‘MERA FAUJI CALLING’ | 11 March, 2021

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Jimmy Satish Asija, Running Horses Films and Ovez Productions’ Mera Fauji Calling is the story of an armyman’s family. Rajveer Singh (Ranjha Vikram Singh) is an armyman who is fighting the enemy. Back home, his family is waiting for him to return for some time at least. His wife, Sakshi (Bidita Bag), stays with their daughter, Aaradhya (Mahi Soni), and his mother (Zarina Wahab). Aaradhya dotes on her father.

The heart-wrenching news of Rajveer’s death on the battlefield reaches Sakshi on Aaradhya’s birthday. The family hides the news from Aaradhya. As time passes by, Aaradhya misses her father but Sakshi keeps telling her that he is unable to return home for the holidays as he has been promoted and is, therefore, very busy. To her query, one day, about where he has been sent after promotion, Sakshi tells Aaradhya that he has been sent to God. That’s when Aaradhya decides to bring back her father from God.

On her way to God, little Aaradhya meets Abhishek (Sharman Joshi) and narrates him her sad tale about how she wants to get her dad back. Abhishek is moved enough to pretend to be her father whose face has been changed by God. An overjoyed and innocent Aaradhya believes him and takes Abhishek home. What happens thereafter? Do Sakshi and her mother-in-law play along just so that Aaradhya does not get a shock about her father’s demise?

Aaryaan Saxena has written a story which was more suited for a half-hour television serial. The first half is excruciatingly slow, long-drawn and boring. In fact, there is hardly any movement in the story in the first half. The pace does pick up after the entry of Abhishek at interval point, but the story becomes predictable thereafter. There are a couple of emotional moments in the second half but that’s not enough. Aaryaan Saxena’s screenplay is tame and quite clichéd. Except for the couple of emotional scenes, the drama fails to touch the heart. Aaradhya has been shown to be such an oversmart girl that her character gets on the audience’s nerves. Aaryaan Saxena’s dialogues are good but only at places.

Sharman Joshi does a very fine job as Abhishek. He gives the character his best shot and makes a truly good mark. Ranjha Vikram Singh is average as Rajveer Singh. He looks a bit too overweight for the hero’s role and also for the character of an armyman. Bidita Bag is decent in the role of Sakshi. Zarina Wahab is lovely as Rajveer’s mother. She is supremely natural. Mahi Soni acts freely but if she irritates in several scenes in spite of her good performance, it is because of her know-all character. Shishir Sharma is quite nice as Major Roy. Mugdha Godse (as Paridhi), Ritu Shree (as Bhoomi), Abhijita Kashyap (as Kirti), Siddhi Anil Jain (as Aaradhya’s friend, Suman), Anil Chauhan (as the doctor) and the others lend routine support.

Aaryaan Saxena’s direction is dull. Music (Vijay Verma, Harpriet Singh Vig and Sajjad Ali Chandwani) is so-so. Lyrics (Rajesh Manthan, Shakeel Azmi, A.M. Turaz, Pooja Saini and traditional) are alright. Feroz Khan and Mehul Gadani’s choreography is just about average. Mannan Munjal’s background music is nothing to shout about. Shubranshu Das’ camerawork is commonplace. Nishant Khan’s action and stunt scenes are quite childish. Art direction (Sachin H. Patil) is so-so. Praveen Angre’s editing is loose.

On the whole, Mera Fauji Calling is a flop show — and not just because of the fear of the coronavirus, which is keeping people away from the cinemas. The film will go largely unnoticed.

Released on 11-3-’21 at PVR Lower Parel (3 shows; daily 1 show from 12-3-’21) and other cinemas of Bombay thru Panorama Studios. Publicity: so-so. Opening: poor. …….Also released all over. Opening was weak everywhere.