Director: Robby Grewal
Cast: Aftab Shivdasani, Aamna Sharif, Linda Arsenio, Kulbhushan Kharbanda
Storyline: Hindu boy loves Muslim girl, brings American girl home to convince the folks believe any Indian girl is better than American.
Bottomline: How to give your Dad a heart attack
There are many reasons why Aloo Chaat is bad for you.
1. Attacks your senses: Right from the robot-voice that goes Aloo Aloo Aloo Aloo Aloo Aloo, Aloo Chaat… [and repeat again and again] accompanying the interesting opening credits (probably the only high point of the film), this is one good-idea-spoilt-by-a-bad-one after another. By interval, you want cotton buds to filter out that annoying Aloo Aloo Aloo… And by climax, you want to stab the music director, who seems to have scored more pot than music, unleashing upon us the entire library of wack-a-doodle sound effects minus the laughter track.
2. Contains artificial flavours Aftab Shivdasani, Linda Arsenio and Aamna Sharif: Okay, Aftab turns in one of his better performances and quite earnestly but there’s very little help coming from the director or the writer. Aamna Sharif and Linda Arsenio in author-backstabbed roles have absolutely nothing to do. Aamna just needs to look like a complete idiot who cannot memorise lines without goofing up and Linda’s character, after a promising introduction sequence (where she is made to watch Purab aur Paschim to understand how to play Gori for the Indian audience) lacks motivation (she has no reason to play along and so seriously at that). Even a mannequin would look hot in a bikini but Linda, she’s still just flat-out plain.
3. In very bad taste (especially if you are pure vegetarian): ‘Stand-up’ comedy hits new depths in the office of the sexologist Hakim Tarachand who offers solutions to the sexually challenged in scenes written purely to sneak in the innuendo. Certainly not family entertainment.
4. Beware of the side-effects – Indigestion and Gas: Is there any reason why the film should go beyond the scene right at the end of the first act where Aftab tells the father categorically that he has decided to marry the girl of his choice, irrespective of what he feels. The father submits helplessly but the son isn’t just happy with that. He wants to mess with his old man’s head. Yes, films are about willing suspension of disbelief but watching undercooked characters doing things devoid of any motivation results in indigestion and Aloo Chaat is full of gas.
5. Stale, diluted, et cetera: The application of the Dilwale Dulhaniya strategy of manufacturing consent for a Hindu-Muslim marriage within a conservative joint family set-up, though inventive, loses focus as the makers are content watering down the socio-political subtext. It is rather unfortunate that such a potent subversive premise is reduced to an excuse to showcase Sanjay Mishra play the butt of all jokes in yet another film. Kulbhushan Kharbanda is no Amrish Puri but what could’ve been a spicy pot-poori of libertarianism with a lot of masala, Aloo Chaat ends up like a soggy leftover dahi-poori spat out after a gag reflex.
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