It is sad to see such talent as Rishi Kapoor and Supriya Pathak Kapur — and even Abhishek Bachchan — go to waste. The waste being their film All Is Well, released on Thursday in the UAE. Touted as a “socially relevant family entertainer”, here the entertainment is a far cry, despite the fact there is an item number by Sonakshi Sinha, a re-hashed ’90s hit Ae Mere Humsafar (Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak) and the slightly peppy Chaar Shanivaar.
The story takes inspiration from a legendary character from Hindu mythology, Shravan Kumar. Umesh Shukla, who directed 2012’s Oh My God! starring Akshay Kumar, cannot in any manner repeat the box-office returns of this film. Shukla tries to give a contemporary turn to the character Shravan, the perfect son from the epic Ramayana. He ends up creating a road trip that keeps going round and round till the viewer’s head is seriously spinning, when suddenly the end is near.
Four characters; Inder (Bachchan) a young man, frustrated and angry with his father Bhalla and his life (Sorry Abhishek, there’s only one Angry Young Man in Bollywood, and that’s your father); a raucous The Secret-toting Nimmi (Asin) who Inder keeps thwarting and seems to have joined him only for a joyride — in one serious scene, she’s seen smiling ear-to-ear in the car while emotions are running high around her — and an old, weary couple, one with bladder issues and the other who really seems like she’s wondering what she’s doing in this film.
Inder is angry at his father (Kapoor), who is good for nothing, and decides to move as far away as possible from him and his ill-treated mother Pammi (Kapur) to establish himself as a singer. Still frustrated, he returns home after a decade, hoping to make a monetary gain, only to find his father up to his neck in debt to the buffoon gangster Cheema (Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub).
Trying to escape Cheema, he realises his father has not only abandoned his mother to an asylum as she’s suffering from Alzheimer’s, he has divorced her. There’s a bit of a mystery created around the fact that Pammi has been stashing away gold little by little over the years, and to get to it Bhalla needs to remarry her. (By the way, we never get to know how much she has actually put away.) But yes there is a message in the film. Bhalla apologises to Inder and Inder finally “realises” his mistakes and puts an end to the blame game between them.
And yes, The Secret does work. Think positive and it will happen — we all know that. All comes together at the end, of course. Inder comes through for his parents, establishes his music career and gets his girl too.
Miraculously, the Alzheimer’s suffering Pammi is on the road to recovery (yes, Mr Shukla, you should know there’s a difference between “slowing degeneration” and “recovering” from a disease such as Alzheimer’s).
The music by Himesh Reshammiya, Amaal Mallik, Meet Bros Anjjan and Mithoon is really nothing to write home about. In fact it is a little jarring — yes guys, we’ve heard fun-filled Punjabi numbers, but these don’t touch them even with a flagpole.
The only good thing about the film is it ends in two hours (phew!). All is not well with All Is Well. Watch it at your own risk. Better still, wait for one of the bigger channels to announce the world TV premiere.
Film: All Is Well
Starring: Abhishek Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor, Asin
Director: Umesh Shukla
Stars: 1 out of 5