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News18 » India
3-min read

Review: 'Chitkabrey' is drab, overtly preachy

Suneet Arora's debut film is marked by dismal performances and tacky scenes.

Sujata Chakrabarti |

Updated:August 24, 2011, 8:21 PM IST
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Review: 'Chitkabrey' is drab, overtly preachy
Suneet Arora's debut film is marked by dismal performances and tacky scenes.

Cast: Ravi Kishan, Amit Bhardwaj, Kuldip Dubey, Akshay Singh, Bobby Vats, Khushboo Gupta, Divya Dwivedi and others.

Director: Suneet Arora

Working on a subject that has haunted and often scarred young adults for life - ragging in colleges, Suneet Arora's Chitkabrey-shades of grey could have been made into a film with substance, if not for the extremely drab performances by the cast and the overtly moralistic attitude that prevails through the length of the movie.

The basic premise of the film revolves around the cancer that has been plaguing the Indian education system for countless years. With news of young students plunging into depression and the ensuing suicide cases consistently grabbing headlines - the very mention of the word ragging fills young minds with images of intense torture and misery. But Arora's execution of his debut directorial is dismal - a confusing mish-mash of events compounded with absolutely amateurish performances by the cast and loopholes in the plot that stare at your face through the entire length of the movie.

The film starts with the director introducing his cast - one by one, caught in a random moment in their life - but on one particular day when each of them casually mentions meeting old college friends for a party. You immediately know that each of them are bound by a common thread - of years spending with each other while they studied for an engineering degree. However, there is one another significant common thread that binds them together as well, and it is this element that pushes them towards an open sea - with a gale of intense emotions and retrospection looming large above their heads.

The young men who were briefly introduced in the beginning of the film all meet for a party along with their spouses at an extremely desolate-looking venue in the middle of nowhere. Nobody exactly knows who invited whom to attend the celebrations. However, waiters and attendants appear out of nowhere and the men lose no time in regaling themselves with free-flowing champagne and idle gossip. Quite abruptly, everyone is taken hostage by an unseen person whose voice thunders above their heads through a series of loudspeakers (almost recreating a faux-Bigg Boss ambience) and threatens to pull the curtain on their previous misdeeds and manipulations.

Then enters a blast from the past - a victim of an old crime they committed 15 years back. This idea something akin to Hollywood classics like Kill Bill or Mad Max is promising but its execution falls flat right on its face. Ravi Kishan who plays the character of the once-tortured but now transformed Rakesh Chaubey is an utter disgrace to the likes of characters played by Uma Thurman (Kill Bill) and Russel Crowe (Gladiator) who came back from extremely trying times to hit back with vengeance.

The shoddy performance given by Kishan and the rest of the cast makes mockery of a serious issue like ragging and its devastating consequences. There is an overdose of drama woven around the Bhojpuri star's character and his bizarre antics and his imbecilic laughter reverberating across the theatre (even the guy who plays Raavan at your local Ramleela can laugh in a more synchronised manner) can make one scream out in despair.

The film being touted as Bollywood's boldest film also makes mockery of bold and sensual films as a genre of cinema. If Aamir Khan's Delhi Belly was given the tag of a 'bold film', Chitkabrey-shades of grey should ideally take the crown for being Bollywood's most inane film. Films like 3 Idiots have also touched on the menace of ragging but restrained from sounding overtly preachy - the same mistake that Arora does with Chitkabrey. There are risque scenes generously sprinkled in the film. Of course there is nothing wrong in showing that extra bit of skin but all the scenes are in cheap taste making you cringe with embarrassment. While the menace of ragging is a burning topic even today, Chitkabrey-shades of grey is a definite pass up.

Rating: 1/5

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