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Little John (Region Free) (DVD Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000029158
Added by: Shahran Audit
Added on: 30/1/2002 19:53
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    Review of Little John

    7 / 10


    The film Little John stars American actor Bentley Mitchum, who has a main lead in this film. This is perhaps one of the ground breaking points in Indian cinema for a long time. It is the first time that a non-brown actor is a major star of an Indian film. White actors are normally stereotyped on Indian films as villains or as dumb comic characters. However Little John breaks conventional stereotyping of white people on Indian screen.

    But the film itself is quite a poorly executed product, despite having a good idea for a story. The film is a take on Indian mythical movies, and also has much influence from the Disney film ‘Honey I Shrunk The Kids’. While the humour and performances are good, especially from the Bentley Mitchum whose Tamil is not half bad, the special effects and some of the characterisations are weak. The plot is also full of holes due to the ill-timed situations the film throws up.

    Performances from Anupam Kher and Nasser will provide much laughs for younger audiences as they are shot in a childish atmosphere. I did enjoy the cinematography and music score, but there wasn’t really a need for Bentley Mitchum to sing and dance in one Tamil song ‘Poovuku Porandhannalu’. Luckily the song is quite catchy, and the way it is shot avoids it becoming too embarrassing. Other wonderful songs, which play like a music video during the movie, are ‘Paddavaa’, ‘Oh lady & Meri Mamosa’.

    The film’s major climax occurs too quickly and looks too rushed with its weak special effects, also some questions are left unanswered in the audiences mind. But the film is aimed solely at young children, and I’m sure they would enjoy the whole experience of the film. Adults will perhaps only enjoy Bentley Mitchum’s witty one-liners and performance.

    Its just a shame that the film turned out not to be as expected as it could have been a strong contender to launch Tamil cinema into a new era. A missed opportunity, however its one film worth watching once.


    The DVD is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.20:1, in an anamorphic transfer. While cropped from its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, cropping is never an issue. Much of the frame is covered. The picture quality is again as expected from Ayngaran: nice sharpness detail, good colour rendition, detailed blacks and no signs of any compression artefacts. But the DVD does have some flaws like the high amounts of wear and tear during reel changes, some film grain and some shimmering. However regardless of the flaws the picture still looks quite fresh, and is one I am pleased with for a film made on an extremely low budget.


    The 5.1 Dolby Digital Tamil soundtrack is wonderful substance from Ayngaran International. Made from its original DTS audio stems, the track is very much active and creates a wide dynamic sound range across all speakers. Sound effects in the rear speakers are well timed with what’s occurring on-screen and a greater deep bass presence is felt during certain sequences in the movie. Dialogues are a bit strong in places as it was mostly ADR produced but is it quite clear, and very audible.


    The DVD has no extras, which is a shame as a commentary track from the American actor would have been interesting. No making of feature’s or even a trailer is seen on this disc. But DVD does offer us high-quality menus that would put many Indian DVD’s to shame. Optional English subtitles are provided but they are really badly timed in places, and the grammar used is questionable at times. Neverless, many audiences will still understand what is occurring on screen.


    The DVD is the usual fare from Ayngaran, and considering its low prices in many local Indian stores it is worth the purchase if interested in the film.

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