blabbermouth male chum Amit (Madan Deodhar) from drowning during a
field trip, but it turns out that Mahek is the one in need of help.
Mahek’s comic gaffes and Dangerfield-esque lack of respect (even her
dog gets mail—from PETA!) eventually lead to some depression, so it’s a
good thing that a worldly fairy godmother (Lalan Sarang) pops up on
occasion with observations on the power of imagination. Director Kranti
Kanade pitches this gentle comedy with tongue-in-cheek flourishes (the
movie often resembles those 1950s-era Chuck Jones/Warner Brothers
cartoons with daydreamer Ralph Phillips), with laugh-out-loud moments
in abundance during the sequence devoted to the students’ scientific
inventions. Young Sharma, who has a Hilary Duff-level following in
India, has a winning way with Mahek’s tween-age travails, and she’s
well supported by Anuja Borkar as Mahek’s best gal pal and Deodhar’s
scene-stealing Amit; when Amit auditions for a school play, he asks the
teacher, “Do you want Method acting or natural?” The end credits state
that Mahek is “in memory of Francois Truffaut,” presumably for his kid-oriented delights such as Small Change, and this family-friendly feature certainly matches Truffaut’s cinematic spirit. Ballroom, Saturday, May 3, 11:30 a.m.
Daydream believer: Shreya Sharma as Mahek, screening Saturday at the Hotel Syracuse.