Posted On Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 09:17:02 AM
The set-up lasts all of two lines and is superbly executed. A self-assessment VO informs us that a boy has prepared with conviction for his IIT entrance exams even as he opens his laptop to check his results. He’s failed.
His confidence destroyed, his parents far away in another continent, his mind staggers before settling on a decision to go meet his grandfather, whom he hasn’t seen in a decade, in Bhagalpur. It takes under a minute of screen time to get this point.
However from here on till the end of the film, Yeh Khula Aasman (YKA) nosedives into preachy territory that borders on boring and never quite recovers.
YKA has to be viewed as a film for kids if suitable merit is to be accorded. As a comment on how children of urban upbringing and country roots, whose parents who’re too busy caught maneuvering their lives — have much joy and wisdom to exchange in a relationship with their grandparents, YKA is well intentioned and possibly even enlightening to some.
But the director plays it too safe in her approach to get the point across. She uses a kite-flying competition as a thinly veiled metaphor, characters talking to themselves and voiceovers for explanations, and black and white dramatis personae (that the villain is a Muslim, I will put down to an unfortunate coincidence); leaving, in the end, little to the imagination.
The main issue here is that the story is simply told and one wishes it would’ve involved more. Songs are overused as tools for moralising in sentimental scenes. And there are far too many songs.
All lip sync too. This is old-school filmmaking and perhaps the purpose would’ve been served better with the message hitting hard in silences and drama of which there is simply not enough.
Still, if you or your kids need a reminder of what a relationship with your grandparents can aspire to be, this film can serve as a starting point.