Poorna: Sometimes Choices Make You!
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Reviewer’s Thumb Mark
Poorna Malavath’s (Aditi Inamdar) life, a 13 year-old poor girl from a nondescript village in Telangana district who became the youngest girl ever to scale Mount Everest, can be summed up in one sentence - “Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you” (By Gayle Forman an award-winning internationally bestselling author in one of her books).
What Krishna was to Pandavas, Bhishma to Kauravas and Dhuruyodhan to Karna, an IPS turned Social Welfare officer PraveenKumar (Rahul Bose) became to Poorna. Kumar a Harward return IPS officer makes many eyebrows raise because of his choice to take up the least preferred profile of a Social Welfare Officer in remote places of Telangana. His first task was to deal with the challenge of addressing the school dropout rates of girls in the age group of 12 to 13 in state run schools. Kumar’s official visit to one such school makes him come across a girl who runs away from her school because she gets disillusioned about the school and its tall claims she read in one of the leaflets shared to her by her cousin Priya (S Marya). When Kumar meets Poorna on the wayside he asks her a life changing question – “If you run away from school, you set an example for the rest of the girls in school. Just think what kind of example you would like to set for others in life”?
It is questions and the sincere search for answers that led Poorna from the dusty road of a remote village to the snow-clad challenging peaks of Mount Everest one day. Nothing has such power to cause a complete mental turnaround as that of a question. Questions enable us to change our destiny, to change our unfavorable circumstances, to change the way we look at ourselves and to change the world. Kumar at a crucial juncture of selecting Poorna Malavath for official training of mountaineering asks her to tell why she want to climb Mount Everest? Poorna says she doesn’t have an answer then. But when she finally got a compelling answer what that question did was cause her to see the same situation from a new angle of view, and in doing so, created a new reality. The reality of creating history of being the first youngest girl at the age of 13 to scale the peaks of Everest.
Rahul Bose second directorial venture ‘Poorna’ is a well-intentioned and inspiring film. Having said this, it needed some more homework and smart work. The film’s screenplay is flawed and cinematography is good intermittently. Poorna doesn’t match the craft and beauty of many other Bollywood biopics like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Aligarh, Budhia Singh – Born to run which will leaves you in awe. Rahul Bose as PraveenKumar has done a good job and is impressive.
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The actors who win your hearts are the two lovely natural actors Aditi Inamdar and Mariya, who even over shadow versatile actors by their camaraderie on screen. Their talks about their dreams, love for freedom, equality and the right to have a good life are so inspiring and moving. Aditi Inamdar and Mariya fits the bill. They look so real on reel that it becomes hard to believe they are just playing characters offered to them. But then that’s all about the movie, the rest is average show.
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Harsha Vardhan as the Chief Minister, Dhritiman Chattterjee and Heeba Shah as bureaucrats are disappointing because their roles are not fleshed out properly and are found doing nothing significant. The dialogues between Rahul and Aditi sometimes appear to be not real and believable in terms of age and background of the child. The rock climbing sequences and training look laughable and staged. The Everest expedition scenes are pathetic and less convincing. This is so evident that it pains to see a movie of great possibility reduced to an average show. The songs and music by Salim-Sulaiman are average.
Nevertheless, Poorna a movie made with good intentions deserves to be watched once because even with all its flaws it still has the power to motivate you and your children. Go for it, so that you realize that it’s not the mountain that you conquer but your fears!!!
Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 2.5/5
Cast: Aditi Inamdar (Poorna), S Mariya (Priya), Rahul Bose (R S Praveen Kumar), Harsha Vardhan (Cheief Minister), Dhritiman Chatterjee (Alexander), Heeba Shah (Meena Gupta), Dr. Rayala Harischandra (Priya’s father), Lakshmi Kotla (Poorna’s Mother), Arif Zakaria (Col. Khan)
Director: Rahul Bose
Producers: Anil Patni, Rahul Bose
Writers: Prashant Pandey, Shreya Dev Verma
Music by: Salim-Sulaiman
Cinematography: Subhransu Das
Edited by: Manan Mehta
Production Company: PVR Pictures
Distributor: AA Films
Release Date: 6th March, 2017
Duration: 105 Minutes