Mozez Singh’s debut film “Zubaan” (Language) could technically be two movies. One is the story of an ambitious young man who will do anything to become rich and achieve his goals; the other, a coming-of-age film about a boy and his love of music.

Singh chooses to fuse two rather diverse narratives into a two-hour film and ends up doing justice to neither.

Dilsher (Vicky Kaushal) is a troubled young man from a village in Gurdaspur who comes to the big city in search of real estate magnate Sikand (Manish Choudhary), who he considers his idol. Not beyond causing others bodily harm or lying through his teeth to get to his goal, Dilsher soon finds favour with Sikand, who makes his displeasure with his own son amply clear.

But it seems Singh and script writer Sumit Roy didn’t have enough meat in this story because they decide to introduce Amira (Sarah-Jane Dias), a singer who is fighting her own demons. From here on, it seems as if Kaushal has wandered onto the sets of two different films.

The narrative involving Sikand and his family just doesn’t gel with Dilsher and Amira’s story. Dilsher’s passion for music and the reason for his angst are dealt with haphazardly, rather than being a consistent thread in the story.

Kaushal makes the best of the limited resources available to him and is eminently watchable as Dilsher. Dias, on the other hand, can’t make much of her character beyond swaying her body violently to convey the trance-like state that her character Amira seems to be in.

Despite the markedly unoriginal scenes and predictable story, “Zubaan” might have been a coherent film if the director wasn’t so confused. As it stands though, this is a film that cannot overcome its split-personality disorder.


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