this review was first published on burrp!
Director: Hriday Shetty
Starring: Naseeruddin Shah, Kay Kay Menon, Atul Kulkarni, Ravi Kishan, Zakir Hussain
Burrp! says: **
Look closely at the cast of the movie. Does it attract you? Call you to the theatres? Yes! Victim no 1 is none other than me. And now I am looking for Hriday Shetty with pain in my heart and questions in my head. How can you get away with committing such a crime? How can you cast Naseeruddin Shah, Kay Kay Menon and Atul Kulkarni in an excuse for a film?
Moving on to the story, a professor turned wife-murderer turned driver (Naseeruddin Shah), a pimp (Atul Kulkarni), a drug peddler (Ravi Kishan ) and a car thief (Kay Kay Menon) hatch a plan to steal money from a gang that supplies fake currency notes. They dress up as cops, steal a police van and are headed to Kalyan for the big night when a real cop stops them. The second half is as the song suggests, ‘a crazy night, a hell of a ride.’
The script that looks good on paper turns into a disaster on screen. At certain points it reminds you of ‘Ek Chalis Ki Last Local’ but the direction isn’t as crisp and edgy. The flashbacks are craftily created to throw item numbers at an unsuspecting audience. The first one hits you within 10 minutes in to the movie and by the time the third one arrives you’ve already sunken low in your seats. However, there are some funny lines in between and for the rest of the film you are laughing because it does not make any sense at all. The climax does remind you of the crazy laugh riot ‘Pineapple Express’ only that it’s badly done. The leading men walking in slow motion like ‘Reservoir Dogs’ has been repeated till you finally scream, “Move it faster, dude!”
The director/producer tried creating a buzz by getting the 90s Pakistani popstar Hassan Jahangir to sing his then hit ‘Hawa Hawa’. My one suggestion to such creative geniuses; please let that music stay in that era. It’s good the way it is, don’t kill its essence with those stupid remixes.
Coming to the cast; the director managed to get the cream of the industry but as they say, wild cats don’t work in packs and these actors definitely are the tigers. We’d rather watch them separately in different movies than all of them getting together and making a mockery of themselves. While we loved Naseer Sir spoofing the 80s heroes in ‘Ooh la la’ (The Dirty Picture
) we definitely didn’t like the site of him gyrating hips on a ‘Munni’ like number. Kay Kay plays the street smart car thief with as much ease as he plays a cop or a military person. Atul Kulkarni looks odd in funky t-shirts and dyed hair and the discomfort reflects in the performance as well. Ravi Kishan is decent and flexes his muscle too many times probably to shift focus from his jiggling belly.
To sum it up, Chalis Chaurasi is a bad product packaged well. I recommend you watch The Dirty Picture, Gulaal and Natarang back to back if the star cast of this movie lures you.