Hindi cinema is going through a major metamorphosis. Innovative ideas and fresh stories are being developed and executed by Gen X storytellers. Bheja Fry director Sagar Ballary also tries to attempt something different from what he attempted in his maiden attempt. The humungous expectations from Ballary must've put tremendous pressure and responsibility on his shoulders, for sure. But before I begin to analyze Kaccha Limboo, let me clear the misconception about the genre of this one. It's not a comedy, not remotely similar to Bheja Fry, as some people would like to believe.
I couldn't help but recall three films while watching Kaccha Limboo - Gulzar's Kitaab , Ritwik Ghatak's Bari Theke Paliye [Bengali; 1959] and celebrated French director Francois Truffaut's The 400 Blows aka Les Quatre Cents Coups [French; 1959]. These three films had great stories to tell [of a misunderstood adolescent], but among the three, Kaccha Limboo bears a striking resemblance to Kitaab, which, in my opinion, ranks amongst Gulzar's best works. However, unlike Kitaab, which remains well etched in our memory even after three decades, Kaccha Limboo runs out of gas after an interesting first hour.
Kaccha Limboo suffers due to a sketchy screenplay, also penned by Ballary. In fact, the post-interval portions ruin the impact that was beautifully created after a fairly engrossing first hour. One would've expected Ballary to explore the infatuation angle in the story or the cracks that develop between the adolescent and his parents. Instead, the story wanders to an alien territory in the second hour and I actually wondered, did Ballary intend telling a fresh story in the second half? That's not all! The story goes on and on and on and on… so much so that you fervently pray that it reaches its culmination pronto. But Ballary messes up the conclusion too.