Movie 4 d week : Little Zizou (2008)
Language : Hindi
Director : Sooni Taraporevala
‘Little Zizou’ is the story of eleven year old Xerxes, a Zinedine Zidane fan, and his family. His brother is a very talented artist / inventor. Their dad, Khodaiji, is a self-proclaimed protector of Parsis. Their neighbour, Pressvala, runs a press (quite obvious eh?) and is a free-thinker and thereby Khodaiji’s rival. The two families are always at loggerheads and on a larger scale it is a fight between good (Parsi) and bad (Parsi) and at the end there is just one kind. There is love, crush, heart-breaks, surprises galore in this film. Why the movie works for me in-spite of it being a Parsi film made by a Parsi film-maker (Not my words. Quoting from the promos here) is that, the story is universal at the same time. It is also about the eternal triumph of good versus evil and it explores the various shades in between as well. The format in which it is told allows the director to explore very serious, and obviously dear to her, issues in a way that is so easy to accept. Almost like reading a comic book. This ‘Hindi’ film doesn’t insult your intelligence. Don’t miss this one. I haven’t laughed so much in a Hindi movie anytime in the recent past except of course when there is ‘Angoor’ or ‘Jaane bhi do yaaron’ or ‘Chupke Chupke’ or ‘Golmaal’ or ‘Chashme Baddoor’ on TV.
Jahan Battiwala, Imaad Shah, Mahabanoo, Zenobia Shroff, Boman Irani, Iyanah Bativala, John Abraham, Sohrab Ardeshir, Dilshad Patel, Shernaz Patel are all simply brilliant. Each and every one in the film, including the guest actors, seem to have enjoyed being part of this film and it shows.
Sooni Taraporevala writing credits include screenplays for ‘The namesake’, ‘Such a long journey’ (adapted from Rohinton Mistry’s book), ‘Dr Balasahed Ambedkar’ and ‘Mississippi Masala’. She has also written the screenplay for ‘Salaam Bombay’ which I would think is a much better, and real, representation of the Mumbai underbelly. Sooni Taraporewala is currently working on an adaptation of Mark Shand’s book ‘Travels on my Elephant’. I am looking forward to her next film.
Useless trivia : ‘Little Zizou’ was at both IFFK and IFFI this year and was the closing film at MIAAC festival, New York City. ‘Little Zizou’ is written by Sooni Taraporevala and is her directorial debut.