'Chaar Din Ki Chandni'; Karnik's (Non) Comic Collapse
By MovieTalkies.com, 08 March 2012
The past year saw Samir Karnik deliver an early hit year with Yamla Pagla Deewana, a comedy set in the Punjabi heartland, with the three Deols, Dharamendra, Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol in starring roles. Though it was clear to the audiences why they went to watch the film (hint: it was the three Deols together), perhaps director Karnik read a bit too much into his abilities to turn a joke. So much so, that this year, he's back with pretty much the same team as the last time around, with the likes of Anupam Kher, Kulraj Randhawa, Mukul Dev, etc, in a comedy that bears similar tones. But without the Deols to see him through, and more importantly, a plot that makes little sense, it's obvious that Karnik's latest effort, Chaar Din Ki Chaandni doesn't have a hope to the high skies of making it big at the box-office.
It gives one a headache to even attempt to explain what Karnik's latest film is about. There's something about a family of Rajput royals, headed by the Maharaja C.V. Singh, played by Anupam Kher, and his three sons, Chandrachur Singh, Mukul Dev and Sushant Singh, each of whom have their own, hopefully comic traits, one being an alcoholic, the other a chronic, creepy womaniser, and the last one, a hot-headed maniac. There's also a fourth son, Veer, played by Tusshar Kapoor, the good boy of the family, who is returning from London, for his sister's wedding. Only catch is, Tusshar is bringing along his girlfriend, Chandni, Kulraj Randhawa, who is a Punjabi Singh, and is too afraid to tell his family, especially his father, who she is. So, he makes her masquerade as a journalist doing a story on the royals, even as his three brothers lust after her, and his father decides to get her married off to a respectable family too. In the meanwhile, Chandni's family, her father, Fatoor Singh, played by Om Puri, and her mum, Pammi, Farida Jalal, land up at the royal palace too, and put on an act playing wedding decorators. Then, to stave off Chandni's wedding, Tusshar decides to enter the frame again as a boisterous sardar called Pappi, and things take on a whole new level of insanity. There's also a subplot about a suspicious mama, a family feud with a Thakur or the likes, played by Johnny Lever, and the marrying sister who has a serious obsession with S&M. If none of that makes any sense to you, don't worry, it doesn't to us either.
It's impossible to pin down where Samir Karnik's film goes wrong, simply because it doesn't go right at a single spot anyway. Though there have been nonsensical plots in Bollywood earlier, Karnik takes the idea to a whole new level. Chaar Din Ki Chandni hits the rock-bottom of stupidity and tries to dig a little bit more. Things like Tusshar's chronic commitment-phobia, manifested in his refusal to introduce Chandni's real identity to his father, why Chandni's parents agree to traipse around as wedding decorators, Tusshar as Pappi Sardar or the sub-plot with Johnny Lever, nothing makes any sort of sense here. Moreover, the crass and dated humour, revolving around a gay wedding planner, the S&M sister, Tusshar's perverted brothers, and the constant passes everyone makes at his mother, the Rani, played by Anita Raaj, doesn’t help matters at all.
If the film's plot is one travesty, the performances everyone turns in, are another. Though Tusshar Kapoor is fairly talented comic actor, his character here is so ill-fitting that he fails to draw even a smile from his audience, let alone a laugh. The diminutive, shy-mannered actor just cannot fit in as the brash, boisterous Pappi Sardar and makes a hash of it by hamming. The same goes for his leading lady, Kulraj Randhawa, who though good at points, seems to be still stuck in her TV days, and plays Chandni with an over-the-top flourish. If one is wondering why these two actors' careers are stuck in the doldrums, their choice of doing a plot-less film like 'Chaar Din Ki Chandni' should offer some insights.
Why industry stalwarts like Anupam Kher, Om Puri and Farida Jalal would take up such roles though, is beyond one's understanding. Kher's royal act has little regal bearing and his constant references to his character's 'high' status in the film prove more than a little irritating. Puri, on the other hand, hams it up heartily as Chandni's Punjabi dad and plays the same sort of character that he's been saddled with a hundred times before in a hundred other similar films. Jalal gets little screentime as Pammi, and thus, does little to garner attention.
Chandrachur Singh makes a screen comeback after quite some time here, but one would have hoped for something better from the talented actor than this. Sushant Singh has seen better days, clearly, and one hopes to see him back in the sort of films he's known for. Mukul Dev plays the lecherous middle brother to good effect, but then, his role calls for theatrical hamming. Anita Raaj looks pretty, and it's nice to see her back on screen. Old timer Harish Kumar is here too, but hangs around looking like part of the backdrop.
The music of the film is led by two tracks, mainly; one is the remake of the classic Yash Raj track, Chandni, tu meri Chandni, from the film of the same name, and the other is a remake of the decade old Dr. Zeus club hit, kangna. Though both songs get your feet tapping, the way the music of the film just crashes down in the film's plot leaves one irritated, with tracks and item numbers appearing out of nowhere at the most random points. That apart, the rest of the music in the film is uniformly forgettable and the background score is too overwrought to even talk about.
A bad plot, worse humour and terrible acting, Samir Karnik's Chaar Din Ki Chandni has it all. The film's opening credits start by reminding audiences that Karnik also made Yamla Pagla Deewana earlier. Our advice? Go watch the year old comedy, instead of this nonsense!