Review: Chowrasta-Crossroads of Love

Review: Chowrasta-Crossroads of Love

Source: General

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 3/5

Monday 20 April 2009

Movie Title

Review: Chowrasta-Crossroads of Love


Anjan Dutt

Star Cast

Saswata Chaterjee, Roopa Ganguly, Neil Bose, Naved Aslam, Aparajita, Atul Kulkarni, Victor Banerjee

Having seen and walked out midway from Anjan Dutt?s The Bong Connection, this writer was filled with anxiety at having to watch another film by the director. But Chowrasta turned out to be a surprisingly pleasant, lilting experience.

We are first introduced to Nandana?s (Roopa Ganguly, delightful as ever) track. She?s a movie star who?s visiting Darjeeling with her current lover Jojo (Arijit Dutta), a photographer who hasn?t heard about Cartier-Bresson. Accompanying them is her son Rick (Neil Bose), who gets kidnapped sometime during the film.

Nandana meets up with ex-husband Deep (Saswata Chaterjee, wonderful) who works at a local boarding school and is befuddled by a piece of news that Nandana proclaims is true. In a nearby hotel, honeymooning-eloped couple Rita (Aparajita) and Sunny (Naved Aslam) are already bickering. Rita insists he do something respectable for a profession and doesn?t agree with Sunny?s ambitions stopping at managing his father?s garage. Rita leaves the hotel and Sunny pours his heart out to a stranger Jimmy (Victor Banerjee) who, through his sometimes-bizarre conversation, puts some sense into the moping lover.

Jimmy, who is inclined to recite poems randomly, himself is besieged with suicidal grief after his wife?s death. When not attempting to ?fly? off a cliff, he picks up these random heartbroken souls and counsels them. During one such suicide attempt, Kenny (Atul Kulkarni, fabulous) stops him and the following conversation inspires him to rethink his life as a terrorist and kidnapper. He?s the one who had kidnapped Nandana?s son Rick, when in dire need of money. How these fascinating characters? lives intersect with each other and how their stories culminate at the Chowrasta of Darjeeling forms the story at a glance.

It?s the moments between the characters that really make the movie special. It?s touching how Rick harasses his kidnapper with demands for ?Tiger biscuits and Filmfare magazine? only to form a bond with him, even advising him on how much ransom to ask. Other unlikely conversations happen between Jojo and Deep, as Jojo softly confesses that Nandana has considered only Deep as her ?only true husband?. The awkward conversation between Nandana and Deep is also worth savouring as it flits from loving concern to a vitriolic blame-game to tenderness again.

The film has brilliant characterisation and each role is filled with delicious layers. Note the scene where Kenny, who we presume to be the most dangerous of all, sobs uncontrollably in the loo. Atul Kulkarni is just remarkable in this scene.

Of course, on their meeting, Jimmy unintentionally transforms Kenny?s life. And on Jimmy?s suggestion that he guarantees will ?have her panting like an Alsatian? that Sunny serenades Rita in a bar (a lovely song).

After the film?s over, what resonates most are the characters and the way director Anjan Dutt makes the unlikeliest of them meet and have their bizarre, wonderful conversations. The mind-blowing performance by the cast forms the film?s very backbone. The downsides are a languorous pace and the story interrupted by an occasional voice-over reciting poetry. The poetry?s pretty, but you?re far more interesting in seeing what happens to the characters. Still, definitely worth a watch.

Rating: 2 1/2 stars

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