Out Of Theatre

Sniff

Out Of Theatre
25 Aug, 2017 1 hr 29 mins U
Sushmita Mukherjee, Khushmeet Gill, Surekha Sikri, Manmeet Singh
Synopsis
The film has the potential to fly, but strangely decides to walk.
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  • Critic's Review
  • Times of India
Story: Sunny Gill has a congenital nose defect that robs him of his sense of smell. A freak accident in a chemistry lab opens up his nose (and his world).

Review: The nose truly is the underdog of the human head, at least when it comes to Bollywood. Because the awkward little organ cannot be sexualized like its prettier counterparts (the lips, the eyes or the hair) it is often deemed unworthy of attention. Until movies like Sniff!!! decide to turn the spotlight on it with a fragrant idea.

Here, Sunny Gill (Kushmeet) is born without a sense of smell, a great source of agony for his father (Manmeet Singh) and grandma (Surekha Sikri). When Sunny casually wanders into an old chemistry lab and causes a couple of goblets to break, the combined solution forms a gas that unblocks his nose and heightens his sense of smell.

Sunny begins sniffing out his classmates’ tiffins, his neighbours’ sweets and his teachers’ stolen purses — a see-through set-up for the big subplot, a car-robbery scandal, that Sunny eventually drives his nose into.

Amole Gupte must be applauded for consistently making movies about kids and their lives. However, it is also pertinent to point out that humour for kids doesn’t have to be kiddish. Sniff!!! strikes out on this front. The child-actors baby-talk amongst themselves; the lines are either too patronizing or suddenly too mature (an eight-year-old says, “Can you smell fear, pain and sadness?”). Gupte’s other trick to get laughs is borderline offensive. Cultural stereotypes (a bossy Bengali woman who slaps her husband around, an opportunistic Gujarati guy, everyone’s accented Hindi) just aren’t funny anymore.

Sniff!!! is at its best when Kushmeet is on his own, performing with sincerity. The core idea is also very promising. Sunny’s superpower should have done more, but deciding to utilize it in a measly car-robbery case is underwhelming. The first half spends too much time setting up Sunny’s life; the second half gives him his sense of smell but loses its own sense of direction.

With a stronger sub-plot, this would have been a sweet, wholesome affair. The film has the ability to fly, but strangely decides to walk.
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