Fauji Calling has a good idea, notes Joginder Tuteja.
Going by the film's title, Fauji Calling and the poster carrying the image of two 'faujis' -- Sharman Joshi and Ranjha Vikram Singh -- one would have assumed that this is the story of men in uniform and their lives at the border.
But 10 minutes into this two hour-long film and you realise that this Aaryaan Saxena directed affair is actually about a seven-year-old girl (Mahi Soni), who is pining for her father, who is at the border.
This sets the base for an emotional tale as the girl, her mother (Bidita Bag) and her grandmother (Zareena Wahab) make a pact -- they will celebrate Holi, Diwali and every other festival one after another in that one month when the 'fauji' of the house is back for vacation.
In the meantime, they practice to the tune of Badtameez Dil while learning Indian classical dance, while staying put in a village where everyone knows everybody.
It's a different matter though that by means of their lifestyle as well as conversation, they come across more as small town people than belonging to a village.
Leave aside the occasional English word that they keep throwing here and there, even their body language and lingo belongs more to urban-India rather than a village.
A twist in fate results in a Deewana (remember that Rishi Kapoor-Divya Bharti-Shah Rukh Khan movie?) moment, where the man of the house gets killed.
Instead, arrives a stranger in the village, out to woo the family.
Everything that happens from here is for the little girl, lest she gets into a shock due to the demise of her loved one.
The women of the house are in a dilemma around how to include this stranger into the scheme of things, and that's what moves the story along.
At its core, Fauji Calling has a good idea.
But it could well have been at least 30 minutes short.
There are too many songs in the film and far too many montage sequences shot in slow motion.
Moreover, a few scenes are rather unnecessary.
What could have been told in a crisper manner and could have made a better impact is stretched out.
Sharman Joshi's presence holds the film as he brings his experience into play.
Zarina Wahab, who has been around for over four decades, lends a lot of grace to the proceedings and is a complete natural.
Mahi Soni is quite spontaneous and does well in a film which primarily revolves around her character.
Bidita Bag has a large part to play and she is functional while Ranjha Vikram Singh is decent in a limited appearance.
Mugdha Godse is fair in her two scene cameo.
Give the theme of the film, Fauji Calling has already gone tax free in Delhi, Haryana and Jharkhand. That could well help it in these territories.