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Ab Dilli Dur Nahin, An Underdog’s Inspirational Story



Ab Dilli Dur Nahin

Rating: ***

Imran Zahid plays Abhay Shukla, an aspiring  perspiring  wannabe civil servant from Bihar slogging to fulfil his parents’  dream  in  Delhi.It is  a  moving performance,especially towards the end when  during his  conversation with Mahesh Bhatt(who for reasons  best known to the writers, plays a fictional mentor to the hero named Devesh Kapoor), Imran Zahid lets all  the  unexpressed  acrimony  hurt and struggle of  his character come out in a spill of tears and trauma.

Sadly this  is more of a  romance  less of a struggler’s  story. The  screenwriters have elected to meander across adventures  of a naïve Bihari boy in  the  big bad city and his  romantic  liaison with his landlord’s daughter,  rather than focus on how the  aspirant got to his goal,how he finally cracked the examination,what is the secret  formula for the underdog’s triumph…these are questions  that this well-meaning  film needed to ask.

How one  wishes the film had a more tightly controlled narrative landscape and better  actors.The rawness  and unexposed  profile  of the actors lends  a  freshness and authenticity to  the  proceedings  even as  the cast’s amateurishness comes in the way of the  narrative’s smooth progression.

Imran Zahid’s  sincere  attempt to  convey his character Abhay Shukla’s  struggles  underscores the  endeavour.His romantic co-star Shruti Sodhi tends  to  stick out  in a milieu that  favours  a naturalness  over artificiality. The romantic songs  and  romantic scenes are out of place .

Ab Dilli Dur Nahin(the title harks back to the  1957 classic  produced  by Raj Kapoor)  is a credible  attempt to tell a  common man’s  story with  sincerity. One  hopes the  protagonist  was able to create  a  more focused atmosphere  for his studies than the makers of this  film are able to in telling the  protagonist’s story.

Nonetheless commendable  for  bringing  out the struggles  of  a hero who doesn’t save the world. He  saves his own soul, finally.

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