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Height of adventure

Height of adventure

Film: Uunchai

Director: Sooraj Barjatya

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Anupam Kher, Boman Irani, Danny Denzongpa, Parineeti Chopra, Neena Gupta, Sarika


How far would one go to fulfil a friend's wish? Well, three men in their sixties take the climb to the Everest base camp at 17,598 feet.

Sooraj Barjatya dons the director's hat after seven years and what he brings is starkly different from his signature cinema. No Prem aka Salman Khan here, or a family saga but four friends— writer Amit Shrivastav (Amitabh Bachchan), book store owner Om Sharma (Anupam Kher ), shopkeeper Javed Siddiqui (Boman Irani) and retired civil servant Bhupen (Danny Denzongpa)—who put each other above everything.

Their life takes a rude turn when Bhupen is found dead. Bhupen wanted to take his friends to Nepal, where he spent his childhood, and to the Everest base camp for he believed 'pahadon ke paas har swal ka jawab hai'. The three friends decide to find it for themselves.

A road trip by three old people is a brave choice for a theme. The story is interesting, and trust Anupam Kher, Boman Irani and Amitabh Bachchan to make it engaging. Hats off to Amitabh for portraying such a difficult role, shot at tough spots, including the world's most dangerous Tenzing-Hillary Airport. He, as well as the film, defies ageism. Kher is a treat to watch—his gussa or the thumkas are admirable. Boman is brilliant as always. Danny Denzongpa gets a short but an endearing role. Parineeti Chopra as the tour guide gets to play a spunky character and she holds her stead among these veterans. Neena Gupta and Sarika provide strong support to the cast. Cinematography by Manoj Kumar Khatoi is breathtaking. Amit Trivedi's songs Keti Ko, Arre Oh Uncle to Haan Kar De aid the narrative. What doesn't work, however, are the different plot lines added and aborted — be it letting go of their children or the past. And, the runtime at 2 hour and 50 minutes is a tad bit too long.