Roadside RomeoMovie: Roadside Romeo; Voices: Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Jaaved Jaafery, Sanjay Mishra, Vrajesh Hirjee, Tanaaz Currim; Director: Jugal Hansraj; Rating: 2.5 out of 5

It’s finally released – the film which probably was awaited by every Indian animation lover. Reason being great looking 3-D animation, extremely cool promos and of course the fact that it is a Yash Raj-Disney co product. As ardent film lovers we were wagging our tails with excitement. Let’s put it straight… after watching the film, we realised we were barking up the wrong tree.

And we have reasons for this. The first is that Roadside Romeo does not really have a story line to look forward to. When it is animation and when it is associated with Disney we have always been used to spectacular stories such as Ratatouille.

Laila Romeo RomanceRoadside Romeo is a story of a dog that loses his ‘Ferrari class’ lifestyle because his owners decide to dump him. And he finds himself fending for himself in a dingy city street. He uses his brains, makes friends and even gets a ‘cooler’ lifestyle till local goon Charlie Anna walks in for his ‘hafta’. Throw in the beautiful Laila to whom Romeo loses his heart to. But Charlie Anna likes her too. Result: tension, drama and loads of gaana bajaana. And how finally Romeo gets the love of his life thanks to Bollywood filmmaking!

The story of Roadside Romeo essentially has puns on different Bollywood actors and movies throughout – right from Shah Rukh Khan’s way of raising his hands, to Saif Ali Khan’s Kareena tattoo, to the railway station shot from the movie Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. And these keep you laughing. Plus the dialogues are funny enough to keep you in the mood. But the problem is that the story hardly moves till the intermission. Then the pace picks up considerably. Also none of the characters, except Charlie Anna, really impresses you. The writer in Jugal Hansraj fails to create a distinct identity of the smaller characters.

 There are no complains on the technical side though. TATA Elxsi has done a good job in terms of animation. The characters look extremely good right up to their fur and the shine in the pupils. It’s a hard job to come up with such great choreography.

Charlie Anna DonOn the star quotient the voiceovers of each character is great. Saif Ali Khan and Kareena have done a great job. Jaaved Jaafery and Sanjay Mishra are outstanding.

Roadside Romeo does away with the usual complaint of terrible animation and stories only meant for kids. This one is quite the opposite. So much that most kids will not understand any of the puns! And of course a smooch scene!

Animation as a medium is huge and extremely flexible for stories impossible to make in live action. Take a Shrek, Cars or a Ratatouille for example.  With Roadside Romeo, Indian animation has come of age. But the film does not leave enough content like the aforementioned Hollywood flicks. Roadside Romeo remains an above average Bollywood masala potboiler. It is a brave effort nonetheless and it deserves to be seen at least once. Bring it on!

Source: Sanskriti Media

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