Chaalis Chauraasi - Review

wogma rating: Watch when on TV (?)
quick review:

A crime-cum-situational comedy that starts out with witty one-liners and some awesome comic timing by the finest of performers fizzles out after the first half hour. A decent basic plot riddled by need for item numbers and long-drawn scenes that make the writers look clueless.

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Wogma Review

Recall a movie that you've thoroughly enjoyed. Remember the feeling of excited and gleeful anticipation for the next line because you are enjoying every bit of whatever is unfolding in front of you. That would be very close to what I experienced in the first 20-25 minutes of Chaalis Chauraasi. And then I tried to fight the boredom coming from a flat narrative and I lost the battle.

There is still the foursome Naseeruddin Shah, Kay Kay Menon, Atul Kulkarni and Ravi Kishanwho try to keep up the energy and chemistry they had generated earlier on. But their effort has to be too manifold to make up for the deteriorating pace of the narrative.

The downfall starts with the flashbacks of the characters. In hind sight, not only are the backstories a hindrance to the flow, they are also unnecessary. Nothing is made out of those histories in the rest of the film to justify the screen time they eat up.

Same goes for the item numbers. Though they have cute lyrics and it's fun to watch Naseeruddin Shah use his dancing skills in an item song, the variety wears out by the second song. It’s a shame that a director, Hriday Shetty who could be doing better things had to resort to the regular "commercial" modes. At the most, one song can be accepted as a part of the script, the others are all forced.

I know, I could copy-paste the earlier paragraph in almost every review I write (which is why I usually avoid any mention of songs, unless they are extremely good or bad.) But I choose to elaborate here because this film could have hit bull's eye if it were not for such intrusions. It had the cast, the slightly off-center style of direction, the off-beat story going for it. A potentially quick, zany, crisp film has given way for a plot that lost itself on the way to home run.

It’s a shame because there are very few films which have a good story line from start to finish. And Chaalis Chauraasi is one of them. The problem is what they chose to fill it up with. The comedy of errors loses its charm almost as if the dialogue writers lost their inspiration and the director felt over-inspired to elongate every other scene a little more than was necessary to keep the audience interested.

Yet, I'd look forward to Hriday Shetty's next film. It just feels like Chaalis Chauraasi was his attempt at finding his footing. Here's hoping he has.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Lots of shooting
  • Language: Use of foul language a few times.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Sleazy bar dances and many references/direct mentions of cheating/prostitution etc.
  • Concept: 4 criminals get together to commit a crime together and a comedy of errors occurs.
  • General Look and Feel: Not your regular bright comic texture. More on the sepia/darker side.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 2.5
  • Story: 2.5
  • Lead Actors: 4
  • Character Artists: 3
  • Dialogues: 3
  • Screenplay: 2
  • Music Director: 2.5
  • Lyrics: 3

Chaalis Chauraasi - Movie Details

Chaalis Chauraasi - Trailer

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Bollywood news:

A good movie needs a good story and damn good actors to get successful. and I think Chaalis Chauraasi got all the masala a perfect bollywood film should have. Characters played by Naseeruddin Shah and Atul Kulkarni seems interesting. Sometime some unexpected movies win the race and Chaalis Chauraasi seems one of those. Good work done by Director Hriday Shetty.

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