Movies

Gali Gali… has a very thin, one sided story with no redeeming factors

MUMBAI: Corruption is the issue of the day in India. What better than to film a satire on the theme affecting just about everybody‘s life? With this notion in mind, the makers embark on a story about a middle-class family in Bhopal, trapped in the web of corruption made up of police, politicians, judiciary, thieves and professional witnesses.









Producer: Nitin Manmohan, Sangeeta Ahir, Prakash Chandani, Jitendra Jain, Vijay Jain.
Director: Rumy Jaffery.
Cast: Akshaye Khanna, Shriya Saran, Mugdha Godse, Annu Kapoor, Satish Kaushik, Akhilendra Mishra, Vijay Raaz, Shashi Ranjan, Rajat Rawail, Murli Sharma, Mushtaq Khan, Jagdeep, Kailash Kher.


Akshaye Khanna, symbolically named Bharat in the film, is a cashier at a local bank. His wife, Shriya Saran, is a school teacher; and his retired father, Satish Kaushik, is worldly wise with old values. The assembly elections are due and the two-time-winner politician, Murli Sharma, wants to use a room in Kaushik‘s house to set up his election office. Kaushik refuses and instead lets an independent candidate, Shashi Ranjan, who is an NRI from Singapore, set up his office there. The vindictive Murli Sharma wants the police to frame Khanna and beat him up.


However the policeman has a better, more effective suggestion - to tax the middle class bank employee financially. A knock on his doors at midnight by constable, Annu Kapoor, is the beginning of a quagmire that Khanna lands in; rounds of police station and the local court become his routine. He is milked for every rupee in his wallet while also keeping him off his job on leave without pay.


On its own merit, the script is just enough for a school/college skit of, say, 30 minutes; but then, there are side tracks too where our hero is still a loser. His beyond the beautiful forever‘s‘ niece from Mumbai, a scantily dressed, forward girl, is a paying guest in his house. Her proximity and situations with Khanna make his wife suspicious, leading to her walking out on him. The other side track is that of Ramleela, about which Akshaye is passionate. He aspires to play Lord Ram but is stuck playing Hanuman since the role of Ram has been usurped by the politician‘s younger brother, Amit Mistry. In this common man vs. the system, the common man is tormented and tortured all the way with no saviour in sight. Only in the end does the man in him erupt and he slaps the system. But then a loser all the way is hardly a movie lover‘s idea of hero.


The problem with Gali Gali Chor Hai is that it has a very thin, one sided story with no redeeming factors. Every time there is a joke or laughter, it is at the cost of the hero! The supporting cast is filled with talented character artistes and that is about all the distraction that the film offers. Direction is average, dialogue is good at places. Music is of little help. Performance wise, Akshaye Khanna is apt as a simple, middle-class man in quandary. Satish Kaushik is very good and so is Annu Kapoor. Vijay Raaz, Akhilendra Mishra and Murli Sharma are adequate in support.


Commercially, Gali Gali Chor Hai is a nonstarter.


 
Love You To Death is too elite of elite in its theme










Producer: Chiman Savla.
Director: Rafeeq Ellias.
Cast: Chandan Roy Sanyal, Yuki Ellias, Suhasini Mulay, Kallol Banerjee, Nicholas Brown, Sheeba Chadha, Sohrab Ardeshir, Chetan Sashital, Sagar Salunke, Uday Chandra.


The title Love You to Death translates into ‘Rather See You Dead‘. It is one of those out-of-sorts stories which could have made for interesting reading but, as a film, is over the top. It is too elite of elite in its theme.


Yuki Ellias is a rich woman married to the greedy and ambitious Chandan Roy Sanyal. He runs a security outfit but nurses dreams of setting up an arms factory in collaboration with an Israeli-Russian. Chandan Roy Sanyal is driven by his mother, Suhasini Muley, who wants him to have a child so that his hold over his rich wife becomes stronger. But despite detailed and orchestrated therapy by a sex expert, Chandan‘s failure lies in his trousers.


For the mother-and-son duo, the only value of Yuki Ellias starts and ends on the breakfast table every morning, with the routine of her signing all the cheques required. While her husband wants to use her crores and a plot of land she owns somewhere to start his arms factory, she herself is more inclined towards financing her new friend, Nicholas Brown, who wants to set up solar power plants in every village as a non-profit enterprise.


That is the message of the film: arms vs. nature. Yuki Ellias finds solace in her tarot card reader, Sheeba Chadha who, while telling her what she would want to hear, is cavorting with her father in law, Kallol Banerjee, who also happens to be a victim of Suhasini Muley‘s dominating ways. In this event, murder becomes a central theme: Kallol Banerjee wants to kill his wife, Suhasini Muley. She in turn wants her son to plot her daughter in law‘s death. After some funny moments and many failed funny moments, natural justice prevails: crime does not pay; the criminal does, with his life.


Documentary filmmaker Rafeeq Ellias makes his debut as a feature filmmaker with Love You To Death, a subject that is tough to identify with for a regular entertainment seeker. This coupled with his choice of unknown faces in the cast add to the film‘s biggest drawback: the choice of lead actor, Yuki Ellias. She possesses neither the looks nor talent to gain sympathy for her character. Except Suhasini Muley there is no star value in the offing. Of the others, Sheeba Chadha and Sagar Salunke do well.


In a late realisation to minimise loss, Love You To Death has been released only on digital format all over; but that is like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted; releasing the film at all only adds to the Rs 25 million sacrificed making it.

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