Remember Ishaan from 'Taare Zameen Par'? Although he simply disliked his boarding school from the bottom of his heart, he not even once thought of breaking free from the campus. But the two young protagonists of 'Life Mei Hungama Hai' not only think of doing so but they almost make it. However, this film as a whole doesn’t travel that far thanks to sloppy work and a rather over-simplistic approach to filmmaking.
Adapted from Ruskin Bond’s story titled 'The Running Away', the main plot follows these two adventurous kids on their journey from the interiors of a draconian boarding school through the dangers of the outside world. They are not alike in their personality with one being academically inclined and the other more attuned to athletics. Nevertheless, both the friends are similar in their thirst to explore the world. Maybe they are too young for the task they’ve undertaken.
Since the film is visibly made for children, not much of an attention is given to innovation. Camerawork is very fundamental and dialogues, elementary. Several scenes are right out of an old manual as they beg imagination. Having said that, the tale is entertaining for a little while followed by a lull followed by a twist followed by a clichéd lull again.
Fortunately, the casting of this otherwise lacklustre film fits to the T. To pique public interest, there are some cameos by popular names like Jackie Shroff, Paresh Rawal, Boman Irani, Satish Shah and Urmila Matondkar. While each of them have a fairly defined character, the focus remains on our two little heroes — convincingly played by Saksham Kulkarni and Sonu Bakshi. Even their amateurish display at times sits well with the storyline.
In conclusion, don’t go looking for a Majid Majidi sort of experience as director Sunil Advani decides to stick to the basics. The high point is the teen backdrop and their endearing adventure. Their actions don’t preach anything specific to kids who might wish to venture out like them. But they dare to dream and that counts. At the same time, the film somehow plucks a memorable chord and reminds you of the kind of storytelling Bond is famous for.