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Review : 'Speedy Singh' - A cliche-loaded NRI tale

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Review : 'Speedy Singh' - A cliche-loaded NRI tale

Film: " Speedy Singh";

Starring: Vinay Virmani, Camilla Belle, Anupam Kher,Noureen deWulf,Russell Peter, Rob Lowe;

Directed by: Robert Liberman;

Rating: Rating: **

A star is almost born. Debutant Vinay Virmani has a natural charm and an easygoing bonhomie to his personality that goes a long way in furnishing speed to " Speedy Singh". Regrettably there are too many potholes and roadblocks in the narration leading to a kind of plot that doffs its heart at all the films on the spirit of sportsmanship and the parental opposition that it faces.

Though this is a story applicable to numerous second and third-generation NRIs in Britain, US and Canada the story is littered with cliches and stereotyped characters ....You know the loud boisterous Punjabi joint-family whose joints are so creaky you can hear the Bhangra beats groaning out all the way from Bollywood to Birmingham. Young Virmani tries to bring in a certain subtlety and lightness to his cliche-burdened role. But the film doesn't really hold together.

Bend It Like Anupam? Remember Anupam as the Sardar-father of the girl who would sneak off to play football when he wasn't looking in Gurinder Chadha's "Bend It Like Beckham"? What's the difference between the Sardar Anupam played in that film. And the one he plays in "Speedy Singh"?

Go, figure. And while you're at it do find out what Akshay Kumar is doing being associated with a film that seems like a not-so-distant of Akshay's Patiala House. In that film Akshay's father disapproved of sonny-boy playing cricket in England. In " Speedy Singh" (no, that's not a grammatical aberration) debutant Vinay Virmani's father (Anupam Kher) frowns at his son's ice-hockey ambitions.

The ice-hockey tournaments are filmed with more warmth and affection than the relationship between young Virmani and his pretty girlfriend (Camilla Belle). The two behave more like squabbling siblings than lovers through most of the film. Then you can't blame them. They're catering to a vegetarian Punjabi NRI audience.

" Speedy Singh" is strictly meant to be Babloo's Day Out with his entire joint family. The Punjabi household is swamped with stereotypical colours flavours rhythms and characters. The clamour of Singhs gets unbearably deafening as the plot creaks forward in an all-too-familiar language. And we aren't about the angrezi splattered with Punjabi.

Vinay Virmani's screenplay (yes, the boy has written the film) brings into play every cliche, including, the match at the grand finale where the boy's father finally realizes his son's worth.

Ho-hum. Watch it for the debutant hero. As for the rest of the cast, stand-up comedian Russell Peters has been quoted as opining that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan can't act.

Has he looked at himself in this film?

By Subhash K. Jha


Tags: Vinay Virmani, Speedy Singh, Sportsmanship, Sardar Anupam
Posted On : 24th September, 2011
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