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Chupke Se

An earnest first attempt which could have been so much more fun

Chupke Se
Starring: Masumi, Zulfi Syed, Rati Agnihotri, Om Puri, Deepak Prabhavalkar, Tinnu Anand
Director: Shona Urvashi
Rating: **

He comes somewhere in the middle of the film and simply walks away with it. Om Puri is the funny don Qasim Khan Qayamat who loves reciting C-grade sher-o-shairi, is saddled with two bumbling henchmen called Bhuna and Gosht, desires to be seen in the company of Page 3 people, likes playing Gabbar-Gabbar in parties and has just one regret in life, that despite financing more films and killing more people than anyone else in the underworld, he never gets his due recognition from the print media and TV channels. "Qayamat kaun? (Who's Qayamat?)"—that's the bane of his life. Puri plays out the spoof with an obvious relish and easy banter which makes for some entertaining moments in the film. However, when Puri's not on the screen, the workings don't remain consistently enjoyable.

The film's about a modern day Guddi, the middle-class Megha (Masumi) with doting parents and a cute friend for support. Like every other girl of the 21st century, she wants to make it in life real quick, even if that entails telling a few harmless lies here and there. Enter Almira Kochchar (Rati) who lays a bet—of transforming the homely girl into a beauty queen. In between there's a fairytale romance with a rich, successful, decent boy Varun (Zulfi). And lots of misunderstandings too. To complicate the plot a bit more, you have Megha's upright income-tax officer father (a nice act by Prabhavalkar) chasing Almira over tax evasion which makes her husband Tiny (Tinnu Anand) call for Qayamat's help.

Chupke Se is heavily influenced by the films of Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Sai Paranjpe and Basu Chatterjee. Like them, it does try to offer a realistic portrayal of middle-class dreams and dilemmas. There are interesting jibes at the party culture, materialism and beauty pageants. There's also an attempt to heighten the realism with some takeoffs and caricatures (like the don, Almira and Tiny) that may well have been inspired by a Kundan Shah comedy. However, the diverse strands prove problematic, never quite blending into a heady cocktail. The gags and pranks don't really sparkle. Chupke Se is an earnest first attempt which could have been so much more fun.

US Top 5
1. Dickie Roberts
2. Jeepers Creepers
3. Pirates of the Caribbean
4. Freaky Friday
5. S.W.A.T

1. Koi Mil Gaya
2. Gangaajal
3. Kuch Na Kaho
4. Calcutta Mail
5. Tere Naam

Courtesy: Film Information

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