It's an arduous task to make a film with kids. And much more difficult to inject a sport [read, cricket] in the plotline. 2007 has witnessed two films with cricket as the backdrop - HATTRICK and SAY SALAAM INDIA. In CHAIN KULII KI MAIN KULII, two tracks run concurrently -- an orphan's desire to have parents and his passion for cricket.
Made with noble intentions and with the motive of making a film that would appeal to kids from 6 to 60, CHAIN KULII KI MAIN KULII doesn't really measure up to the expectations of either adults or kids. That's because the film appeals in bits and spurts. The sequences on the pitch succeed in arousing the required emotions, but the emotional angle in the story [between Rahul Bose and his estranged father Nasser Abdullah] appears fake. Also, the romance between Rahul and Meera Vasudevan is half-baked. In fact, forced in the narrative.
In a nutshell, CHAIN KULII KI MAIN KULII isn't great cinema. Conversely, it's not a below-the-mark movie-going experience either. It floats somewhere in between.
CHAIN KULII KI MAIN KULII is a journey of a 13-year-old an orphan boy Karan [Zain Khan], who lives in a dilapidated orphanage owned by a stern, uncouth warden, John Kakkad [Rajesh Khera]. Karan has two dreams, one is to have parents and the other is to be a big cricketer. His inspiration is Kapil Dev since he has been brought up on the motivating stories of India's World Cup win by the orphanage caretaker, Bholu Dada [Susheel Parasher].
Karan's best buddy in the orphanage is Daboo [Deeptiman Chaudhary], who often lends his gentle ears to the aspirations which Karan lives on. His dreams take a turn when one day, he lays his hands on an old cricket bat which Karan is convinced is the bat that Kapil Dev used to win the World Cup, and for him the bat becomes a magic bat.
One day, by the stroke of luck, the coach of the Indian cricket team [Vijay Crishna] spots Karan and is highly impressed by his batting skills. This happens at a time when the Indian cricket team is going through a rough patch. Karan is inducted into the team as the opening batsman along with the captain, Varun [Rahul Bose].
Karan soon becomes the nation's heartthrob. Only one person hates him, Raghav [Raj Bhansali], the orphanage bully, who feels that if Karan did not have the magic bat, he would have never made it to the cricket team. Raghav now wants the magic bat at any cost.
At the final one-day match between India and Pakistan, events spiral out of control and Karan's magic bat is destroyed. Karan is a nervous wreck, but Varun makes him realize that faith in oneself counts beyond anything else.
Jay Shewakramani's story has the potential to strike a chord with moviegoers of all ages, but the screenplay [Nupur Asthana] vacillates between convincing and least convincing. In an effort to please the kids as also grown-ups, the film drifts away from the core issue.
Debutante Kituu Salooja's direction is simple and a few moments are deftly executed, especially those in the orphanage. But, as mentioned at the outset, the film works in bits and spurts, not in totality. Salim-Sulaiman's music is plain ordinary. The title track in the end credits is eye-catching. Cinematography [Promod Kumar H. Pradhan] is functional.
Rahul Bose takes a backseat since the focus is on Zain Khan, who's supremely confident all through. Ditto for the other kid, Raj Bhansali. Vijay Crishna is effective. Rajesh Khera's performance is impressive. But his shabby get-up resembles that of a male witch, not an orphanage warden. Meera Vasudevan gets no scope. Deeptiman Chaudhary is cute.
On the whole, CHAIN KULII KI MAIN KULII is an ordinary fare that might attract kids in its opening weekend. But the three tough oppositions next week will marginalize it completely.