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Toolsidas Junior

Toolsidas Junior Movie Review

by rameshe

Critic’s Rating : 3.0 / 5

Toolsidas Junior Movie Review : A heart-winning tale of a teen aspiring to realise his father’s dreams

STORY: A young boy Midi (Varun Buddhadev) is adamant to overcome the curveballs life throws at him while trying to restore his father’s glory.

REVIEW: Inspired by true events, writer-director Mridul’s ‘Toolsidas Junior’ is a simple yet heart-warming story of a father-son bond and their collective life goals. For the most part of this 132-minutes-long film, one is completely immersed in Midi’s journey to become Toolsidas Junior. Unlike other sports dramas, there are no pushy parents driving his level of dedication; rather, it’s a young boy’s own desire to achieve what his father had once wished for.

Set in Calcutta of 1994, Toolsidas (Rajiv Kapoor) is an ace snooker player who proudly declares that he ”only plays for his son”. In a tournament, he hopes to defeat five-time champion Jimmy Tandon (Dalip Tahhil). Toolsidas assures his adolescent son Midi that the trophy is coming home this time, but he loses the game. That devastates the duo’s heart and Midi embarks on a journey to master the game himself in order to fulfill his father’s dream. What’s next is that the goal is set, but the boy struggles to find a mentor. Also, he will not be able to practice at the same club as his father because ‘under-16’ is strictly prohibited. The young lad’s enthusiasm and dedication towards the game lead him to join the YMC Wellington club, where he meets Mohd Salaam (Sanjay Dutt), a former national champion. Will Salaam, who doesn’t entertain anyone and is a tough nut to crack, turn out to be a ray of hope for Midi?

Although the screenplay by Mridul and Ashutosh Gowarikar (who is also the film’s producer alongside T-Series) is devoid of commercial elements—action scenes, massy dialogues, and upbeat numbers—as it appears to be unnecessary because this predictable sports drama manages to keep you hooked throughout even without them. The first half is quite fast-paced, as things move quickly in Toolsidas’ life, but the tempo slows down after the interval. The song ‘Udd Chala Badal Naya’, by Arijit Singh, is soothing and stays with you long after the film is over.

Right from the opening scene, the characters appear to be real people with easily identifiable qualities. The protagonist, Varun Buddhadev, dominates the film with his impressive act as Midi. He delivers an honest and endearing performance by perfectly evoking the numerous emotions that his character goes through.

Sanjay Dutt delivers an enthralling performance as Midi’s coach. With punchlines like, “Jaundice ko Rajinikanth ka punch, Totta ko Mithun ka Disco King aur Kaalia ko Bachchan sahab ka full chamaat,” he gives the trainer’s role a Bollywood spin. Late Rajiv Kapoor’s last on-screen performance as Toolsidas, who is an alcoholic but devoted father, is promising. Despite having limited screen time, he plays an important role in the plot. Chinmay Chandraunshuh, as Midi’s elder brother Goti, is annoyingly interesting. He injects some levity into the situation by performing childish acts such as chaddi-throwing (instead of coin-tossing) in order to choose between two options. Dalip Tahhil maintains the same winning expression throughout the film.

Due to its honest performances and simple storyline, ‘Toolsidas Junior’ will undoubtedly win hearts and leave you with a smile on your face while you walk out of the theatre.

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