It was in the first week of March where we witnessed a clash between the Hindi film Jhund and the English film The Batman which was a reboot of The Batman franchise. But not many people do know that there was another Hindi film which had had a theatrical release on the same weekend. The film was Toolsidas Junior which literally slipped under the radar. What was even more shocking was that the co-producers of Jhund and Toolsidas Junior were the same which literally meant that these two were pitted against each other. This was a bit baffling but with zero buzz, the film did make its way to the OTT giant Netflix last night. This film marks the last appearance of Rajiv Kapoor who is now no more with us. And with that I finished watching Toolsidas Junior on Netflix. Is it worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Loosely based on true events, Toolsidas Junior follows the story of a child prodigy who treads on an unlikely journey after he watches his father lose a Club Snooker Championship. The story is simple for a sports drama where you can predict its beats quite easily. But the beauty of this story lies in its simplicity. The characters in the film was rooted to reality which make them relatable. The screenplay of just over two hours could have been further trimmed down as some events did get a little repetitive. But having said that, the soul of the story is intact. There are several heartwarming moments which are engrossing and they will gently tug the strings of your heart. Snooker as a sport isn’t as popular as cricket or some of the other sports. So it may take a while for a common man to get privy with the sports bit which is shown. But the proceedings are shown in the easiest way possible.
The part where the film stutters is in trying to blend some commercial elements into the narrative(like the love angle which wasn’t required). Had the film stuck to just its core emotions, this would have been an even better product. While the screenplay follows a generic trope as per a sports film template, what it was able to add is the flavour of the city Kolkata. Right from the trams to the bustling streets, I felt the city was a vital cog in the screenplay. Since this is a small film with a big heart, I will not be overtly critical of it and instead brush some of the flaws under the carpet. Overall, this is a simple screenplay which manages to hold your attention.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are adequate yet they have a sense of a feel-good factor due to its core sentiments. The music is a bit of a letdown and it doesn’t quite motivate you enough or feel the pulse of the protagonist. The BGM is likewise not great. Director Mridul Mahendra does a good job in the direction department. This is loosely based on his story as a child(who plays the protagonist here) and his sincerity reflects in his work too.
The performances are pretty decent. Sara Arjun shines in an extended cameo. Dalip Tahil does a fairly good job here. Tasveer Kamil who plays the mother of Midi does a pretty good job. Rajiv Kapoor in his final outing as Toolsidas Senior is outstanding and quite affable. Chinmay Chandraunshuh as Midi’s brother is first rate and does a swell job here. Sanjay Dutt as Salaam Bhai is well restrained and he definitely leaves an impact. Varun Buddhadev as Midi aka Toolsidas Junior does a fabulous job here and it is truly a sincere and honest attempt at playing his character.
Toolsidas Junior is a heartfelt sports drama that deserves your love and attention. Available on Netflix