Bubble Gum: An 80s film released in 2011

MUMBAI: Bubble Gum is about a troubled teenager, his perceived insecurities, infatuation, rivalry and, finally, his coming of age. With growing star prices, different genres are being tried along with some which don't easily fit a genre.

Bubble Gum is about a middle class housing society in 1980s Jamshedpur when there was no net or cell phone and life's aspirations were simpler and pace leisurely.

The society has its bunch of young boys and girls, one of whom is Delzad Hiwale, a 14-year-old lad. Delzad has a few issues but he has found a purpose in his lonely life in a 13-year-old girl, Apoorva Arora, who has shifted to the same complex. He has fallen in love. However, as at home, here too he has a hurdle to face.

At home Delzad feels neglected since his older brother, who is deaf and mute, is sent away to a hostel, for such students get more attention while he is just taken for granted for being normal. Similarly, in his pursuit of love too he has a competitor with all the traits of a '80s film villain in Suraj Kumar, a year older than him. The boy is Reggie Mantle to Delzad's Archie, only more sinister and devious.

Delzad's troubles mount when his deaf and mute older brother, Sohail Lakhani, comes home for Holi vacations and not only gets all the attention from the parents but is also responsible for Delzad having to stay at home all the time, forced to keep his brother company.

Delzad's so called social life comes to standstill as does his pursuit of love. His arch rival, meanwhile, uses all the ploys and plots to get ahead in the race. The centre of all the activities is the Holi festival while the favourite pass time of the girls as well as boys is playing kabbadi, something that may seem out of sync to today's generation. After all the enmities and family misgivings, the spirit of Holi prevails and each realises his/her own misplaced priorities.

The best part about this film is its casting, gathering raw, young talent from across India; all the actors give natural performances with the prototype villain, Suraj Kumar coming tops closely followed by Sohail Lakhani and Delzad Hiwale. Apporva Arora and Azeen, along with veterans Sachin Khedekar and Tanvi Azmi, are apt. The director has stuck to exploring the innocence of that era which today's parents may identify more with than the children. Music is situational.

Bubble Gum has its few cute moments but it is not the kind of venture to sustain at the box office.

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