Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

December 25, 2008

Trunk call

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 8:44 pm

December 25, 2008

Cast: Voices of Akshay Kumar, Lara Dutta, Dimple Kapadia

Director: Kompin Kemgumnird

Akshay Kumar is good at many things – he has a natural flair for comedy, he performs dare-devil stunts stylishly, he can even be quite charming in romantic roles.

He’s never been very good at voice modulation or dubbing though, which is why he wouldn’t seem like the perfect choice to voice animation.

In Jumbo, however, the Thai animation film that’s been redubbed in Hindi and released this week,Akshay Kumar lends his vocal talent to the older avatar of the film’s elephant hero.

Separated from his mother in his youth, Jumbo wanders out of the forest and into the neighboring town Shaktinagar, where he’s raised affectionately by the townsfolk, and eventually trained to fight in Prince Vikram’s army, where he must face the most feared warrior elephant that ever lived. His rival, in fact, was responsible for the death of his father many years ago.

A typical coming-of-age drama told in a simple, straight style, Jumbo has some respectable animation, but lacks the edge that is required to make it an engaging enough watch. A far cry from those fantastic Hollywood animation films where top stars lend tics and quirks to create distinct characters out of their parts, Jumbo comes across as a rush job in terms of the voice work involved.

Akshay Kumar makes no attempt or effort to do a different voice each for the narrator and the older Jumbo, the two characters he’s responsible for voicing. He lends the same deep drone to both characters. Dimple Kapadia as the voice of Devi, Jumbo’s doting mother, is similarly uninspired, investing nothing distinct, nothing special to her part. Lara Dutta, voicing Jumbo’s love interest – the pink elephant Sonia – is such an insignificant character, she barely registers any impact with her handful of lines.

It’s the supporting players – Asrani, Gulshan Grover and particularly Rajpal Yadav – who succeed in making their characters memorable by giving them some meat to chew on.Jumbo has its animation roots in Thailand, and while the animation itself isn’t bad, the film as a whole doesn’t quite work because there’s very little that’s funny or original in the dialogue or the characters.

I’ll go with two out of five and at best an average rating for Jumbo. Watch it for the spectacular battle scene in the end, it’s the film’s one big highlight.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress