Motichoor Chaknachoor Movie Review: Small-town bore
Motichoor Chaknachoor is about a small-town India placed within a middle-class household.
U/A: Comedy, drama
Director: Debamitra Biswal
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Athiya Shetty
This is a film about small-town India. As is just about every other Hindi movie (of late). It is placed within a middle-class household. Badhaai ho (congratulations). So is every other Hindi movie (lately). The genre is romantic comedy, I suppose. Which isn't true for movies starring the intense Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the lead role. He holds a deadpan expression throughout, going super subtle with his comic timing.
Where do you go from there? Practically nowhere. The plot is pretty plain and simple. It concerns a bunch of desperate souls. The lead guy (Nawaz), presumably virgin, at 36, is simply dying to get married to whoever he can find. The shot of a woman on top, in bed, that always plays in his head, drives him mad. A job in Dubai allows him some cred in the market for dowry, which is what his mother is desperate for.
The lead girl in the picture is, in turn, desperate to settle abroad; any place will do — "Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka; perhaps even Uganda, Somalia, Burundi." In the process, she's half-willing to settle for someone, apparently, infinitely below her league (that being Nawaz's character; seriously?). This role is played by the young, lean, tall, female version of Sunil Shetty —unsurprisingly his daughter, Athiya.
How do filmmakers take this forward? They don't. They effectively put together pages after pages of dialogue in Bundelkhandi between a bunch of aunts, uncles, girls, boys, etc. Some of the lines are funny. Indeed the depiction of small-town life is quite accurate. The film is set in Bhopal, which is one of the best looking Indian state capitals I know.
Watch the trailer of Motichoor Chaknachoor here:
Except, the camera never steps out to explore anything, besides pacing between a couple of living rooms, bedrooms, and the aangan (courtyard). Pacing of the story itself is so slow, you could find yourself in the same scene for more than several minutes at a stretch. This could at best be a play. And that too, quite a boring one.
No doubt, the performances are first-rate still. Why should it not be if the actors have Nawaz to match with? I'm told he actually started out in theatre as a comedian, doing what he calls "bhondu wali" (slapstick) comedy -- something he chose against, once he turned to films. With a subject like this, one would've actually preferred a more 'bhondu wali' picture. This was just putting me to sleep, boss.
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