Little Zizou is an episodic extraordinaire fashioned by debutante director Sooni Taraporevala, who is an award-winning screenplay writer for such acclaimed films as The Namesake, Salaam Bombay and Mississippi Masala.
The film is an allegory on the cotemporary hypocrisy-filled society that thrives on racial and religious fundamentalism selling packages of hatred at a discount. The hard realities of life are showcased through the soft power of Little Zizou in the backdrop of a Parsi community.
This is the story of Xerxes Khodaiji, a motherless child, told from his point of view. Xerxes gets the pet name of Zizou because of his idol Zinedine Zidane, the world famous Algerian-origin football player who captained Team France in the FA World Cup.
Zizou is trapped in the crisscross currents emanating from the events orchestrated by his father Cyrus Khodaiji (Sohrab Ardeshir), uncle Boman Pressvala (Boman Irani), jurno-aunt Roxanne (Xenobia Shroff) and elder brother Artaxerxes Khodaiji (Imaad Shah). He goes through the swirling floods of hatred and the calm waters of love and affection.
We are treated to the rise and fall of hatred through the eyes of Little Zizou.
This film is crafted entirely by Sooni with care and concern and so no character or its player dominates the episodic format narration of the film.
However, Boman Irani, Sohrab Ardeshir and Imaad Shah are impressive. The child artistes Jahan Battivala and Iyanah Battivala are simply extraordinary. Zenobia Shroff and Kamal Sidhu are adorable. All other actors are more than adequate for their roles.
The story content and screenplay format have been skillfully amalgamated with regular cinematic verticals and parallel cinema laterals. Himman Dhamija’s camera work is very good. Bickram Ghosh’ music enhances the mood of the scenes.
Though Little Zizou is a mega-polis-multiplex kind of film, do not miss it. Sooni Taraporevala has made a cinematic allegory, on the human frailties and foibles along with the consequent conceptual pitfalls, which is thought provoking.
This film is made in Hindi, Gujarathi and English. Make a choice of your language preference and watch the film. You will be just afloat on pleasant ambience when you exit the theatre.
“Sooni Taraporevala tries her hand at direction. And what a deft hand! For, her debut venture is a sheer delight, both stylistically and content-wise.” — Times of India
Boman Irani … Boman Pressvala
Sohrab Ardeshir … Cyrus II Khodaiji
Imaad Shah … Artaxerxes Khodaiji
Shernaz Patel … Miss Patel
Zenobia Shroff … Roxanne Pressvala
Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal … Majestic Grandmother
Kunal Vijaykar … Kunal
Tknow Francorsi … Tito Fellini
Kurush Deboo … Kurush Chief Disciple
Kamal Sidhu … Alka Mehta
Dilshad Patel … Zenobia Pressvala
Jahan Battivala … Xerxes Khodaiji
Iyanah Battivala … Liana Pressvala
John Abraham … Arjun (Special Appearance)
Banner: Jigri Dost Productions & Studio 18
Presented By: Mira Nair & Studio 18
Produced By: Dinaz Stafford, Sooni Taraporevala & Vandana Malik
Written And Directed By: Sooni Taraporevala
Original Music: Bickram Ghosh
Executive Producer: Brad Gross
Director Of Photography: Himman Dhamija
Production Designer: Nitin Desai
Art Director: Amrita Singh
Editors: T.woody Richman & Kristina Boden
Costumes Designers: Arjun Bhasin & Shahnaz Vahanvaty
Director of Choreography: Shiamak Davar
3.5 out of 5
Review by Deen Kumar