Touted as 'based on life of APJ Abdul Kalam'; I am Kalam is actually 'inspired' by him. Directed by Nila Madhab Panda, this is one lovely charming tale of little 'Chhotu'; played endearingly by Harsh Mayar [no doubt he won a National Award for the performance]. The film effortlessly fits in the league of some fantastic flicks of the genre, like-Tahaan, Ramchand Pakistani, The Blue Umbrella and recent Stanley Ka Dabba.
I am Kalam is story of Chhotu, who works at a roadside 'dhaba' [hotel] in a small town of Rajasthan, owned by Bhati [Gulshan Grover, surprisingly in a likeable performance]. Chhotu has a dream of getting educated in a school, become a 'big' man when he grow up. Film fanatic Laptan [Pitobash Tripathi] is also serving at the same place, senior to Chhotu, he gets annoyed by the attention clever Chhotu is getting by Bhati. Moments involving both of them are funny that keeps you engaged in the movie. Also, the charming smile-always on face of Chhotu [who names himself as Kalam after watching the president in news] keeps you hooked. Husaan Saad playing Ranvijay, the little prince living nearby Haveli, as the only friend of little Kalam, is again a likeable character.
Though there are some glitches in editing - it is forgivable anyways because thanks to the clever screenplay, the main theme of Kalam's dream, never gets off the track. Adding another character - French tourist Lucy played by Beatrice Ordeix, the film gets more interesting as she interacts with Kalam[Chhotu], Ranvijay and Bhati - and promises Chhotu to take him to Delhi to study. Watch out for the jam session started by Lucy playing RavanHatha. A beautiful fusion piece of music is out there. The climax [as expected] has endearing moments which leaves smile on your face. A content feeling.
Watch it for taste of real rural Rajasthan. Its simplicity and for Harsh Mayar - the star of the show.