Free Press Journal

Promise Dad : Stiflingly Unreal

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Film: Promise Dad 

Cast: Tom Paulson, Satish Kaushik, Catherine Moshkun, Faye Morgan, Alex Wildgoose, Tom Alter, Jugal Hansraj, Natasa Stankovik and Divya Dutta

Director: Ritesh Sinha


‘Promise Dad’ may have sounded reasonably well put on paper but as a script it leaves nothing to the imagination. The writing is so boringly laid out that the narrative doesn’t even need visuals to tell the story. It’s such a colourless technique that it puts you off right from the word go. Having Indians speak the Queen’s English with an accent that is all too natively Indian (especially when they are shown as immigrants in UK) adds to the unreality of this experience.

The film begins with news reports of a young couple going missing in London and cuts back to India where a cousin of the missing boy Malay (Tom Paulson) is watching the news report. Next thing we know he (Jugal Hansraj), the cousin so-to-speak, and his reluctant wife have boarded a plane for London. What’s the hullabaloo all about?

Ritesh Sinha prefers to keep you in suspense as he bores you to death with a family friend, Raul (Tom Alter)  giving us gyaan on how devoted the boy’s father Raman (Satish Kaushik) was and how much he sacrificed to support his disturbed teen son in his endeavour to become a competitive club level ice-skater -post his parents’ divorce. There’s a tragedy inserted in order to spice up the engagement. Raman falls seriously ill while Malay is in training so that affects the young teen’s preparedness for the trials.

And eventually it has a cataclysmic effect on his mental stability.There are far too many unwarranted wordy details included in the narrative when just a few simple visual enactments would have said more. Too many characters show up in an intimate story meant to highlight father-son bonding. The plotting is heavy handed and extremely convoluted while the dialogues sound like they came from a text book rather than humans.

The language is extremely stilted, accents sound alien to the environment highlighted here and the acting is a little too stodgy and studied to be pliable. The characters included in this absurd theatre don’t mesh together at all. The skating scenes are extremely amateurish. The camerawork lacks finesse and the helming is unlettered. This experience is far more tiresome than emotional. Not something you’d want to waste your time and money on!