Sunday, September 13, 2009



In the rush of releases, an enjoyable Chintuji slipped through the cracks. By the time audiences (and Rishi Kapoor fans) were aware of the films, it had vanished from the multiplexes.

It was very sporting of him, not just to play himself, but as a pompous, badly behaved star, when the real Chintuji is known for his charm. Directed by Ranjit Kapoor, this cleverly Indianised The Man Who Came To Dinner, is set in an Utopian town, which is distupted and corrupted by the arrival of the star, followed by a film crew. The satirical story has a lovely cameo by Mera Naam Joker's 'Marina' (Kseniya Ryabinkina), who comes in as catalyst. It also has the weirdest 'item' song in a long time, with lyrics made up of directors' names : "Akira Kurosawa, Vittorio De Sica... Coppola Coppola."

After a while, it does go off the rails, only to return with a nicely melodramatic Bollywood climax. The film is as much a satire on Bollywood's hold over the country as it is a tribute to the resilience of back-of-beyond India. Pity it did not get the reception it deserved.


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