Still from Abhishek-Rishi starrer 'All is Well'.
All is Well redeems itself from being a total wash-out thanks to its message-laden second half, writes Deepa Gauri.
ALL IS WELL makes you feel sorry for Abhishek Bachchan. Marking his solo-hero return after what seems like an eternity, the film had tremendous promise in its script, one must presume.
After all, director Umesh Shukla had proved that he can deliver interesting films with his satirical Oh My God.
But with All is Well, you hear yourself saying 'Oh My God' because of its plot-holes, illogical proceedings, and the lamest attempt, in recent times, to make you laugh.
By interval, with a script going meandering all over the hills of Himachal Pradesh, you feel utter exasperation. It makes you wonder why Abhishek and Rishi Kapoor (as his dad) agreed to do this film in the first place.
As a son running away from a broken family where the parents are always squabbling, Abhishek tries to get that brooding look right. But what can an actor do if the character is inconsistent?
He plays Inder, a musician based in Bangkok (thanks to one of the airlines being the 'Travel Partner') and while he has no qualms in having a romantic affair with Nimmi (Asin), he just cannot be committed because his parents have always been fighting. Dude, if you don't want to get into marriage and the works, stay away from women and concentrate on your music!
And is Nimmi really all that inspiring? She reads The Secret and believes in the universe joining hands with her. Well, if you are the hapless guy in love with that character, you can't be blamed. She is irritatingly unreal.
Returning to India (with Nimmi stuck to him), Inder wants to dispose of the assets of his father Bhalla (Rishi Kapoor) and invest in a music album. But what awaits him is a horde of problems that torments the hero as well as the viewers.
Post-interval there is a fair deal of redemption. The film gets into the 'message' groove, and you might leave the theatre a little better off. That is not saying much about the film, but like Nimmi, maybe we should also try to see the glass as half full.
The potential for a more powerful film is lost in All is Well. It could have drawn out the father-son relationship better, it could have been on the angst of youth who can't realize their dreams, and it could have been about love, relationships and their fickle ways. All is Well tries to tick all these boxes but never makes an impression.
The excellent performers including Abhishek, Rishi, Supriya Pathak and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub (as Cheema, a ruffian to whom Bhalla is indebted), are handicapped by their poor characterisation.
There are several songs that crop up at the wrong places further marring the film's tempo. There is even an item dance by Sonakshi Sinha that you can sleep through.
If you are one of those message-watchers willing to reform, the film urges you to take responsibility in life, not run away from troubles and yes, make sure you keep your parents happy.
It starts with the premise that people sometimes chase dreams to escape from reality and ends with the message that addressing reality is the way to your dreams.
Phew! That was one big philosophy from a Bollywood film. So, over to you to decide if you want to sit through this lesson in being a good human being.