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Fatherhood Tears You Up And Melts You Down

Fatherhood(Netflix)

Starring: Kevin Hart, Alfre Woodard, Frankie R. Faison, Lil Rel Howery, DeWanda Wise, Anthony Carrigan, Melody Hurd, and Paul Reiser

Directed by:  Paul Weitz

Rating: *** ½

If you  can get over the  blatant colour blindness  of this post-gestation dramedy—the father  in the original was a White man—and if you can  accept the  very engaging Kevin Hart as  the sudden-widower left with the  responsibility  of looking after his baby girl, you are in  for a treat.

Fatherhood, which seems inspired by Karan Johar’s Kuch Kuch Hota Hai(go ahead, laugh) will make you  sob and  giggle, sometimes at  the same  time, as Hart playing  Matthew Logelin  struggles with  playing Daddy and Mommy to his  little motherless baby.Remember Shah  Rukh Khan in KKHH?

What  could have been a seriously soppy over-sweetened sentimental yawn-inducing yarn sparkles and  sussurates  with an inner vigour and  and extraneous splendor. The  film is beautifully shot  .Even the  baby’s poo looks pretty(just kidding).  There is  a sense  of purpose behind the  peachy prettiness. How to  cope with tragedy of  suddenly losing your wife(Deborah Ayorinde, doing Rani Mukherjee  from  KKHH) and how to cope with single parenthood specially when the parent  doesn’t have breasts?

(To this  Hart  heartfelt response, “Sometimes they do”)

Some  American critics(gosh, these  yanks are are so hard to please!) have complained  about the lack of dramatic conflict  in the plot. Wrong wrong! Wrong,my friends. It’s not the drama that is missing. It is  the  dramatic externalization of  a  potentially  hysterical situation  that  director Paul Weitz(a  veteran, if ever there was  one)  avoids . He keeps the simmering tension between Hart and his mother-in-law Marion(Alfre Woodard) on a slow-burn. Whenever the tension-filled  question—how can  Matthew bring up his daughter all by himself?—raises it head,  Kevin Hart quashes  it with a humorous quip .Or  otherwise the script lets  the baby play referee. One look at her and  her protectors are putty.

It’s like watching a film that is determined at  any cost to avoid unpleasantness which is  not  such a  bad thing in  today’s  desperate  times. Then there is Kevin Hart’s chemistry with  the little girl Melody Hurd  who plays his daughter Maddy. They look  so much like a father and  daughter together that I felt  any feminine intrusion into Matthew’s  life to be a  clear case  of trespassing.

Anyway, love does  happen again. There is an  unnecessary drama  over  Swan(DeWanda Wise)  entering as widower-daddy’s new love interest.Kajol, she is  not.I don’t think she aspires  to be.  The actors are all  so  agreeable it is like watching a  film that  you have  gifted yourself for  a special occasion.

Fatherhood is a must-watch  for  those  nervous about having a child and a refresher course for those who have been there  done  it all. Dirty diapers will never be  the same again.

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