Dubbing films usually lose their nativity and flavor for obvious reasons.
But in Kamal Haasan's Mumbai Xpress there is no such problem. And it is also for obvious reasons. Kamal has chosen the most universal of subjects --- comedy and fun. Though Mumbai Xpress is no masterpiece, it delivers what it promises. And for three hours you get clean and wholesome entertainment.
Annavaram (Kamal) aka Mumbai Xpress for his dare-devilry expertise on the motor bike works in a circus. But he is forced to be part of a three-member gang that decides to kidnap the son of a rich man.
But a wrong boy is kidnapped. Daddu (Master Hardhik Thakkar), son of ACP Poornaprajnam is kidnapped. Daddu is born out of wedlock to the ACP and a ex-bar girl Ahalya (Manisha Koirala).
The movie now is one riot of confusion and comedy. The rest of it is about how Annavaram helps save the child, understands his life, his relatives (most importantly his sister), the materialistic avariciousness of Ahalya ...it is all poetic, poignant, pungent and, more importantly, comical.
Kamal's kind of humour is always irony-tinged. And it shows in his dialogues (in the original). Though it is slightly lost in translation, it still carries weight.
On the acting front, there is nothing to write new --- everybody including the horse Charlie scores over 90. Forget about Kamal, he is always like Bradman. Starting with Hardik, to Ramesh Aravind to Pasupathy to Nasser to Manisha to Vaiyapuri ... it is a veritable exposition in acting.
Ilayaraja's music is ambient and has a unique flavor. Siddharth's camera work, though brilliant, suffers from some technical glitches (digital to normal film change).
The director Singeetham Sreenivasa Rao has nothing much to do ---- he must have just switched on the camera and at the end of it all merely said 'cut'.
He had fun. And so do we.