Welcome Back Priyadarshan!
By MovieTalkies.com, 10 June 2006
Director Priyadarshan is known for his flair for directing comedy films. In fact whenever he has attempted any other genre (Doli Saja Ke Rakhna, Kyon Ki) he has failed at the box-office. Lately his films have been below expectations and audiences were disappointed with both Kyon Ki and even Garam Masala. However his comedies like Hungama, Hera Pheri, Hulchul, were box-office successes and well appreciated. With Chup Chup Ke, he finds a middle ground but adding a substantial emotional to an otherwise comedy film.
Jeetu (Shahid Kapur) lives in a village and has accumulated huge debts. His father (Anupam Kher) is constantly feeling this burden while his childhood friend Pooja, who is madly in love with him, stands by him like a rock and is even ready to marry him inspite of his huge debts, much to the disappointed of her father. To end his woes, Jeetu decides to commit suicide so that the money his father will receive from the insurance will help him lead a decent life. However Jeetu fails in this as well and ends up being saved by two fishermen, Gundya and Bandya (Paresh Rawal in a “Kramer” hairstyle and Rajpal Yadav). The two of them mistake Jeetu to be very rich and hence decide to ensure that he gets treated to ensure he survives. Since Gundya owes a great deal of money to a rich Gujarati businessman Pratab Singh Chauhan (Om Puri) he decides to take Jeetu there so that they will work for Pratab Singh thereby reducing Gundya’s debt. Sensing the confusion around himself, Jeetu decides to pretend to be mute and deaf in order to avoid answering any questions. The scenes between Gundya, Jeetu and Bandya are truly well crafter and will have you in splits. Shahid is perfect for the character of Jeetu and in spite of being pinned against two comedy kings, he holds his ground.
The “kahani mein twist” occurs in the form of Chauhan’s niece Shruti (Kareena Kapoor) and his daughter Meenakshi (Neha Dhupia). It turns out Shruti really is dumb and deaf and hence catches Shahid’s lie quite quickly when he slips by singing in a slightly drunken state one evening. However both Shruti and Meenakshi decide to keep his secret if he helps them to ensure that Shruti does not land up marrying a guy her father has selected but who she does not like. In the process, with Meenakshi playing her interpreter, Shruti actually falls in love with Jeetu and unfortunately Shruti’s cousin and Meenakshi’s brother Mangal Singh Chauhan (Suniel Shetty) learns of this romance and decides that Jeetu should marry Shruti. Although the romance comes across as slightly forced, the scenes between Jeetu, Shruti and Meenakshi are truly memorable and Meenakshi is the perfect interpreter who helps move the love story ahead. The problem obviously is that Jeetu is already engaged to marry Pooja, who is currently living like a widow as she believes her beloved Jeetu is dead. Since Jeetu has also developed feelings for Shruti, he decides to never go back to his family and Pooja in the village and to marry Shruti and live happily ever after. But obviously things are not so easy and so when Pooja lands up at the marriage, Jeetu is in a fix. The climax of the film reveals who Jeetu finally marries.
The first half of the film is an out and out comedy and in true Priyadarshan style is a laugh riot. The pacing in the first half is also almost perfect but the problem with the film lies in the second half. The pace drops as the romantic angle between Shahid and Kareena is introduced and it actually seems slightly forced. Also film shifts gears from an out an out comedy and switches to an emotional love story with ample doses of comic situations. We wonder if the film would have been better if Priyadarsha had let the second half be just as funny as the first. However, just because the comedy is less in the second half, does not mean the second half doesn’t entertain. The emotional sequences are very well handled and are supported with strong performances by all. Once again the problem is the pacing of the second half as well as the length. A little trimming and the second half would have been as enjoyable as the first half.
Shahid surprises with his ability to handle comedy with confidence and truly impresses. The chemistry between him and Kareena has definitely improves on screen and post 36 China Town, this solidifies them as a contended for Bollywood’s on screen Jodi No.1 award. Paresh Rawal and Rajpal Yadav are just outstanding and together their chemistry is amazing. Paresh Rawal is truly the king when it comes to comic timing. Kareena looks ravishing with a minimal make-up look and since she has no dialogues she takes full advantage of the opportunity to prove her abilities by using only her expressions, and body language. Another feather in her hat is her performance. However the surprise package in the film is Neha Dhupia who plays the role of Shruti’s bubbly interpreter with full confidence and leaves us wondering why she doesn’t get better roles than she has been getting. Chup Chup Ke gives her a chance to act and perform, and she delivers without faltering even once. She is a treat to watch. Sushma Reddy is quite good in the climax although her performance in not consistent in the film. However taking into consideration that the role involves a complete make-over of her image and the fact that she is a newcomer amongst seasoned actors, she manages to hold her own in the climax.
If you’re a Priyadarshan fan than Chup Chup Ke is a definite must see because it’s one of his best films in recent times. It’s a fun film with a dose of romance and emotions and some great performances. Watch the film because we’re sure you won’t be disappointed and will walk out of the theatre completely entertained.