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News18 » India
3-min read

Review: 'Chala Mussaddi...' gets too preachy

The film starring Pankaj Kapur slams the work culture in government offices

Sujata Chakrabarti |

Updated:August 5, 2011, 4:04 AM IST
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Review: 'Chala Mussaddi...' gets too preachy
The film starring Pankaj Kapur slams the work culture in government offices

Cast: Pankaj Kapur, Deven Bhojani, Manoj Pawha, Hemant Pandey, Asawari Joshi, Farida Jalal

Director: Rajiv Mehra

The TV show that carved a space for itself in the living rooms and the hearts of its thousands of loyalists a few years ago, Office Office is back on the big screen. In Rajiv Mehra's big screen venture - Chala Mussaddi Office Office, the cast from the show remains the same and so does the blatant attack against the institution that more than often becomes the quintessential common man's biggest enemy. The film is a scathing attack against corrupt government officials and their rampant exploitation of the aam janta.

Pankaj Kapur reprises his role - that of retired school master Mussaddi Lal Tripathi from the successful TV series. His wife Shaanti unexpectedly dies, due to a series of gaffes on the part of a group of doctors and medical staff who indulge in the nefarious practices of illegal organ dealing and fleecing hapless patients. After his wife passes away, Mussaddi along with his son pack up their bags to go on a pilgrimage, to immerse her ashes into the holy river. Along the way, the two simpletons get cheated and robbed and Mussaddi finally comes home to a series of rude awakenings - the power supply has been disconnected, his house has been mortgaged, and above all, he has been declared dead by the pension department of the government. And then starts this lone man's trudge of taking a stand against the unscrupulous ways of the public servants who fill their coffers with money that rightfully belongs to the common man of the country.

It comes as no surprise when one sees Pankaj Kapur executing Mussaddi's character with finesse. The veteran actor portrays a fine amalgamation of emotions - those of a grief-stricken man who suddenly finds himself declared dead by government officials, of a hapless father whose only son is unemployed and is living off him and as the indignant Indian citizen who wants to leave no stone unturned to reverse his current status from dead to alive.

The ensemble cast around Kapur with the likes of Deven Bhojani, Manoj Pawha and Sanjay Mishra sprinkle the storyline with the right dose of comic elements towards the beginning of the story. However, as the plot proceeds, suddenly there seems to be a flurry of characters marching across the screen and it often makes it rather difficult to keep a tab on all that's been said and done. It was interesting to note veteran actress Farida Jalal playing the sick Mrs Mussaddi in the hospital. It was perhaps a waste of talent in casting the experienced actress in a role whose only contribution to the film is to lie motionless on a hospital stretcher and sound off a few moans and groans in place of dialogues. Gaurav Kapoor's performance as Mussaddi's son starts off in a rather insipid manner and gathers momentum only later in the film. The actors who play the government officials like Bhojani, Pandey, Joshi and Pawha have certain individual traits that become the flavour of their characters. But these repeated refrains and actions throughout the storyline somewhat start sounding like a bad tune on the radio that refuses to turn off.

There are several poignant questions asked by Mussadi throughout the film - questioning the unprofessionalism that is omnipresent in the corridors of government offices and buildings, but ultimately its overdose almost overshadows the genuine efforts of the actors in executing their characters. The opening credits of the film is accompanied by a beautifully captured montage - sharp scenes straight out of the life of the common man and the world around him. Chala Mussaddi Office Office is a feel-good attempt at pointing a finger at the convoluted labyrinths of the Indian bureaucracy and official paperwork but tends to get a tad bit preachy on the whole.

Rating: 2/5

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