New Delhi [India], February 7 (ANI/ATK): It is not often that a common man turns uncommon under a Bodhi tree. Sometimes, he finds the answers he seeks in a commercial boxing flick like Shiv Shastri Balboa, who breaks the bottle habit to turn a boxing school owner and trains national champions.
The film is a celebration of life, a story about standing up growing stronger and stubborn with every fall, and finally waltzing our way up life's ladder.
Shiv Shastri Balboa knocks you out with its sheer power of goodness. And then gives you a hand to haul you up on your feet.
The film illustrates how sometimes when you get lost, you find yourself, and realise that life was always a journey, not a destination...
Director Ajayan Venugopalan's spice of life flick is about Shiv Shastri (Anupam Kher) who sets out to help his friend Elsa (Neena Gupta), and unexpectedly fuel the thought train that gets him to kick his adrenaline into high spice-of-life adventure gear, get off the comfort couch of his son Rahul's (Jugal Hansraj) home and explore the unknown!
Joining him in his rollercoaster ride, is the gregarious Cinnamon Singh (Sharib Hashmi) and his gorgeous kindhearted girlfriend Sia (Nargis Fakhri). In comes a gang of bikers and Shiv Shastri finds himself partaking in an epic life ride, his son's dog Casper aka Capsule pumping him up, pushing him beyond his limits and eventually connecting with his higher self and daring to run up the steps of his life goals with energy and enthusiasm.
As Shiv Shastri's life moves from prostrate problem to walking out in a nightgown taking along his alter ego of a pug to hold hands of a friend who is a victim of human trafficking to finding his own victorious waltz tune, the film unfolds pages of our life, and the realisation that so few of us reach our own potential came through smoothly. We actually fail because of our mindset, the way we think.
Anupam Kher takes his reinvention mantra to another level in this film, as he nears four decades in cinema with Shiv Shastri Balboa. The fresh, quirky and free-willed characteristics yet with amazing depth is something only Anupam Kher can play with panache. The victory of Shiv Shastri is that we see the retiree on an adventure -- Anupam dissolves himself and courses through the veins of Shiv Shastri and dissolves his own identity to bring out the character.
Now, take a slice of Neena Gupta. Put her in a glass of South India. And watch her slowly settle into the bottom. There is a perfect blend from accent to mannerisms to pain to victory. If ever anyone could bribe Anupam to find her path and superimpose his own graph over hers, in Shiv Shastri Balboa, it is Neena Gupta.
Nargis Fakhri is refreshing, Jugal Hansraj brings his Masoom charm and Sharib Hashmi as Cinnamon Singh more than spices up the film with his histrionics. He is one actor this industry should acknowledge and appreciate.
Shiv Shastri Balboa with its real characters and the uncanny and zany sense of humour, packs a punch throughout.
It effortlessly challenges you to be greater than you are currently. And gives you a stinging uppercut stimulating you to find yourself.
Sometimes, words aren't just enough to describe an experience. You simply relive it and learn life lessons.
The power of a simple narrative replete with humour succeeds in making you laugh and accept that we need to stand up to reach the skies. Or simply pillion-ride superbikes and go skydiving!!!
Directed by Ajayan Venugopalan, starring Anupam Kher, Neena Gupta, Jugal Hansraj, Nargis Fakhri, Sharib Hashmi, Presented by UFI Motion Pictures Pvt Ltd -- Kishore Varieth, Anupam Kher Studios and Tarun Rathi, Producer: Kishore Varieth, Executive Producer: Ashutosh Bajpay.
To sum up, Shiv Shastri Balboa boasts of amazing direction by Ajayan Venugopalan (known for Metro Park series) where the characters are real, the humour amazing, and nowhere do the characters borderline on caricature, enabling the audiences to understand a serious point, albeit dished out humourously. The performances of the young protagonists Poster boy Anupam Kher and Cheers leader Neena Gupta leaves you with that warm fuzzy feeling in your heart. Jugal Hansraj -- we need to see more of him. Sharib Hashmi as Cinnamon Singh is cute and lovable, Nargis Fakhri as Cinnamon's Nicole Kidman is like a breath of fresh air. This is one Rockstar actress who is a lucky mascot for every film she is part of. We need to see more of her!
Shiv Shastri that Balboa releases in cinemas on Feb 10 truly deserves a five-star rating.
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