Cast: Arvind Swamy, Himanshu Sharma
Director: Tanuj Bhramar
Rating: * *
Runtime: 94 mins
Tanuj Bhramar’s directorial effort ‘Dear Dad’ has an interesting premise but the development is truncated by an inability to move beyond the obvious.
Nitin (Arvind Swamy) wakes up to his wife’s entreaties to have a talk with their young teenage son Shivam (Himanshu Sharma) who is soon to leave for his hostel in Mussourie. The laid back Dad takes an entirely laidback route to reveal the central conceit of the film. Instead of speaking to his son pronto, he decides to set the ball rolling by driving him all the way to Mussourie instead of letting him go there with his friends. Enroute though he finds little opportunity for a meaningful conversation and breaks journey at his ageing parents’ home.
That’s when he gets outed. While talking to his speech impaired Dad he reveals that he is gay and wasn’t able to continue living a lie any longer. Shivam overhears the one-sided conversation and is unable to reconcile with the fact that his dad and mom are soon to be divorced. He wants his old life back and throws a fit, treating his Dad abominably and doing everything in his power to show his displeasure. But Nitin is not to be swayed. A hitch-hiker in the form of a reality TV star adds a little more interest to the proceedings but the overall impact is one of ennui. Though realistic and decently paced there’s not much movement in the script.
Most of the narrative centers around Shivam’s efforts to come to terms with his Dad’s homosexuality which he understands as an illness and so, even gets Baba Bengali to give him a portion to cure the vile sickness.
While the subject is generally handled quite sensitively, there are large tracts of narrative that appear contrived and factored in haphazardly, to fill up the gaps. The dialogues are not altogether consistent- they in fact jump the gun on several occasions making us wonder at the large spaces that yawn out in the psycho-social interplay.The camerawork is bright and picturesque. Arvind Swamy and Himanshu Sharma do justice to their roles but it doesn’t amount to a meaningful or affecting experience. The script could have definitely worked in a lot more meat. As it is right now, there’s hardly anything in it to interest anyone for it’s near 2 hour long duration. This effort could well have been far more meaningful in a short film format.