Review - Aloo Chat: more sweet than spicy

wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV (?)
quick review:

A start towards being a Hrishkesh Mukherjee film. Keeps that smile on the face throughout. But doesn't offer a laughter fest.

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Wogma Review

The déjà vu feeling makes you uneasy as you see the "Amerika-returned" boy look for a suitable match in India. The set-up that you must have seen umpteen number of times in various movies touching upon the issue. And unexpectedly, the clichéd setting of an arranged marriage meeting changes into a quirky comic situation. The smile that starts at that point stays on until after you've left the theater. Sure there aren't any laugh-your-guts-out moments but there are many sweet comic moments and a few idiosyncratic elements that render a light and yet complex texture to the story.

Very cleverly Aloo Chat salutes the alternative to eloping - a trend set by Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. Intermittently, it also reminds you of the number of Hrishikesh Mukherjee/Basu Chatterjee films set in middle class families. Though it is a good start towards being one of them, it doesn't come close to becoming one. The Mukherjee and Chatterjee films had a knack of making the most improbable situations seem real. Here a possibly real situation seems contrived. And yet you are reminded of films like Chupke Chupke, Bawarchee and Hamari Bahu Alka.

The story is sprinkled with interesting characters. From Nikhil's (Aftab Shivdasani's) resentful dad to his suspicious maternal uncle, Chaddami to his tolerant grandmother to the street-side chaat vendor - each one was given lines that added to their personality. There is something very refreshing about Chaddami who is supposedly a fool everyone loves to put down but is actually the most observant of them all. The cast is not outstanding because it is still caricature-like and the film does tend to slip into slapstick mode every once in a while. But, they all do a good job of making us smile with their timing and the specific style of dialogue delivery assigned to each one of them.

There is also this underlying element of putting things in perspective or emphasizing the fact that 'everything is relative'. This is done through the story and not explicitly verbalized. Sure, the film goes into preachy mode only for about two sentences towards the end. But that's hardly anything to complain about. It is ultimately a clean comedy that doesn't even pretend to make you laugh out loud. Neither does it try to be a technically brilliant product. They just want you to grin and smirk and think about a socially relevant issue. And achieve that, they do.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: None
  • Language: No profanity.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Linda in a bikini.
  • Concept: The younger generation trying to use different ways to convince the older generation of their likes and dislikes.
  • General Look and Feel: All done in a very light environment.

Aloo Chat - Trailer

Comments (1)

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Giftsomeone:

Aloo Chaat is a simple comedy movie..with a twist..it beautifully shows the limits of a middle class family.

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