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Movie Review : Aloo Chaat

Date: 03/19/2009

USA returned Nikhil (Aftab) belongs to an orthodox Punjabi family and is in a fix about how to disclose the truth to his family about him having fallen in love with a Muslim girl Aamna (Aamna Shariff) while studying in the US. His family comprising of a ‘generation gap’ father, Purshottam (Kulbhushan Kharbanda), his typical housewife mom Seeto (Meenakshi), a spirited grandma Beeji (Dolly Ahluwalia) and an overenthusiastic uncle Chaddami (Sanjay Mishra) begin the ‘traditional’ Punjabi girls showing ritual on his vacation back home. Desperate to seek a solution, he takes help of his father’s best friend Hakim (Manoj Pahwa), a sexologist by profession. What smart plan the wise old Hakim devises with an American girl Nikki’s (Linda) aide and what chaos it all leads to forms the rest of the film.

Director Robby Grewal deserves a huge applause for his treatment of the subject and his narrative structure. His choice of actors is bang on with each actor right from Aftab to even the Aloo Chaat seller fitting the bill perfectly. Robby’s handling of the various sub-plots, the film’s Delhi setting and quirky side-characters are also worth appreciation. Devoid of typical melodrama especially in the second half, Divya Nidhi Sharma’s script is full of witty one-liners and has you in guffaws right from the first frame to the last. Some subtle messages are nicely incorporated within the film. Amongst the scenes that stand out in terms of writing-direction and acting are, Aftab’s meeting with a traditional girl at a restaurant, Linda’s first meeting with Aftab’s family, Manoj Pahwa’s story narration in the bus and Linda’s bikini scene on the terrace. The titles have been designed innovatively and the funny title song going along it makes it a treat to watch. Production design is fair.

Aftab has always shown a natural flair for comedy and he yet again succeeds in his act. TV girl Aamna looks extremely beautiful and shows a good spark but needs to work out on her dialogue delivery. Linda Arsenio, the Kabul Express girl however impresses a lot. Seasoned actor Kulbhushan Kharbanda finally gets a meaty role and he takes full advantage of this opportunity. While he plays a serious character, sometimes even his expressions have you in splits. Notice the airport scene when Linda gives him a hug and a peck on his cheeks. Sanjay Mishra however gets the maximum laughs for his anything American hating act. Meenakshi Sethi and Dolly Ahluwalia are good as well.

The film is modern day Hrishikesh Mukherjee style cinema that deserves a visit to your nearest cinema hall. It is definitely the best entertainer amongst the crowd of films released this week.

 

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