Rating: 1.5/5 Stars (One and half stars)
Star Cast: Soha Ali Khan, Harsh Mayar, Seema Biswas, Mukesh Tiwari, Suhas Sirsat, Umesh Jagtap
Director: Manish Harishankar
What’s Good: It’s a well intended film that has its heart in the right place.
What’s Bad: Everything else that qualifies as essential from a cinematic perspective.
Loo break: Far too many.
Watch or Not?: Low budget cannot be the reason to make bad films and frankly it has nothing to do with a film’s soul. Chaarfutiya Chhokare is a soul-less movie that is badly shot, largely incoherent and has terrible actors who over dramatize the matter at hand. No one except Seema Biswas worked for me. Too desperate to be gritty, the film lacks both depth and authenticity. I wish I had any kind words to say but this is a misfired product that despite its good intentions fails to deliver.
Neha is a software engineer who comes down to India to pursue her vocation as a child activist. She visits a small village in Bihar with the intention of opening a school there for children. Soon into the way of life there, she realizes the kind of criminal activities taking place there.
From contractors killing each other to child trafficking to young children resorting to guns, everything illegal exists in this village. Neha has her heart going out for three kids who are notorious murderers for all but are actually children, whom she believes can be saved.
It is a social war against a corrupt system and will Neha rescue the three ‘Chhokare’ is the crux of this film.
Chaarfutiya Chhokare Review: Script Analysis
The script at hand was a powerful one but the story loses its steam soon enough. My biggest problem with the script was its lack of genuinity. It reads fake in bold letters. People die, girls are kidnapped but you’ll find it hard to empathize with the characters. Feeble sympathy at best. But I am not sure, the script is to be blamed for it. The script functions on convenience and the very fact that a posh Neha played by Soha Ali Khan is loitering around in a notorious village minus any backup or support is something that logic doesn’t allow me to buy.
Violence is a norm in the small village and the top goon adopts three young children to make them into his hired killers. Guns talk in that part of the world, agreed. But the ease with which the children turn into gangsters wasn’t well explored. The execution lacked conviction and that clearly showed on screen.
The film from time to time drops its tempo but the worst thing was that nothing shocks you, not even the climax. The thing that could have made you weep doesn’t affect you much. For me it was a decent story badly told. The film exhausted me to the hilt and beyond that I couldn’t care about what happens to its characters. By the time the end credits roll and the statistics flash on screen, you can’t even look but they are mere numbers for you because the film would have worn you out that bad.
Chaarfutiya Chhokare Review: Star Performances
Soha Ali Khan was clearly not the right cast for the film. The actress has good caliber but she is more often than not a director’s product. In this film, her plusses were left untouched. She is subtle in a loud film, underplaying herself in an overdramatic movie. Does she work? No. She looks out of place and wrong.
Harsh Mayar, Aditya Jaiswal and Shankar Mandal have too little to do. They were expected to walk around or run around with swagger, holding guns that seemed too heavy for them. And what about their dreams and aspirations, the kind of people they wanted to become? The director thought detailing his titular characters would be trivialities he shouldn’t waste much time on.
Seema Biswas is the only brilliant thing about this film. When the script is dissipating, she holds it up with valor delivering a real, gritty and believably honest performance.
Chaarfutiya Chhokare Review: Direction, Editing and Screenplay
Manish Harishankar conveys well that he has very little knowledge of cinematic technicalities. To begin with, the venue was nothing like Bihar, not even close. Bihar has a rustic feel to it, which the film completely misses. Donning an urban look with swanky highways, I am not sure if the director has ever traveled down Bihar’s state highways. The locales he paints is far from reality. Besides that, the kind of continuity flaws in the film are amusing. In a scene, a rape is attempted on Soha and the goons tear down the back of her top. In the very next scene you see her top dangling down from the back of her jacket. We assume the top regrew all by itself just like lizard’s regenerating tail.
Logic was also not their priority list. In another scene Soha along with a local cop has come to red light area to expose a trafficking syndicate, in a police jeep whose siren people in the neighboring villages too can hear. I laughed my heart out at most of these scenes because they were lame. I don’t mind lack of expertise but lack of logic is hard to let go.
Chaarfutiya Chhokare Review: The Last Word
I wish I could be kinder just because the film is a well intentioned one. But sadly, despite good intentions it is a bad film that has poor dialogues (repeated use of the word ‘Dabangg’ for some joy), technical discrepancies, a weak climax and unconvincing, conveniently done narrative. I am going with 1.5/5.
Chaarfutiya Chhokare Trailer
Chaarfutiya Chhokare releases on 26th September, 2014.
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