Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Chand Ke Paar... 

There's something so quaint about Mustafa Engineer’s Chand Ke Paar Chalo that had it been a better written and directed film it might even have been watchable. But as it is now, it belongs to the sixties, with characters that are totally anachronistic.

Inspired by films like Sitara and (godhelpus!) Guide, Chand Ke Paar Chalo is about a Nainital tourist photographer Chander (Saahib), who befriends a street dancer (Preeti Jhangiani) and dreams of making her a film star.

His parents are not just cool about letting him go off to Bombay with a strange girl, but also mortgage their house without a fuss. Such a selfless hero who wants nothing for himself, is of course asking to be kicked for his troubles.

Garima becomes a star much too easily, not so hassle free for an illiterate village girl but let that pass. What is convincing is her ingratitude towards Chander, and
getting influenced by her secretary Kapoor (Shakti Kapoor). Very off the mark, however, is Engineer’s portrayal of the film industry today. Garima rises rapidly to superstardom, and it looks as if she is the only female star in Bollywood. The supporting characters whether in Nainital or Mumbai are too far-fetched to be true.

Kapoor creates a rift between the two and sees to it that Chander is thrown out. It's not hard to guess that a girl, even in 2006, would give up her career for a man-- whether it is this or a Ram Gopal Varma film (Rangeela, Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon)

The performances-- newcomer Saahib vaguely resembles Akshay Kumar but can't act and speaks his lines in a flat monotone, while Preeti Jhangiani overacts.

Chand Ke Paar Chalo is the kind of film that is derogatorily described as filmi-- which stands for theatrical, artificial and cheesy.


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