A refreshing treat of a film for the family

Kishmish is a simple, endearing film, along the lines of Dev’s recent outing, Tonic. Though it feels like a mixed-fruit cake with bits of the 2004 Rani Mukherjee-Saif Ali Khan-starrer, Hum Tum, and the Hollywood classic, Parent Trap, the film is quite a pleasant watch. And one of the prime reasons for that is Kharaj Mukherjee, who plays Tintin’s father – a loud-mouthed. football-crazy Kalighat resident, Goblu, who loves his stern Bhawanipore-origin wife, Pubali (Anjana). His comic timing and mannerisms, as always, is impeccable. Even the presentation style, which uses loads of animation a la Hum Tum and is primarily flashbacks of different eras, is quite refreshing.
The film starts off as a laughter riot, with Kharaj taking centrestage as a father frustrated to the nth degree by Tintin’s habit of failing in exams. He pulls some strings to secure his son’s admission directly in Bachelor’s third year at a college in the hills. That’s where Tintin and Rohini meet and fall in love. Another aspect of the film that has been nicely penned by writer-director Rahool is the chemistry between the lovebirds’ parents, given their pasts. While Goblu and Pubali are polar opposites, Rohini’s parents seem to be in a long-distance marriage though living under the same roof. The reason, as it’s later revealed, is a past that Tintin’s mother and Rohini’s father can’t seem to let go of. Though the mood sways between light and serious throughout the film, it never loses its tempo. The narrative moves at a relatively fast pace from the word go, interspersed with some nice, melodious songs composed by Nilayan Chatterjee.
The animations in the film are good and add a young and colourful touch to the narrative. The animated sequence when Tintin first sees Rohini is quite impressive and so are the bits that take the story forward. But while the animation goes a long way to establish that Tintin is very creative, at times, it seems to go into Taare Zameen Par territory, as if trying to prove that Tintin is dyslexic as well.
Coming to performances, Dev and Rukmini are a treat to watch, though they look a tad older than the characters they play. Even Anjana looks a bit young to play mother to Tintin, who is initially mistaken for a lecturer by his new classmates. June, Anjana and Kamaleshwar do complete justice to their roles. The super-short cameos by Paran Bandopadhyay, Rituparna Sengupta, Ankush, Jisshu U Sengupta and Srabanti Chatterjee come as nice surprises. Lily Chakraborty is also endearing as Tintin’s ‘Buri’ grandaunt.
Overall, Kishmish is a film for all ages and is a light, refreshing watch after all the stress of the past couple of years. It’s a bit lengthy with a runtime of almost two and a half hours, but the narrative helps that time pass easily.

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