Good drama but a lame climax

Mumbai : Chitkabrey - Shades of Glory is like an old-fashioned mystery book except that it does not dwell on the whodunit aspect; instead it has retaliation with a Robin Hood angle for the sake of feel good factor.

Rahesh Shringarpure, Amit Bhardwaj, Akshay Singh, Ssanjay Swaraj, Rahul Singh, Vishwajeet Chaterjee and Kuldeep Dubey are a motley group of college friends. With one of them a Sikh, another Christian and yet another Muslim character in the film for obvious reasons, they get an invite for a get-together party of seven of them with their respective spouses.

Each one thinking that the other has planned this meet, they land up at the venue. It is when one of them tries to leave the party and is stopped by a hail of bullets from somewhere. This makes them realise that it is not a party really and none of them was the host. But, in fact, a rank outsider was their host and that they were now his prisoners.

Soon the crimes and sinful ways of the seven are recounted on the audio visual for their respective wives and themselves to see; these are the traits they have all successfully hidden so far: cheating on wives, deceiving each other as well as exploiting a fellow group member. As the skeletons come out of the closet, the host finally makes his appearance instead of talking from behind a screen.

This host is Ravi Kishan, a junior at college and in the hostel and a victim of merciless ragging by the gang of seven to the extent of being stripped in the open view of others. His demand is Rs 10 million from each of them, spouses included, and releases the wives to go manage the monies. Besides teaching these college bullies a lesson, Ravi Kishan has a cause for wanting the money.

Chitkabrey picks up some momentum as the get-together takes off and masks peeled off the faces of the gang. However, in the later parts the goings on sag and lack drama as the women contemplate their options in the light of deceptions by their men. The climax is lame after so much drama. Direction shows tell tale first attempt venture. Dialogue is well penned. Of the actors, besides Ravi Kishan, Rajesh Shringarpure is the one who makes an impact; Akshara Gowda and Puja Gupta from the female cast do well.

Chitkabrey has a title that is hardly attractive and lack of total face value makes it an uninteresting film.
Shabri: Too local flavoured

Mumbai: With its city sized slums and the aspirations to make big money by those who come to this metropolis, Mumbai has been the favourite locations for such small-budget crime thrillers woven around a typical locality or region. The problem usually with such films is that they tend to be too local flavoured.

Isha Koppikar is a woman with grit and determination. She may not like the ways of her father or younger brother, Vijay, but strives all the time to fulfil their desires, which in the case of her father is money to buy hooch and in the case of her younger brother, to gamble and generally feel important because of his proximity with the local matka bookie, Raj Arjun.

Isha works at a local flour mill to provide for her family, her hopes resting on her brother whom she wants to get a good education and take over her burden. Soon her dreams and hopes shatter as her brother gets picked by the police and succumbs after brutal torture. Isha Koppikar walks into the house of the policeman responsible and kills him; Raj Arjun, who has a soft corner for her, ends up killing the younger brother of the city matka king and don, Pradip Rawat.

Isha Koppikar has just two priorities, to kill the don whose men have killed Raj Arjun who was her only support and admirer, and to survive to achieve that aim. There is also a so called encounter specialist cop, Zakir Hussain, on the scene who is bored of just shooting sitting targets and makes a sport out of Isha Koppikar‘s case for personal recreation. He keeps passing on information to rivals so that they kill each other taking a load off him! The ending is tame as the don‘s men turn on him and he opts for self-destruction!

While showing an ugly side of the city of Mumbai, the script provides for no distractions and hence nothing in the form of entertainment. Direction is limited to catering to the deprived and the local, sectional identification not affecting the ticket paying audience at the multiplexes. In fact, there is nothing here that has not seen before, similar or better than this. Locations are good.

Casting makes the film credible to an extent. Isha Koppikar in her deglamourised guise is generally good, though limited in her expressions; Raj Arjun as a restrained silent lover excels. Vijay and Manish Wadhwa are adequate. Pradip Rawat passes off as don with his build rather than bland acting; his chemistry and crying over his dead brother act is poor. Zakir Hussain is wasted.

Shabri may get some appreciation but no rewards at the box office.

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