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Jajantaram Mamantaram

THIS IS a summer of plenty for children. Barely had they forgotten "Chhota Jadugar" and "Jungle Book" that here comes another film that promises to take them to the world of Gulliver and all the little interesting things which took place in the land where people operated from Ground Zero and one man stood tall amidst them all. Yes, from the world of ghosts of "Bhoot" and mutants of "X-Men 2" to an Indian take on Jonathon Swift's "Gulliver's Travels", it is indeed a swift journey, one you must undertake at your own peril.

Soumitro Ranade's film is a rare one in this genre. It comes with heaps of advertisement support, so unusual for a children's film. It also manages to make the little ones smile with this desi version of Man Mammoth and Midgets. But if you are even a couple of years through with the first double digit year of your life, "Jajantaram Mamantaram" will seem absolutely insipid fare, full of juvenile jokes and puerile laughter. Its pace is too slow, its action too inhibited, its lighter moments too few. But for those not too far removed from their feeders and diapers, it might just be a fine way to beat the heat. After all, how often do they get to travel to a land where adults still use bow and arrow, and the king uses a spear!

Children, of course, will face no such problems as Jaaved Jaaferi plays Aditya, a rescuer to the little inhabitants of Shindi. The township faces a threat from Gulshan Grover's evil Chattan Singh, now eyeing the throne, and Jamunda, a wicked man, as large-sized as he is wily. The tussle between the good-hearted Aditya and the villainous Jamunda has children in peals of laughter and makes adults wonder what the fuss is all about! The exchanges between the local inhabitants and Aditya has the children praying that the latter changes his mind and stays on to fight the devil.

All you adults, uncles and aunts, moms and dads, watch "J2M2" only if you want to indulge your children. It won't bring back the child in you though.

ZIYA US SALAM

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