Waste of a stellar cast

Chaalis Chauraasi
A; Thriller
Dir: Hriday Shetty
Cast: Reetu Jain, Naseeruddin Shah, Kay Kay Menon, Atul Kulkarni, Ravi Kissen, Shweta Bhardwaj, Rajesh Sharma, Zakir Hussain, Manoj Pahwa
Rating: *1/2 (One and a half)

A film that has talent like Naseeruddin Shah, Kay Kay Menon, Atul Kulkarni and Ravi Kissen cannot go wrong, right? Right and wrong.

Four crooks Suri (Naseeruddin Shah), Bobby (Atul Kulkarni), Shakti (Ravi Kissen) and Pinto (Kay Kay Menon) steal a police van to facilitate their plan of robbing fake notes worth 20 crores.

A still from the movie 'Chaalis Chauraasi'

However, en route to Kalyan, from where the robbery is to take place, they encounter more than they bargained for. The four guys land up in a lot more trouble than they ever imagined, getting more and more entangled in their self-created web.

The premise is promising. The cast is near perfect, especially Naseer as the alcoholic leader of the group and Kulkarni as a failed singer-turned-colourful pimp are brilliant.  Only if the movie was a lot more slick and a lot less tacky!

While some parts of the movie are entertaining like the scenes where Pinto (Menon) and Bobby (Kulkarni) are sharing an easy banter, other parts look forced. Some portions seem more like a spontaneous joke stretched beyond its limits.

A film of this kind generally depends a lot on wit and humour. However, barring a few places, the dialogues aren't as funny or as sharp as they should have been. Despite its shortcomings, overall it would have been a decent effort if not for the two highly tacky item songs. What is with this idea of forcing item songs by out of work starlets dressed as village belles in movie after movie?

Isn't it time the audience was treated with a little more respect instead of constantly worrying about losing out without any skin show? Don't we know by now that a film that has a fantastic script, good performances and razor sharp dialogues can stand on its own without having to depend on the so-called ghisa pita idea of glamour quotient? If the idea of attracting the audience is by promoting item songs only, then I think some filmmakers have a lot of rethinking to do.

Watch this film only for the boys' sake. They have put in their best in this film.

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