the follies of the narrative with an easeful, direct approach to the story. There are moments where Retheesh elevates the film beyond the realms of drab moralizing sermons; like instances where a man helps someone whom he has met just minutes ago or a teacher advising an uneducated boy to give back what doesn't belong to him.
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