Salaam Venky Review: This Kajol-starrer is high on emotions but tests patience

Salaam Venky Review: This Kajol-starrer is high on emotions but tests patience

If you are up for a slow sob tale, then Revathy’s film is for you. Don’t forget to carry a box of tissues!

Rohit BhatnagarUpdated: Friday, December 09, 2022, 10:24 PM IST
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Director: Revathy

Cast: Kajol, Vishal Jethwa, Rahul Bose, Rajeev Khandelwal, Aahana Kumra, and others

Where: In theatres near you

Rating: 3 stars

Maverick storyteller Revathy brings yet another heartwarming tale titled Salaam Venky. It is based on a book called The Last Hurrah by Shrikant Murthy. Her last directorial Phir Milenge (2004) that starred Salman Khan, Shilpa Shetty and Abhishek Bachchan touched upon the life of a person suffering from AIDS and stigma attached to it in the society. It was considered as ahead of its time but got critical acclaim. Revathy returns to direction after 18 long years and her film is a completely tear jerker.

Sujata (Kajol) decides to fulfil the last wish of her dying son Venky (Vishal Jethwa), who is suffering from a rare condition DMD (Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy) without knowing the consequences and legalities. A supportive doctor (Rajeev Khandelwal) and his friends, lawyer Parvez (Rahul Bose) and a fearless journalist (Aahana Kumra) come together for Venky’s justice. Will they succeed?

Salaam Venky is absolutely high on emotions. For a narrative which is based on a medical condition and all the odds underlining it, you need sensitivity and director Revathy does it quite well. The film tests your patience every now and then but knowing Revathy, this is only to be expected. Her style of storytelling requires time and is slightly slower than the usual pace. The film could have been much more entertaining like Tribhanga (2021) and Waiting (2015) — as they weren’t depressing and the common link is some medical condition.

Aamir Khan, who reunited with Kajol after Fanaa (2006) plays a modern day Yamraj or death, is totally ambiguous to the narrative which also annoys a bit after a couple of scenes. It might be a fictional take by the writers Sameer Arora and Kausar Munir but it lacks significance. Kamal Sadanah, who returned on screen after eons and reunited with his debut co-star Kajol, plays an insensitive husband, who part ways with her and their ailing son thinking it to be a dead investment. He and Aamir just add much more curiosity around the film.

Kajol has proved her acting ability time and again, she knows her zone, audience, camera angles, she is best when she cries. Revathy has made her look like Sujata, who is a mother of two kids and her stardom doesn’t take away one bit from the film. Vishal Jethwa is a firecracker. After Mardaani 2 (2019) and Human (2022), Salaam Venky is yet another testimony of his great craft. Rahul Bose, Rajeev Khandelwal, Aahana Kumra and Prakash Raj are good in their respective roles.

If you are up for a slow sob tale, then Revathy’s film is for you. Don’t forget to carry a box of tissues!

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