Thursday, May 24, 2007

Ek Chaalis Ki Last Local

This is a movie which makes you smile quite often but very rarely does it manage to convert that smile into laughter. It tries very hard to be a comedy, to be quirky, to push the boundaries, has liberal doses of Mumbai humour and even creates a series of potentially funny situations, but it still doesn’t manage to elicit the belly-moving laughter.

Its about Abhay Deol, who misses the last local (train) at night from Kurla to Vikhroli (in Mumbai), tries to take an auto-rickshaw and meets Neha Dhupia, who is also co-incidentally trying to get to Vikhroli. The auto’s are on strike, so they decide to start walking together till they find an auto willing to go. They then encounter different situations – rain, some charsi’s (druggies), a bar, some more rain, an old friend, a card game, corrupt cops, denizens of the underworld among others. These don’t come thick and fast, its not a non-stop action movie, and while some situations stretch the realms of possibility, none are completely impossible.

So while this assures you of some good entertainment, and some good moments, I don’t think its one for the DVD collection. I think Abhay Deol overacts, doesn’t have the flair to pull off his role. You can see why they chose him – his seedha boy innocent looks – but then this doesn’t help when they want to show him ogling at Neha’s plunging neckline or dying for a beer – doesn’t fit with his dimpled smile and shy demeanour. Everyone else was ok in the movie, I think some of characters were deliberately over the top. There was this Eunuch / Pimp who was good and a character named Mangesh Bhai had his moments but most turned in average performances. The script is a bit forced, uses too much Mumbai language for my liking. The songs are ok, nothing stands out. The situations, though, are interesting for sure. You do wonder whats coming next. But even here I think the director missed a trick by showing the movie in flashback form – the opening sequence shows Abhay talking to us about what he has just been through and for me that spoilt to a degree the suspense of what lay ahead.

So, what are we left with ? As with most of the movies these days it’s a bit different. It doesn’t make you think too much, the grey cells can safely be left at home. I think a few people will go home smacking their forehead and thinking ‘what crap !’ and about the same number, probably younger profile people will go away thinking ‘wow, that was brilliant !’. But most, I think, like me will go home thinking it was ok, it was a movie that tried too hard to be funny.

1 comment:

Aditya said...

I have to confess this is too late a time to watch and opine on this movie. A good movie to watch once. I do agree with Apurv that the movie could have been better if the flashback type intro would have been avoided.

The thing I would like to add is Abhay and Neha are a perfect casting. Especially Abhay as the innocent Neelesh has been potrayed/moulded very naturally in his shy yet clever and desireful guy.......desire for beer, cards, flirting, sex and money. This is the true reflection f the psyche of the middle class Indian youth. Another instance of very thoughtful direction was in the gay scene of Abhay and Deepak Shirke. Abhay's reaction in the scene " Bus ab jo kuch hona hai jaldi ho jaye." is so natural still brlliant. I would not have thought of that.

I also appreciated the reaction