2 Average

by Bhargav Saikia

Every Yash Raj film comes tagged with colossal expectations and their first production of 2007, Ta Ra Rum Pum, was no different. A stellar cast, an able director and a big banner, the film had it all as a back up to strike big. But does the film deliver what it promises? We discuss that next.

The Plot -
New York based racing car champion Avi (Saif Ali Khan) suffers an accident during one of his races and due to injuries he is forced to keep out of the racing tracks for a year. But when he returns to racing a year later, he goes through emotional turmoil due to flashbacks of how he had met with the accident during his last race. He loses his speed and is ultimately fired from his team. Consequently, his family is forced to leave their posh apartment in Manhattan and move to a poor locality at Queens. The rest of the story tells us about the difficulties that his family face and how he manages to overcome his emotions and emerge as a winner once more.

Screenplay -
To begin with, Ta Ra Rum Pum falters as a film which is primarily due to its cliché ridden script. The screenplay by Habib Faisal is very predictable and uses numerous tried and tested methods to breathe emotions into the film. The film evidently borrows from Hollywood films like Cinderella Man and Life is Beautiful. Nothing about the screenplay seems right as it has nothing new and novel to offer. Sequences like Avi's taxi driver friends functioning as the pit crew and Avi driving his taxi ahead of the speed limit to JFK Airport are very much laughable. Also, the cute factor introduced in the film (with the two kids) does not work.

Cinematography -
Camera work and locations are very good. New York has been captured well and gels very well with the plot of the film. Sound is of good quality and also background music is quite effective although not very impressive. Action sequences are excellent. Infact apart from the performances, the racing sequences are the only worthwhile part of the film. Art direction by Sharmistha Roy, Christina Barth and Linda Jean Marlowe is good and supports the mood of the film very well.

Music -
Music by Vishal Shekhar is mediocre. None of the tracks are of repeat value. Hey Shona is the only track that stands out, but again it offers nothing new.

Performances -
The saving grace of the film are the performances by the lead actors. Saif is very likeable and proves yet again that he is very dependable when it comes to acting. Rani emotes well but she is getting repetitive with the kind of roles she is portraying. Chemistry between Rani and Saif is excellent as usual. Javed Jaffrey and Victor Banerjee are convincing. The two child actors do their parts well and bring in the 'cute factor' that the director wanted for the film.

Direction -
Director, Siddharth Anand, made an impressive debut with Salaam Namaste but he falters with his current outing due to a poor script. He has handled few scenes very well like the emotional outburst between Rani and Saif when Rani reveals the truth to their children and manages to get good performances from his actors. Only if he had concentrated on the script more, he would have gone one level higher from his debut.

Overall, Ta Ra Rum Pum is very mediocre. The film may find patronage mainly due to the family audiences but the prospect of a long run at the box office seems bleak. Watch TRRP only for the seasoned performances and make sure to leave high expectations behind.

1. Overall Film - 2 / 5
2. Direction - 2.5 / 5
3. Performances - 4 / 5
4. Cinematography - 4 / 5
5. Editing - 3.5 / 5
6. Music - 2.5 / 5