Pankaj Kapur is a common man who has to face many problems in corrupt India. Things come to a head when he is asked by the pension department to prove that he is not dead! The film is a satire inspired by the very popular and long-running television serial, Office Office. Find out more in the review of Chala Mussaddi Office Office.
Business rating: 1/5 star
Star cast: Pankaj Kapur, Deven Bhojani, Manoj Pahwa, Sanjay Mishra, Hemant Pandey, Asawari Joshi, Gaurav Kapur, Makrand Deshpande, Mahesh Thakur, Farida Jalal.
What’s Good: Some performances; the dialogues.
What’s Bad: The screenplay which is neither funny nor hard-hitting.
Verdict: Chala Mussaddi Office Office is a dull fare which will not be able to repeat its success story of the small screen.
Loo break: A couple of them.
Watch or Not?: Watch it if you are a fan of the characters of the TV serial.
Eagle Films Pvt. Ltd.’s Chala Mussaddi Office Office is a satire on the hardships the common man has to face in his day-to-day life. Mussaddi Lal (Pankaj Kapur) portrays the common man whose wife (Farida Jalal) falls ill and has to be rushed to hospital. She soon dies, leaving a grieving Mussaddi Lal, their good-for-nothing son, Bunty (Gaurav Kapur), their daughter (Seema Malik) and son-in-law (Vinay Jain). Mussaddi Lal is a pensioner but is shocked to learn, on his return from Hardwar and other holy places, that his pension has been stopped because the authorities have taken him to be dead, due to a misunderstanding created by a friend of his.
The task for Mussaddi Lal is to now prove that he is not dead! Although this seems very simple, it is more difficult than any other task as the government’s pension department makes things difficult for him. When Mussaddi Lal takes his son to testify that he (Mussaddi Lal) is indeed his (son’s) father, the officers ask for the dead wife of Mussaddi Lal to be brought in to testify. In this entire drama right from his wife’s illness to his journey to holy places to immerse her mortal remains in the holy waters to his frustration with the pension department’s staffers, he meets Patel (Deven Bhojani), Bhatia (Manoj Pahwa), Shukla (Sanjay Mishra), Pandey-ji (Hemant Pandey) and Usha-ji (Asawari Joshi) in different avatars. In other words, the aforementioned five people play different characters but bearing the same names, popularised by the television serial, Office Office, from which this film is inspired.
Chala Mussaddi Office Office Review – Script Analysis
Ashwini Dhir’s story and screenplay are not as funny as they ought to have been. Although the serial was long-running and very popular, the film, with the same lovable characters, will not make much of an impact because the 20-minute story has been stretched so much that it loses charm. What’s more annoying is that the anecdotes are neither funny nor are they so hard-hitting that they would make the viewers sit up, take notice and think. In other words, although a satire on the plight of the common man in today’s corrupt world, the film fails to entertain the audience or involve it.
The pension department refuses to see that Mussaddi Lal is himself standing there, in flesh and blood, and asks for documentary evidence to prove that he is not dead. But the department itself does not have any written evidence to prove that he is dead. Yet, this point is not even dwelt upon. Why Mussaddi Lal does not demand documentary proof of his death, like the pension department asks him for evidence to prove that he is alive, is not clear.
The court room drama in the end looks forced and, therefore, fails to entertain. It is also childish.
Dialogues are better than the screenplay and some of them create comedy.
Chala Mussaddi Office Office Review – Star Performances
Pankaj Kapur does a fine job and is as natural as natural can be. He is a delight to watch. Deven Bhojani acts very well. Manoj Pahwa shines. Sanjay Mishra is first-rate. Hemant Pandey is efficient. Asawari Joshi leaves a mark. Gaurav Kapur does a fair job. Farida Jalal is alright in a special appearance. Makrand Deshpande makes his presence felt as the sutradhar. Seema Malik and Vinay Jain lend able support. Mahesh Thakur does well as the judge. Rakesh Srivastava (as Gupta), Rajinder Mehra (as Chug), Amar Talwar (as Sharma) and Gautam Saugat (as Verma) provide the desired support. Others fill the bill.
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