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Ta Ra Rum Pum - an excellent watch

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Still from Ta Ra Rum PumYou don't take to Ta Ra Rum Pum instantly, since the writing [screenplay: Habib Faisal] meanders on oft-repeated tracks initially [the snooty father-in-law/Victor Banerjee looking down upon the son-in-law/Saif Ali Khan, the mandatory romantic scenes and songs]. The one aspect that shines the brightest in the first hour is the car race that makes Saif's life go topsy-turvy. Ideally, the intermission card should've flashed at this juncture, but the sequences that follow are plain mediocre.

Thankfully, the substance [script] as also the execution of the material improves a great deal in the post-interval portions. The plight of the family moves you: Saif is reduced to a cabbie, Rani plays piano at birthday parties and hotels to run the kitchen fires and foot the bills, the children skip their meals to save for the school fees. The son, in fact, picks up leftovers from the waste to satiate his hunger... These are moments that mirror the realities of life.

The highpoint of the film are the penultimate reels. Right from Saif storming into a hotel, asking for a loan of $ 65,000 to the final victory, the narrative reaches its crescendo in those 25 + minutes. In fact, the powerful second hour elevates the film tremendously.

Director Siddharth Raj Anand is only getting better with every film. He handles the emotional moments in particular very well. The execution of the race sequences is outstanding. Something like this hasn't been witnessed on the Hindi screen before. Binod Pradhan's camerawork is marvelous.

Vishal-Shekhar's music is of the fast-forward variety. One looked forward to a better score for sure. However, the picturization of a few songs camouflages the defect to an extent. The kiddie song -- merging live with animated characters -- catches your attention. The animation here matches international quality.

Saif is extremely likable. He conveys the varied emotions with complete understanding. Rani enacts the role of the mother/wife proficiently. Jaaved Jaaferi is first-rate in a serious role. Bharat Dabholkar is efficient. Victor Banerjee suits the character. Shruti Seth is alright. Angelina Idnani and Ali Haji are adorable.

On the whole, Ta Ra Rum Pum easily ranks amongst better films from the Yash Raj factory. Surprisingly, the film has opened to a below-the-mark response at several screens. But it has the potential and power to gather speed in days to come since it has something for everyone -- emotional quotient for families, thrilling car races to woo the youth and the kiddie factor to attract this huge movie-going segment [kids]. Its business in Overseas should be excellent and in India, the multiplexes will help the distributors reap a harvest. Strongly recommended!

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