Chhotu (Harsh Mayar) works in a small road-side food stall during day to support his poverty-stricken family. While delivering food to a nearby heritage hotel, he meets another boy of his age named Ranvijay Singh (Husaan Saad), who is from a royal family. They become thick friends. On sensing Chhotu"s eagerness for education, Ranvijay helps him out. Then the poor boy decides to change his future once and for all on learning that India"s former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam too went through lots of hardships like him in his childhood. In his pursuit to become like his model, he rechristens his name as Kalam.
The film has poverty as its backdrop but there is hope throughout. Chhotu is cheerful and focused on studies rather than bogged down by cruel circumstances. Director Nila Madhab Panda did a wonderful job by opting for a simple yet engrossing narrative. He beautifully brought out the innocent bond of two boys, who broke social status. He did not go overboard while using Abdul Kalam as the role model. He used the former President as a motivation for the poor boy and nothing more. Sanjay Chauhan"s screenplay is well-etched and keeps the audience glued to their seats.
Child protagonist Harsh Mayar has given wonderful performance in the film. He looks comfortable and natural before the camera. Husaan Saad too has done his part beautifully. Gulshan Grover has a strong character in the film, and he is good as always. Pitobash Tripathy as the Amitabh Bachchan fan too has done justice to his role.
On the whole, I Am Kalam brings to light the importance of child education for a better tomorrow. Even adults has a message to bring home – that every child has the right to fulfil his dream through education.
Producer: Santanu Mishra
Banner: Smile Foundation
Director: Nila Madhab Panda
Cast: Harsh Mayar, Gulshan Grover, Pitobash Tripathy, Husaan Saad, Beatrice Ordeix, Meena