Fri, 09 Dec 2022 10:31 AM (IST)
Starring Kajol and Vishal Jethwa in the lead roles, the slice of life drama film Salaam Venky released in cinemas today. The movie, which chronicles the story of a mother-son duo and their battle with death and life (in that order), is a heart wrenching tale which will make you smile, but mostly make you hold back your tears till the very end of the film.
Salaam Venky is another feather in Kajol’s illustrious cap, but for Vishal Jethwa, the film proves why he is a gem of an actor. Whether to watch or skip the film this weekend, read Salaam Venky movie review here:
Salaam Venky narrates the story of a mother, Kajol’s Sujata, who has a special child, Venkateshwar (Venky), played by Vishal Jethwa. The film is a true story based on Shrikant Murthy's book The Last Hurrah, of a boy with a rare genetic disorder, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The disorder makes Venky’s muscles go weaker by the day, eventually restricting him to a hospital bed, waiting for his death. But Venky has a special last wish for his mother: he wishes to stay alive even after dying and passing on to another life.
Venky asks his mother Sujata to fight against all odds and get his organs donated before his death. But with the laws of the state against a living man being able to donate his organs, how Sujata fights the judicial system with the help of doctors and journalists forms a riveting tale.
Salaam Venky’s first half primarily focuses on how Sujata and Venky have been living their lives in the years. Kajol as the strong mother is convincing and takes you into her story with utmost ease. Vishal Jethwa as the bed-ridden Venky is full of life and sets the tone for the first half of the film. The film also features flashback scenes, a romantic angle and a dance number to keep the Salaam Venky light-hearted, before introducing the audiences to the eye tearing pre-interval scenes.
The first half of Salaam Venky is easy on the heart and mind and develops a bond between the audiences and the characters. Aamir Khan’s special appearances are intriguing and will leave you wondering who he is and what he wants.
The second half of Salaam Venky is high on emotional drama. Post climax, tears are bound to roll down your eyes with Vishal Jethwa’s solid performance, who gets you hooked to the corner of your seats, sobbing in solitary. But even with such a gut-wrenching finale act, the movie feels dragged towards the end and could have easily been cut off by 10-15 minutes.
At some points during the film, Salaam Venky seems filmy with the whole media angle foraying into the narrative. But that’s one of the things that you can easily overlook with solid performances by Rajeev Khandelwal, Aahana Kumar and Rahul Bose.
Performances of the Cast
This isn’t the first time Kajol is playing a mother, so you already know she’s good at it. But with Salaam Venky, Kajol pulls the strings of your hearts like no other. She’s strong yet volatile, and makes you want to relate and feel compassionate for her. Kajol once again proves why she is a powerhouse of an actor with Salaam Venky and why she should be given more solid script-backed roles.
Vishal Jethwa as Venkateshwar or Venky is top notch. The actor makes you feel like a part of his journey of life and is mind blowing with his performance. With Salaam Venky, Vishal Jethwa proves he has come a long way from his antagonist in ‘Mardaani 2’ to the full of life Venky. The actor proves his mantle and the fact that he is here to stay for a long time.
Rajeev Khandelwal as Venky’s doctor is convincing and delivers a decent performance. The actor hasn’t been given a powerful role but makes sure his presence is felt on screen.
Raul Bose plays the goodwill lawyer in the film who pulls all strings, along with his journalist friend played by Aahana Kumar to make sure Venky’s voice reaches out to everyone. The duo deliver convincing performances.
Prakash Raj as the judge delivers a fine performance in the climax of the film. With just one powerful dialogue in his kitty, the actor proves why quality matters over quantity.
A special shoutout to Aamir Khan for his subtle yet powerful performance. The actor's gaze and presence onscreen is effortless.
Veteran actor Revathi directed Salaam Venky. The director keeps the story engaging and gripping. Salaam Venky is emotional, moving and a riveting tale.
Apart from a few overly dramatic and filmy sequences, Salaam Venky is a promising tale of hope. With solid performances by Kajol and Vishal Jethwa, Salaam Venky is definitely worth a one time watch. Make sure you take tissues along with you.