CHAALIS CHAURASI – Movie Review
Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on January 13, 2012 | No Comments
PRODUCER – ANUYA MHAISKAR, SACHIN AWASTHEE AND UDAY SHETTY
DIRECTOR – HRIDAY SHETTY
WRITER – YASH-VINAY
CAST – NASEERUDDIN SHAH, ATUL KULKARNI, KAY KAY MENON, RAVI KISSEN, SHWETA BHARDWAJ, RAJESH SHARMA, ZAKIR HUSSAIN
MUSIC – LALIT PANDIT AND VISHAL RAJAN
Many a times a film becomes its characters. Or rather actors in the case of Chaalis Chaurasi. Then it stoops to the presence and prowess of stage-burners and unless the vision of the film or its story stands above all, rarely does a film like this is able to bear the weight of a weightily talented star-cast.
Probably, the onus of the film’s failure lies there. Failure, yes we’ve already said it. In a casting coup of sorts the film gets together Naseeruddin Shah as Pankaj Suri or Sir, Kay Kay Menon as Albert Pinto, a car thief, Atul Kulkarni as Bobby, a bar singer and Ravi Kisshen as Shakti , a drug dealer. They are small-time crooks with dreams in their eyes and corny plans to make it big which involves raiding a deserted house to catch hold of 20 crores. Even as they dress up as cops and begin their act they are confronted with an actual encounter cop (Rajesh Sharma) who enlists them to catch a real-time gangster Bisleri (Zakir Hussain). The four suddenly meet the real world. Will their bravado last and will their dreams outrun the harshness of the reality?
The film is a caper film which keeps the narrative run-time as short as a night’s dilemma but includes reels of flashback that doesn’t give the impression of tightness. It tackles the characters with depth, revealing to us the story of each in great detail but in doing so side-steps their present. It tries to infuse as much quirk as possible in the entire proceedings but a rather short-sighted approach to comedy and narrative leaves the actors and story short of lasting pegs reducing the entire film to flashes of wit and some inconsistently sparkling chemistry. A listless and sometimes uninspiring plot twists leave the actors with little material to infuse in the proceedings. So Naseeruddin Shah looks like a misfit, Ravi Kishen becomes OTT, Kay Kay Menon swaggers from feel good convincing to ineffective and Atul Kulkarni is refreshing at best, but only because the zest with which he seems to be enjoying himself is so.
The film seems to be paying tribute to the film industry with the way it chooses to name its protagonists and thereby indulgingly professing a huge love for its own. It makes us dig into our past as well with a refreshing inclusion of the 80’s Pakistani hit song ‘Hawa Hawa’. It then trips over its feet by introducing pointless item numbers and slapstick comedy that makes for slightly embarrassing watch.
The film takes too long to come to the point. It meanders needlessly over laugh-out-loud moments at the cost of story-telling. Even though we love knowing about Sir’s erstwhile crush and Pinto’s almost child-like car craze at the end of it all the journey becomes exhausting enough for us to ultimately ask – ”And the point was?” Not a good thing for a film to evoke, you will agree.