P.L.A. Productions has produced some interesting films in the past. Films like KHATTA MEETHA, CHASHME BUDDOOR and JALWA have won critical acclaim as well as audience appreciation.
Their latest production, CHUPKE SE..., tries hard to fall in the league of KHATTA MEETHA and CHASHME BUDDOOR, but doesn't get it right. The film tries to balance a love story with humour, but the result is neither complete khatta, nor complete meetha.
Varun [Zulfi Syed], a millionaire, has spent his life surfing the net. Megha [Masumi] longs for a luxurious life. She dreams of wearing the crown and becoming a celebrity.
Varun chases Megha. Megha chases her dreams. Megha's father Mr. Timgire [Dilip Prabhavalkar], an income tax officer, chases the dream maker Almira [Rati Agnihotri]. The Don [Om Puri] chases Mr. Timgireï¿½
With a story like the one in this film, debutante director Shona Urvashi should've concentrated on either making it a love story or a light entertainer. Instead, she has tried to package too much in the film, leaving the viewer clueless about what she intends conveying.
If the love story is appealing in parts, the Rati Agnihotri-Tinnu Anand-Dilip Prabhavakar track gives an impression that the director is trying hard to tickle your funny bone. The best moments are when Om Puri comes on screen, but just one character cannot undo the harm done by a weak script.
A few moments in the film do grab your attention. Like the one when Masumi confesses to her parents about the beauty pageant [pre-climax] or the sequence between Jayant Kripalani and Masumi at the dinner table. And, of course, Om Puri's portions, which are truly enjoyable.
But the climax gives away completely. Besides being long-drawn, it actually falls flat since it tries hard to make you laugh, but in vain.
Director Shona Urvashi gets the technique of film-making right, but is letdown by the writing [Abbas Tyrewala, Shona herself]. The script fluctuates from plausible to implausible with regularity and that's where it falters.
The film is embellished with some good songs [Vishal Bhardwaj], but how one wishes they were promoted aggressively. 'Kajrare Nainawale' and 'Kehte Kehte' stand out. Cinematography [Madhu Ambat] is alright.
Masumi looks her part, of a middle class girl with stars in her eyes, and does quite well. However, the actress needs to get her make-up right. Zulfi Syed looks suave and carries off his part with confidence. Raman Lamba exudes confidence as well, although his characterisation is underdeveloped.
Rati Agnihotri goes over the top completely. Tinnu Anand is just perfect. Dilip Prabhavalkar tends to get theatrical. Reema is wasted. Jayant Kripalani is effective. MTV host Cyrus Broacha [sp. app.] should stick to television.
It is Om Puri who steals the show with an amazing performance every time he appears on screen.
On the whole, CHUPKE SE... is a typical multiplex fare, but an overdose of such fares [JOGGERS' PARK, RULES], coupled with the regular flow of star cast films and not-too-strong publicity, will make a dent in its business. It's bound to get lost in the crowd!