Chillar Party Review
A group of kids living in a housing society in Bombay take on a minister, to save their urchin friend's dog. Should you watch Chillar Party? Find out in the review below.
Business rating: 2/5 stars
Cast: Naman Jain, Sarath Menon, Roshan Grover, Chinmai Chandranshuh, Aarav Khanna, Vishesh Tiwari, Vedant Desai, Irfan Khan, Ranbir Kapoor (special appearance).
What's Good: Comedy; dialogues; performances of the kids; Ranbir Kapoor's special appearance in a song.
What's Bad: Scattered screenplay; dull chunks at regular intervals; unjustified scenes.
Verdict: Chillar Party will not be able to do much at the ticket windows.
Loo break: A couple of them in the first half; and a couple more after interval.
Watch or Not?: Watch it for the kids and the comedy; not to forget Ranbir Kapoor's dance!
UTV Spotboy and Salman Khan Productions' Chillar Party is about young kids living in a housing society in Bombay, who take on a minister to save a stray dog.
A group of eight school-going children – Balwan alias Jhangya (Naman Jain), Arjun a.k.a. Encyclopaedia (Sarath Menon), Rama-Shankar alias Akram (Rohan Grover), Lucky a.k.a. Panauti (Chinmai Chandranshuh), Aflatoon (Aarav Khanna), Laxman a.k.a. Second Hand (Vishesh Tiwari), Silencer (Vedant Desai) and Shaolin (Divij Handa) play cricket in the playground in their society compound, but invariably lose matches they play against the rival team. Fatka (Irfan Khan) comes from the village, accompanied by a stray dog, Bhidu, whom he considers as his closest friend. He takes up the job of washing the cars parked in the society. After initial resistance, the eight kids take Fatka in their group, much to the consternation of their parents because Fatka is, after all, working as a car cleaner in the society and lives in a decrepit car parked in the compound.
One day, minister Bhide (Shashank Shende) comes to the society to inaugurate the playground. His personal assistant is harassed by dog Bhidu when the PA fires Fatka for loitering around and asks him to leave with his dog. This incident does it! The minister thinks, he has now got an issue he can milk for his own gains and he announces his decision to do away with stray dogs. He asks Tandon, the secretary of the housing society, to ensure that Bhidu is not given a 'No Objection Certificate' to stay in the society premises. Consequently, the managing committee decides to not issue the NOC, without which Bhidu would have to leave after a few days.
Fatka is crestfallen and so are his eight friends. The eight kids openly challenge the elders in the society and refuse to accept their decision. They soon launch a signature campaign to support Bhidu. They realise that they need 31 signatures from out of the 60 residents. Not very successful in their endeavour, they now decide to muster public support by taking to the streets in their underwears. They do get a lot of support from kids all over the city, prompting the minister to press the panic button. He challenges the kids to fight it out face-to-face with him in an open forum on television even as they (kids) have got 30 signatures, only one short of the legal requirement of over 50%.
The television show throws up some surprises and some shocks. What are they? Does the minister have his way or are the kids successful in obtaining the NOC for the dog? Is Fatka secure or is even his future in the society at stake?
Vikas Bahl and Nitesh Tiwari's story has a good germ but the screenplay, penned by Vikash Bahl, Nitesh Tiwari and Vijay Maurya, leaves a lot to be desired. The scenes and the dialogues written for the little kids are indeed cute and comical but other than that, there isn't much to sustain the audience's interest consistently. Resultantly, the interest level and involvement of the viewer dips at regular intervals.
Perhaps, the biggest drawback of the screenplay is that the dog has not been shown to do much so as to endear itself to the audience. For the same reason, the kids taking up for Fatka and Bhidu look too far-fetched and also devoid of emotions. The kids understanding society bye-laws and terms like NOC, majority etc., that too, without anybody explaining anything to them, again looks rather unreal. The face-off between the minister and the kids on the TV chat show raises expectations of an exciting showdown but even that confrontation is rather tame with kids being at their best behavior. What's probably equally disturbing is how the issue of stray dogs is brought into the drama. The manner in which it has been done looks too contrived. Yes, dog lovers and pet owners may connect better with the film but for the rest, it holds appeal only and only because of the comedy of the kids. Also, the film may pretend to tackle a macro issue (of stray dog nuisance) but it remains a very micro issue involving just one housing society in Bombay!
Performances & Direction
Naman Jain is the life of the film. He does an extraordinary job as Jhangya. He shines every time he opens his mouth and even when he doesn't. Sarath Menon may appear too smart for his age but he does act ably as Encyclopedia. Rohan Grover is fair as Ramashankar. Chinmai Chandranshuh is cute as Panauti. Vishesh Tiwari (in the role of Second Hand), Aarav Khanna (as Aflatoon), Vedant Desai (as Silencer) and Divij Handa (as Shaolin) do reasonably well. Irfan Khan shows promise as Fatka but his charactersation should have made him more endearing. The dog has not been consistently well-exploited. Shreya Sharma is very natural in the role of Toothpaste. Shashank Shende does an average job. The actors in the roles of the parents of the little kids pass muster. The directors ought to have cast at least some known or recognisable faces in those roles. Swara Bhaskar (as the television hostess), Pradeep Kabra (as the municipal employee who comes to take Bhidu away) and the others fill the bill.
Vikas Bahl and Nitesh Tiwari, whose maiden attempt at writing and direction this is, should have handled this film with far more maturity and sensitivity. The children's noble deed ought to have brought tears to the viewer's eyes but that doesn't happen. The director duo has not been able to keep the audience interest alive throughout as the film drops and picks up intermittently. Music (Amit Trivedi) is good but the need of the film was hit music. Tai tai phiss' is the best and most popular song but it comes like an appendage after the film is complete. Of course, its picturisation (by Bosco-Caesar) on Ranbir Kapoor is a major bonus point for the audeince. 'Behla do' has a nice tune. Chatte batte, Ek school banaana hai and 'Liar liar are fairly nice. Lyrics (Nitesh Tiwari, Amit Trivedi, Amitabh Bhattacharya and Vikas Bahl) should've been better and more suited to a film with kids as the main protagonists. Amit Trivedi's background score is quite nice. Cinematography (Amitabha Singh) is effective. Editing should've been far crisper. The film can do with deletion of scenes of a running time of around 20 minutes.
Komal Nahta's Verdict
On the whole, Chillar Party will be liked by pet lovers. Average in merits, it will do ordinary business at the box-office and not just because it lacks face value and has been sandwiched between big and star-cast films and will continue to face the onslaught of big releases.