Raja (Sanjay Kapoor) is a happy-go-lucky young man who has to bully extravagant people to raise cash, only to provide everything to his beloved Nisha (Manisha Koirala). But, unfortunately, most of his life is spent in or out of prison transit. Nisha loves Raja, but she doesn't agree with Raja's reckless lifestyle.
Raja comes across Bheem Thapa (Raj Babbar), who has been watching Raja like a shadow. Thapa tells Raja that he can help fulfil all his dreams for Nisha if Raja agrees to play Thapa's tune.
Raja shows his inclination and Thapa shows a photograph to Raja. Raja is stunned to see a photograph of his look-alike (Sanjay Kapoor, in a double role). Thapa reveals that the person in the photo is a multi-millionaire, Nirmal, who owns a huge tea estate in Palanpur. Raja agrees to take over as Nirmal and strikes a deal with Thapa.
On the other hand, Nirmal is on the lookout for the real murderer of his father and in the process, languishes his love for Sandhya (Mamta Kulkarni). With the turn of events, Nirmal becomes the target of his wily manager in league with the seductive stepmother of Raja and dies in a manipulated car accident.
Thapa takes advantage of the situation and plants Raja as Nirmal, to make believe that Nirmal is not dead, but very much alive. Do the people, who had cremated Nirmal, take Raja's claim seriously?
The biggest problem of the film is that it relies too heavily on tried-and-tested gags and formulae to convey the story. The story has shades of BOL RADHA BOL, but is not as taut in its narration. Also, the long period the film has taken to reach the theatres is evident throughout.
The first half is anything but exciting. Director Aziz Sajawal tries hard to build up the suspense vis-a-vis Raj Babbar and Navneet Nishan's characterisations, but the excitement in the second half diminishes as the drama unfolds. The post-interval portions are absolutely lacklustre and the climax is equally predictable.
Anand-Milind's music is upbeat with a few catchy numbers, notable among them being the title track and 'Ye Chand Koi Deewana Hain'. Cinematography is of standard. Dialogues lack freshness.
Sanjay Kapoor goes through his role without much of an effort. He is okay in parts, but dull most of the times. Manisha Koirala and Mamta Kulkarni provide ample glamour, but don't get scope to prove their mettle as performers. Raj Babbar is the only performer who delivers the goods.
On the whole, CHHUPA RUSTAM is a stale film that neither excites nor entertains. Below average.