MUMBAI: Chalis Chaurasi has that early era Hollywood
storyline; one educated, English speaking ex-criminal
leading a gang of three other criminals to make a big
hit once and call it a day dreaming about a city and
suburban homes, limousines and the works. It is a caper
movie with four criminals with special talents getting
together to make a final killing.
Anuya Mhaiskar, Sachin Awasthee, Uday Shetty.
Director: Hriday Shetty.
Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Kay Kay Menon,
Ravi Kissen, Atul Kulkarni, Zakir Hussain, Manoj
Shah is an ex-professor out after doing 10 years in
prison for having caused the death of his wife; he is
called Sir by everybody and is the planner. Key Kay
Menon, a car thief, has a thing for 1956 Fiat car, popularly
known as Dukkar Fiat; he destroys any similar car he
spots because he wants his own one to be the only car
left. Atul Kulkarni is a pimp while Ravi Kissen is a
drug peddler and how will the talents of these two be
of any particular use in the operation is not bothered
with nor are the details about how they came together!
the other three carry on with their respective enterprise,
Naseeruddin Shah works as a chauffeur to Manoj Pahwa
who trades Rs 20 million worth of genuine currency for
Rs 30 million worth of fake kind. And, it is assigned
to Naseeruddin Shah to execute the exchange.
does a recce of the premises where the exchange takes
place and realises that at the end of all the exchanges,
the gang, which he is convinced consists of just two
persons, will be left with about Rs 200 million of genuine
currency. He is tempted and gathers the other three
and proposes they steal the money and retire for good
with all the worldly comforts. To reach this stage,
the film consumes the first half which has no story
or purpose; the film takes off on a promising note as
the gang of four posing as cops and wielding pistols
drop in at a dance bar, kick the besura singer out and
take to dancing and singing. There is nothing happening
thereafter except some repeated scenes; whatever story
the film has, happens only post interval and makes for
interesting viewing. In the climax, the assumed two
man fake notes gang turns out to be much bigger with
some maniacal characters included and the director decides
to treat all the action as buffoonery since the four
men out to steal are novices.
Chaurasi, in most part, remains the one liner it would
have started as, there is no cohesive script; gags are
sorely lacking in first half while second half makes
the film somewhat watchable. Director has not cared
for details or finesse; some portions can easily be
deleted. Music does not have a part to play in this
film though the popular Hasan Jahangir number, Hawwa
. adds some pep. Dialogue is routine. Of
the actors, Naseeruddin Shah tops followed by Ravi Kissen
while Kay Kay Menon hams and Atul Kulkarni seems at
sea except in one scene of straightening out a client.
Zakir Hussain and Rajesh Sharma are good as usual.
Chaurasi is entertaining in parts but with its cast
lacking a draw the opening is weak; with some hope of
doing better over the weekend, it will eventually find
better appreciation on video circuits.
Adda is unlikely to survive the weekend