Coming from Vipin Atley, the man who wrote the torrent blockbuster Homely Meals, Ben in terms of story idea is very much similar to its competitor Salt Mango Tree. The difference is in the treatment. While Salt Mango Tree went for the humorous parent perspective, Ben focuses more on the melodramatic child perspective. With scattered creative interpretations and discrete sarcasm woven over dramatic children oriented cinema, Ben is definitely an endearing movie by many means.
Ben is our title protagonist who belongs to the youngest generation of a joint family. The boy isn’t that enthusiastic about studies and is a fun loving free bird. His mother wants him to be good in academics, but the joint family setup kind of restricts her. The movie basically shows us the incidents that lead to the separation of Ben’s family from the joint family and how it causes problems to Ben who couldn’t cope with the new world.
In some ways it is a wannabe Taare Zameen Par as it puts the child in a difficult position and asks the parents to think about him from his perspective. But as I said it is more of a melodramatic approach to all of this. The first half which showed that quirky creativity of Atley loses that edge in the second half and becomes a teary narration. What saves the movie there is the performances. The end of the story is very much a predictable one and the ultimate “message” is to set the young ones free. It could have been better if the resurrection of Ben was shown in a captivating way. But still the reasons for the boy’s mental conflict are sensible as it is something that is happening now in the society.
Vipin Atley as a director has a better future for sure. Just that opening 5-10 minutes is enough to let you know that the guy has some creative ideas of visual presentation. In scripting also he has this knack of adding humor that pokes certain nostalgia. The problem was in the way he approached the conflict zone. The breezy positive feel drastically changes and becomes a too dark film and in that area the movie loses its grip. Cinematography was nice and the cuts were okay. The BGMs and music by Vipin Atley were pretty much average.
Gourav Menon was an apt choice to play the character of Ben and special appreciation for his performance towards the climax. Don’t know his name, but Chami (hope I spelled it correctly) made everyone laugh with his sound and expressions. Suraj impresses in his minimal role. Anjali Aneesh Upasana shows improvement and Rajesh Sharma was nice. Anwar Shereef also gets a better character through this film.
Overall, Ben is definitely a film that wont disappoint you much. It could have been a better film if the treatment was less dark and more of a positive one. The rating for Ben is 3/5. Within the limitations they have created a likeable cinema.
Ben is definitely a film that wont disappoint you much. It could have been a better film if the treatment was less dark and more of a positive one. Within the limitations they have created a likeable cinema.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended