Film: “Gang of Littles”; Director: Vijay Kumar Mishra; Cast: Abhishek (Addy), Shehzad Khan, Viju Khote, Govind Namdev, Deepraj Rana, Vinay Sachdeva, Kirsh Sharma, Roshani Walia; Rating: **
Advertised as a children’s film, packed with fun-filled adventure, writer-director Vijay Kumar Mishra’s “Gang of Littles”, is a typical Hindi, B-grade potboiler.
Set in Dehradun, it is a tale of five neglected children, who in their bid to seek attention, indulge in activities that bring them into the limelight.
Here, the five friends are schoolmates at Doon International School, Riverside Campus. They are; Abhishek – the son of a banker, Benazir – a young Muslim girl who is ill-treated by her step brothers, Satya – the son of party happy parents, Bally – a Sikh who is fond of loitering in the wastelands and Navi – an orphan boy who initially befriends Bally and thus gets admitted to the school.
Narrated in a non-linear manner, the film begins on a dramatic note, with the five kids being arrested and then in flashbacks, the tale unravels. But unlike the Enid Blyton series of the adventurous Famous Five, the plot of this film is hackneyed and gummed-up with scenes made up of confused amalgamation of styles, genres and issues.
The story and screenplay lack finesse. The graph is jagged with a ragbag of forced drama. The supporting characters are designed as extremely stereotypical and unappealing caricatures, especially the teachers of the school. The gags and dialogues too are cliched, worn-out and unexciting. With tasteless dialogues, flatulence and pee jokes, the film seems crude and repulsive for children’s viewing.
With a poorly written script and an equally poor execution, the resultant output of the performance seems literally forced and theatrically clumsy which does not touch an emotional chord. This notwithstanding, the children are talented, in their own special way. They are charming and endearing whereas most of the supporting cast are annoying.
On the technical front, with moderate production values, the film manages to exude a fairly aesthetic look. The background score in a few scenes creates an impact, barring which, the music, is average. The songs, though well-choreographed by Vishal-Lewis, do not help in the story progression, but they certainly do give you relief during the staid narration.
Overall, “Gang of Littles”, is a poorly presented escapade which is neither engrossing nor appealing.
By Troy Ribeiro