Umar is a movie that tries to offer a tribute to senior citizens. It tries to impart to youngsters the importance of old people in our lives. It gives us an insight into how older people can contribute equally to our society, if given the opportunity. It tries to restore the glory and respect that these old people once had. No one can escape old age, it eventually catches up with one, and today those who are young will tomorrow be old. Hence, we need to create a strategic place in our lives and society for them. We need to give them the dignity and respect they deserve, as they are the one’s who have taken care of us. This is the main and basic theme of Umar.
Karan Razdan, writer and director of Umar aims to highlight the difficulties that many aged people face. The movie stars Kader Khan (Iqbal), Prem Chopra (Chandrakant), Satish Kaushik (Rajpal), Jimmy Shergill (Shashank) and Shenaz Treasurywala (Sapna).
Umar encapsulates the bitter and harsh realities that three old men have to face. These three men Ikbal, Chandrakant and Rajpal are good friends and have become each other’s morale and support. Each of their families has shunned them because of their old age. They are constantly disrespected and humiliated by their family for being old, useless and a burden to them. In such times when they have only each other for comfort and support, they meet a young man named Shashank. He listens to them, shares their worries and woes and also shares his own problems with them. He gives them the love and respect that they crave from their families.
At the same time, Shashank is also going through many problems in his life. He is in love with Sapna who hails from a rich and influential family; she is in love with him too. But her father Prem Lakha (Shakti Kapoor) does not want them to be together. He is a very influential man; he makes use of all his sources to keep them apart. During this time, Shashank gets implicated for the murder of a British girl. He is innocent, but is helpless and cannot prove it. At his hour of crisis, his three old friends decide to repay him back for all his kindness. While he is on his way to prison, the three senior citizens intervene, and help him to escape. In this entire tussle, Shashank gets shot at, but he manages to escape.
He is secretly brought to Iqbal’s house and his three friends take care of him. Unfortunately, the children of Iqbal, Chandrakant and Rajpal find out about Shashank, they decide to turn him in to the cops for a handsome reward. But Shashank learns of this and decides to go away and avoid any further problems. The three men Iqbal, Chandrakant and Rajpal join hands with Shashank; they want to bring back justice and dignity to both Shashank as well as their own lives. They now have a mission in life, to fight for what they believe in, to get justice. And ultimately, they manage to get justice.
Karan Razdan has attempted an honest and sincere theme, a subject that addresses the old and aged of our society. But some how the warmth and depth required for such a film to touch the audience does not come through in the film. The director has tried to juxtapose two different subjects, the senior citizens theme and also the murder mystery. The film ends up not doing justice to either the sensitive subject of the older generation and neither is it convincing as a murder mystery. The two extremely diverse parallel tracks do not fit in together. Karan Razdan has tried too hard to give a commercial feel to the film. But somehow has not managed to do so.
The direction by Karan at most places, except for a few scenes depicting the older generation, is lack luster. The music is too plain and not catchy or upbeat. Only one song by Jagjit Singh manages to leave an impression. The script, especially the crime aspect seems stale and run of the mill. Dialogues at places seem mediocre. Cinematography presents different London locales, which is pleasing to the eye.
Actor Kader Khan is given a different role from his usual comedy, and he has completely done justice to his role and character. Prem Chopra is back after a long hiatus and is also not playing the usual bad man; he has performed his role with complete dedication and is very convincing. Satish Kaushik too has brilliantly essayed his role. All these men are fine and talented actors. They have played their roles with perfection. The portions where they are humiliated and shunned by their family members, manages to touch a chord. In fact, the first half of the movie where the plight of the senior citizen’s is depicted is very realistic. However, after the interval when the crime aspect is introduced it goes downhill.
Jimmy Shergill is getting better with each performance; he clearly matches the older lot step for step. Shenaz Treasurywala, is not quiet convincing in her role, she manages to look uncomfortable in front of the camera. The rest of the cast is capable enough.
Unfortunately, due to lack of promotion and publicity, this film may not have too many takers. It will perhaps breeze through the box-office unnoticed.