I Am Kalam (2011)

 ●  Hindi ● 1 hr 28 mins

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Embedded with deep insight and social relevance, this inspiring drama delves into the life of Chottu (Harsh Mayar), a feisty boy, who is exceptionally intelligent and has a thirst for learning, but is forced to work at a roadside eatery instead. The mother puts a stone on her heart and gets the boy working at 'Bhati's Dhaba' because of their utter poverty. Set in Rajasthan, the dhaba is doing well - it supplies daily meals to the royal family and also to the guests residing in the palace's heritage hotel. Bhati (Gulshan Grover), takes to the little boy immediately. Like most child labourers in India, he too is nicknamed Chotu, a name he vehemently detests. Laptan (Pitobash Tripathy) who was Bhati's only staff so far, is suddenly threatened. His attempts at harassing the new entrant and their volatile equation is hilarious. At times, of course, the jealousy gets out of hand. After seeing an inspiring television speech by former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam, Chotu's heart swells with dreams. On hearing of the former president's humble beginnings delivering newspapers for money, the little boy renames himself Kalam. His mother, far away in the village, has no idea of this development. Foreigners flocking to Bhati's Dhaba adore Kalam and his broken English. The secret of his new-found linguistic skills lies in the palace where he drops off tea every day. He has befriended Ranvijay Singh, the palace's little prince (Hussan Saad). This poor little rich boy, swimming in luxuries and bored of his ultra-privileged lifestyle, was yearning for a friend too. He and Kalam make a pact - one will teach the other English, the other will help with Hindi. Starkly depicting two disparate Indias existing side-by-side, this touching tale delves into many layers of socio-cultural practice in India. It's a world where the two friends have to meet discreetly fearing the family's strict instructions to befriend 'only royal blood'. But for how long will their friendship survive? How far will Kalam's obsession with his role model take him?

Cast: Gulshan Grover

Crew: Nila Madhab Panda (Director)

Rating: U (India)

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family

Release Dates: 05 Aug 2011 (India)

Hindi Name: ई आम कलम

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Screenplay Writer
Film Type:
Spoken Languages:
English, Punjabi, Rajasthani
Colour Info:
Sound Mix:
Dolby Digital
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
2.39:1 (Scope)
Archival Source: