Friday, July 08, 2011

Chillar Party 

Kid Zone

There used to be—still is—a Children’s Film Society of India that was supposed to make films for kids. For years the CFSI has been plodding away, with its dismally low budgets, making wholesome moral-flaunting films, usually too boring for its target audience.

If the CFSI had bigger budgets and/or a star like Salman Khan to back their films, then Chillar Party is probably what it would come up with.  Let’s not forget kids in India now get high-powered entertainment from Hollywood (the last Harry Potter movie comes up next week) and are used to sophisticated animation and 3D. So a homegrown product has to offer something that money cannot buy.  Which is not just Salman Khan muscle and Ranbir Kapoor dance number, but characters and plot that bypass the gloss and go straight to a kid’s heart. This is what Vikas Bahl  and Nitesh Tiwari’s charmingly titled Chillar Party does, to some extent.

The children in the film are not model-cute or filmi-precocious, but the kind you could find in your building. Chandan Nagar Society has kids with nicknames like Jangya, Encyclopedia, Secondhand, Shaolin, Motu, Aflatoon, Panvati etc. so that the viewer can keep track of which is which. What they have in common is their love of cricket and their hatredfor dogs, caused by a white Pomeranian.
Into their world comes street kid Fatka (Irfan Khan), a skinny kid with a canine buddy called Bhidu. He puts up with alot of hostility from the kids, only to hang onto his menial job washing cars.

Eventually, he is accepted into the fold, and also gets the kids on his side for a Save  Bhidu campaign (that includes a chaddi march) when a nasty politician  (Shashank Shende) decides to clear the area of stray dogs.

The kids vs adults war is fun and the inherent sweetness of the film covers up for the excessive melodrama of the second half. It’s a film with a conscience, which is more than what one can expect from the movies these days.


Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

eXTReMe Tracker