Hope Aur Hum

Naseeruddin Shah,Naveen Kasturia,Kabir Sajid,Sonali Kulkarni,Aamir Bashir,Virti Vaghani

The Shrivastav family is obsessive, if you can describe them in one word. There is little Anu (Kabir Sajid) who is obsessed with cricket, then there is his uncle, Nitin Shrivastav (Naveen Kasturia), obsessed with his phone which he seems to have misplaced, Anu’s mother, Aditi, seems to obsessed with giving her teenaged daughter a separate room in the house. And the most obsessed is the granddad, Nagesh Shrivastav (Naseeruddin Shah) who seems to be holding onto his german copier machine with nothing less than staunch obsession. What once was a means of livelihood is now Nagesh’s companion and confidante. We see him often sitting up, speaking with it, asking it to buck up and move on with life…. To reinvent, else face dire consequences. It is obvious that Nagesh sees a lot of himself in his copier, and the copier has witnessed his greatest fears….

However, things change one day. The predictable lives of the Shrivastavs are at the brink of a change. For starters, Anu doesn’t like cricket anymore… what happens since is a whirlwind of events, that could happen to any one of us. It is how every family will relate to some or the other portion of the script that makes Hope Aur Hum, a lot about HUM, the audience.

Of course, Sudip Bandyopadhyay doesn’t shy away from playing to the audiences, but his biggest strength lies in his actors. He has an ensemble cast that really know their craft and each binds the film together beautifully.

While Naseer is an actor par excellence, and his interaction with his sons is adorable in the film, there are portions where the writing takes a dip and puts all the efforts down the drain. Post interval, when you hope that the pace picks up and entertains us, it dips further and gets into cardboardish situations which are not impressive at all. While everyone from Aamir Bashir to Vriti Vaghani have done their part ably, it is rather unfortunate that the script wasn’t polished around the edges towards the end.

What is lovely is the narrative quality of the film - it gives you the feel of a summer vacation time when family is all getting together. Having Kabir do most of the narration is also clever writing but the ease and fun of it cannot be stretched beyond a certain point.

The constant recurring title track, starts getting annoying at a point and you almost give up on the premise even before it hits the crescendo. So you cannot help but think Mr. Bandyopadhyay was so overwhelmed with the stellar cast he had managed to procure for his first directorial venture, he almost forgot to do his own part.

There are too many scattered pieces in the film, and way too many unnecessary details, which is completely the filmmakers downfall. With  a little more heart and crisp editing, this could have been a summer must watch for families.

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