Do Dooni Chaar – Review
Posted by Editor on October 9, 2010 | No Comments
Producer – Arindam Chaudhuri
Executive Producer / Co-Producer – Shubho Shekhar Bhattacharjee
Director – Habib Faisal
Story and dialogues – Habib Faisal
Screenplay – Habib Faisal, Rahil Qazi.
Cast – Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Singh, Archit Krishna, Aditi Vasudev, Akhilendra Mishra, Supriya Shukla
Music – Meet Bros Anjan Ankit
It’s the little joys and pain and little lessons that make up life. Well, at least life in the Duggal household, but not unlike lakhs of other close-knit, middle-class households in India whose lives are packed between the 1st of this month and the next. Where every joy, hope and dream is budgeted and it is the sprinkle of togetherness that spices up life rather than fulfilled desires.
Sweet and spicy is this life and so does the film Do Dooni Chaar portray it, rather veering towards the sweet a little more, to temper a harsher reality that surrounds us.
So if Mrs Duggal is the archetypal mother and wife who is forever cribbing about her thankless status, she is also the support and strength of the simple and mild Mr Duggal. So if Mr Duggal is the upright, no-nonsense school teacher, he is also a meek husband to his wife. So if Payal is a brash young girl, she is also a warm and supportive daughter, and her Deepu maybe a burger-toting, wayward gambler of a teenager, but is a actually just an innocent child really.
Habib Faisal’s heart-warming tale of a simple middle-class family in Delhi is full of people and incidents from the India that surrounds us, probably one that many of us grew up in. The travails of the Duggal family begin with the ‘necessity’ to own a car and the several obstacles and little learnings that come on the path of realizing that dream.
It all begins with Mr Duggal’s sister inviting them for a marriage at her in-laws place but insisting they come in a car because it is a question of her status back at her in-laws place. So indelibly is this pre-condition set in our mileu that instead of questioning the basis or validity of it we always succumb to it. The Duggal family is but a representation of this larger reality. From then on the ‘car’, an aspirational symbol of all that ‘status’, ‘success’ and ‘having arrived’ in life takes over the Duggal family. Calculations and machinations start inorder to acquire this symbol of prosperity amongst apparent struggle for income.
Amongst a peppering of tongue-in-cheek humour, a little bit of preaching and a little bit of reality, Habib Faisal weaves this tale in an earthy and entertaining fashion, never losing focus on the light-hearted-ness of the moment. He never lets the narrative get heavy despite the evident trials and tribulations of his protagonists becoming serious. He maintains a tight rein on the narrative tone as well as structure to let it flow with the ease of daily life and subdued drama of what reality really presents us. He paints a picture of middle-class Delhi with a flourish and a fervor though a bit caricaturish or rather stereotyping a few truths.
The film maintains a steady pace, even at times reflecting the mundane-ness of middle-class life with a resounding sincerity. It weaves in songs situationally with tongue-in-cheek lyrics that inevitably bring a smile despite the seeming forced-ness at times.
The film is tightly knit and held together by the main cast which is Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Kapoor, Archit Krishna and Aditi Vasudev. The energy and chemistry with which all four perform is a pleasure to watch and keeps the film afloat even when individual performances, characters or screenplay falters. It’s not only a superb ensemble cast that the director has brought together but gotten a superb performance out of them. Rishi Kapoor’s energy and total investment in his role is trademark and he looks his part to the T, as the brow-beaten, low-paid, pot-bellied, idealistic Maths teacher. Neetu Kapoor’s ‘come-back’ is refreshing and so is her role, typical and rather staid by many standards but the combination of an actress never been identified with such a role and her pleasant screen presence gives the film a fillip. Aditi as the fiery Payal is a class act, never missing a beat, never over-doing it and always keeping time to the rhythms of her co-actors! Archit as the wayward, young boy who mends his ways later does justice with his flair and spontaneity.
Do Dooni Chaar might not be a big film or screamingly entertaining. It is rather preachy about its old world morals and life. But it is a pleasantly woven tale of warm characters that takes us along on a two-hour journey that not many may crib about. In any event, much less than we do about the film’s reality anyways!