Sometimes, big things come in small packages. The expectations from CHINTUJI are zilch. Even the pre-release promotion is extremely low-key. Also, the awareness is as good as nil. But CHINTUJI springs a pleasant surprise. It packs in a solid punch in those 2 hours.
No, this isn't the best film made this side of the Atlantic. Nor does it boast of A-list stars or gloss and scale to catch our attention. But CHINTUJI works because it narrates a simple story of simple people in a simplistic manner.
The township [Hadbahedi] is Utopian, but the characters are very, very real. Writer-director Ranjit Kapoor narrates the story of do-gooders, which only reinforces your faith in goodness and humility. Also, CHINTUJI wouldn't be what it is had it not been for a performer of the calibre of Rishi Kapoor. Take a bow, Chintuji!
Final word? CHINTUJI is a sparkling gem that deserves to be watched. Strongly recommended!
Hadbahedi, a beautiful town, is forward looking but honest. The Hadbahedians believe that they have been totally neglected by the state and seek an identity of their own. Things brighten when they discover that Rishi/Chintu Kapoor was actually born in their town. They send an invite to him and he accepts as he is looking at politics to make a comeback in a big way and Hadbahedi could well be his constituency.
Rishi arrives in Hadbahedi along with Devika [Kulraj Randhawa], the intelligent executive of the PR agency hired for Rishi's political dreams. Rishi is a nuisance at Hadbahedi and treats the innocent people of Hadbahedi with contempt. Tension erupts when Rishi gets a lucrative offer from a neighbouring town...
Inspired by a play THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER, CHINTUJI abounds in humour and the comic sequences, sprinkled generously throughout the film, are truly funny. At times, hilarious. In fact, substantial footage is devoted to Bollywood and even those portions are beautifully integrated in the storyline.
But the film slows in the second hour. Actually, portions linking Priyanshu with an act of terror were just not required. In fact, these portions only add to the length of the film. Besides, the pact between Rishi and Annu Kapoor [playing a power broker] could've been stronger as well. However, the end is simply brilliant. It moves you!
Ranjit Kapoor is a director to watch. His writing, in most parts, is super. Camerawork [Sunny Joseph] is perfect.
Rishi Kapoor is the soul of CHINTUJI. The veteran has essayed a wide variety of roles in his illustrious career, but CHINTUJI is special. This is amongst his most accomplished works. Priyanshu Chatterjee looks perfect for his part. Kulraj Randhawa is highly competent. Amongst the assorted characters, Grusha Kapoor and Saurabh Shukla are excellent. Kamal Chatterjee Shabnam, the septuagenarian who plays the dai, is very good. Sophie Choudry is alright. The remaining actors are also well cast.
On the whole, CHINTUJI is a gem that deserves a watch. Yes, there's no awareness for this film, the pre-release hype is also zero and of course, it has to contend with a bombardment of new films week after week and chances are that this film may get ignored due to these reasons. But here's a request to all cine lovers and also multiplexes, from this writer. Give this film a chance. Let's nurture it well, so that genuine efforts like CHINTUJI don't go unnoticed.