Review: Chal Chala Chal

Review: Chal Chala Chal

Source: General

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 3/5

Monday 09 February 2009

Movie Title

Review: Chal Chala Chal


Rajiv Kumar

Star Cast

Govinda, Murli Sharma, Reema Sen, Rajpal Yadav, Om Puri, Asrani

The way a director chooses to open a film reflects a great deal on what lies ahead. This is one of those films that has, as its first shot, an overhead view of Mumbai city?s hustle-bustle at a crowded juncture. If you think back a few years back, this was the accepted mandatory shot for opening movies about Mumbai. A second later, we see the hero Deepak (Govinda), among many waiting to cross the road, when inevitably something funny must happen ? in this case his accidental bumping against a plump lady. An argument between the two ensues and the long scene, with no context to the story, is finally wrapped up,

We see Deepak?s bizarre family, where his own brother-in-law (Asrani), a lawyer, is fighting a case against his father (Om Puri), a retired college professor. The second brother-in-law (Manoj Joshi), a vehicle inspector, is averse to Deepak?s success. His two sisters, looking like they?ve stepped out of a saas-bahu serial set, are helpless against their husbands who are plotting to sell the house they all live in. Deepak is the only one who wants to keep this home for sentimental value. In court, Deepak refuses the assistance of a lawyer and wins the earlier case?but it?s a pyrrhic victory as all they win is a run-down bus. Instead of selling it, the patriarch suggests that a bus travel business be opened. Deepak with sidekick and friend Sundar (Rajpal Yadav) opens the bus service naming it Chal Chala Chal. Predictably, they encounter problems at every step, from incompetent drivers to an unreasonable trade union backing them. Somewhere in the middle, the audience must endure a song where Govinda and Yadav cavort with blonde dancers. The rest of the story has Deepak in-and-out of trouble, with his brothers-in-law plotting against him at every turn, and the Union getting violent. The only silver lining seems his father?s sage advice and the sweet-sour friendship with regular bus traveler Payal (Reema Sen). The ending is as predictable and safe as expected.

Comedy includes a track that has Sundar going after the bus?s resident mouse with the gear of the bus. There are occasional bright sparks though, like using a pun to call a `grateful? person a great fool.

Dialogue is archaic with Govinda going off into monologue mode about the aam aadmi etc. Unforgivably abrupt cuts make this look like a semi-finished picture.

Of the cast, Om Puri is excellent as the wise old man, especially when he tells his short-tempered son to sweet talk his way to closing the deal with the trade union. Govinda looks a bit mature for a role essentially written as a 20-something enterprising lad. Yadav doesn?t make you laugh at all. Reema Sen as the love interest does well. Her character, in fact, is an interesting one, especially during the track when she demands compensation of Deepak, after injuring herself on his bus. Emotionally moved by her false tales, Deepak keeps paying her till he realizes he?s been had.

Technically, the film is woefully archaic. Director Rajiv Kumar (producer of four films; director of one: Kranti Kshetrain 1994) makes a film that isn?t the worst this critic has encountered on the job; but it?s incredibly out of touch with the audience today and their evolved taste.

Rating: One star

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