Sat, 25 Oct 2008 01:07:29 GMT

Roadside Romeo: Bone Voyage!

The alliance between Yash Raj Films and Walt Disney Pictures, has produced an animation film ‘Roadside Romeo’, directed by Jugal Hansraj. Like the Hollywood animation biggies, this one also has stars like Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor dubbing the voices of the 'toon characters.

Roadside Romeo: Bone Voyage!

Review  by Deepa Gahlot

There's good news and bad—it has the best animation seen in Indian cinema so far (pat on the back for Tata Elxsi/VCL); if the plot had been as good, the film would have been world class.

Unfortunately, Hansraj gives all that imagination and back-breaking labour that animation of this standard sucks in, to a no-brainer story.  With its tapori lines and many tributes to Yashraj (and Karan Johar) films, including the famous train chase ending of ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’ and a ‘Dhoom’ poster prominently on the wall; its cleverness might appeal to adults, but will go over the heads of kids; the childishness in creating the characters (they are Bollywood stock-in-trade types, just in animated form) might bore grown-ups after a while.

Maybe, it will provide a teen audience with the required number of giggles, and eventually find an audience on the same wavelength.

A pampered pooch Romeo (voiced by Saif Ali Khan) finds himself on the street after being abandoned by his owners. 

He befriends a rough bunch of street dogs, by giving them makeovers, and they all set up a salon for dogs.

This brings the local don Charlie Anna's chief chamcha (a spoon hanging from his neck), the mangy Bihari cur Chhenu (Sanjay Mishra) to demand hafta, which makes Romeo and gang fall foul of Charlie (Jaaved Jaaferi).  What complicates things for Romeo, is that he falls in love with a club dancer Laila (Kareena Kapoor), whom Charlie wants to woo as well.

Romeo can't fight Charlie and his Angels (three sleek martial arts expert female dogs), so promises to get him a date with Laila, and when she finds out, she is understandably angry.  The common enemy of the entire dog clan is the municipal van that rounds up strays.

The cutest character of the lot is a cat (Tanaaz Irani) that wants to be a dog, and a tiny mouse, who pops up cheekily, among the menagerie. The music, however, is a letdown.

The best animation films (‘The Lion King’, ‘Finding Nemo’, ‘The Incredibles’, ‘Shrek’, ‘Cars’, ‘Ratatouille’ to name a few) are those that work across the board and have endearing characters that go on to become cult favourites;  ‘Roadside Romeo’ seems like a waste of effort, but still, it is a giant leap ahead for Indian animation.

Source: India Syndicate

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