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Chaalis Chauraasi

Chaalis Chauraasi review: Superb performances, average film!

Source: Sify

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 17/5

Thursday 12 January 2012

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Movie Title

Chaalis Chaurasi

Director

Hriday Shetty

Star Cast

Naseeruddin Shah, Atul Kulkarni, Kay Kay Menon, Ravi Kissen, Shweta Bhardwaj

We meet the four protagonists through a video recording as they introduce themselves and their criminal history. Sir (Naseeruddin Shah) was an English professor involved with a biology teacher with great "anatomy". A violent fight with the wife led him to be jailed for ten years. Now, he claims to be a hardened criminal.

Bobby (Atul Kulkarni) talks about coming to the city to be a singer but ending up a pimp. Albert Pinto (Kay Kay Menon) is a passionate car thief. Shakti (Ravi Kissen) sells drugs.

The film is unapologetic about being morally bankrupt. After all, our heroes are unabashed offenders. With the moral load off its head, it scores in endearing the characters to the viewer. Goofy, funny and solid friends, the four come across as accidental criminals. But they?re not as benign as they look.

Sir is the group leader who chances upon loot worth crores. He organizes this group of four into cracking the job. They steal a car (its number plate is 4084?the title of the film), that further gets stolen from them. That they?re roaming around as senior policemen doesn?t help. Especially when a real cop (Rajesh Sharma, superb), corners them into a dangerous assignment. They are to look for a dreaded convict (Zakir Hussain, dependably good) on the run.

The humour is ok?ranging from funny to flat. There are lines that go, "Main kaise boloon?" and the reply is, "Muh se bolo". That the latter line is spoken by the ever-efficient Kay Kay Menon makes it bearable. Two risqu? dance numbers that have our not-so-young protagonists shake a leg are unnecessary and jarring.

The finale goes berserk with an attempt to fold in humour with violence. So you witness a man getting electrocuted, burnt, and shot through the throat. All this is supposedly funny because those killed are from the opposite party.

Director Hriday Shetty, who made the endearing Pyaar Mein Twist, is on a weak wicket here. And that?s such a pity, because with this cast, it could have been an ensemble film to remember. The performances sparkle and there are a few moments of heartfelt camaraderie and humour. Other than that, Chaalis Chauraasi remains an average crime-caper.

Rating: Two and a half stars

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