Planet Bollywood
Chupke Se
 
Producer: PLA Entertainment
Director: Shona Urvashi
Starring: Mausumi (intorducing), Zulfikar Syed, Rati Agnihorti, Dilip Prabhavalkar, Om Puri, Raman Lamba, Tinu Anand
Music: Vishal Bhardwaj, Ranjit Barot
Lyrics: Gulzar, Abbas Tyrewala
Genre: Drama
Recommended Audience: Adult
Film Released on: 12 September 2003
Reviewed by: Ron Ahluwalia  - Rating: 6.0 / 10
 
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 410 viewers)
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Chupke Se... is the first offering from PLA Entertainment after a long hiatus from the produciton world, after movies like Chashme Baddoor, Jalwa, and Khatta Meetha. Those who actually knew about Chpuke Se... (thanks to its horrible promotion) saw a no-name cast, no-name director, and heard some exceptional music. As a result, expectations were low. Finally, no one is disappointed or surprised; Chupke Se... is one of the rare movies that lives up to its expectations, regardless of how low they might be.

The plot can be defined in terms of the characters:

Megha (Mausumi) is a middle-class girl who wants to be rich, famous, beautiful, etc.

Varun (Zulfikar Syed) is a millionaire with no social life who falls in love with Megha at a club, thinking that her name is "Sarika". He knows Almira Kochchar and Riz.

Almira Kochchar (Rati Agnihorti) is the leading high society figure who rules the fashion world. She is snobby, arrogant, etc.

Riz (Raman Lamba) is the club owner who bets Almira Kochchar that she cannot turn the walking fashion faux-pas Megha, into a beauty queen. Almira accpets the challenge. Varun introduces Megha to Riz and Almira as "Sarika." (This misunderstanding leads to the major misunderstanding in the pre-climax)

Mr. Timgare (Dilip Prabhavalkar) is an income tax agent and Megha┬┤s father, who wants to have Almira┬┤s business raided and have her sent to jail.

Om Puri is Qasim Khan Qayamat, a don who has been hired by Almira┬┤s husband (Tinnu Anand) to have Tigmare killed.

When Almira finds out that "Sarika" is actually Megha--and Timgare┬┤s daughter-- all hell breaks loose.

Its seems as though the director, Shona Urvashi, has tried to toss a salad of romance and comedy, but gets tossed herself in a plot that is too tangled! The viewer is lost between the two conflicting genres and becomes clueless about the events of the movie. The script leaves a lot to be desired.

Chupke Se... also lacks originiality. The beauty pageant setting and Rati Agnihotri´s character seem to be lifted right out of the Hollywood hit "Miss Congeniality." Also, the action scene in the pre-climax is too predictable (not to mention the rest of the movie). 

The Om Puri segement of the movie, despite being barely more entertaining than the rest of the movie, was completely unnecessary, and slows the pace of the movie quite a bit. Furthermore, the reasoning behind the characterisation of Riz is non-existant. Sometimes he has shades of grey, whereas sometime, he is as good as the hero of the movie! Why? Zulfikar´s character is also not well defined. He spends the whole movie convincing his father to quit smoking, but he is shown smoking himself in the pre-climax. 

Clearly, the pre-climax is very faulty. The loop-holes, the lethargic comedy, the performances: what a let down! The portions following the pre-climax are extremely lengthy. Crisper editing would have been much appreciated!

One wonders what purpose the foul language is supposed to serve! Chupke Se... contains a content of swear words that is great, compared to the regular bollywood film. Thus, viewer discretion is advised!

On a high note, the muisc of Chupke Se... is a real gem. Vishal Bhardwaj and Gulzar have always been an exceptional team, and the addition of Ranjit Barot is very welcome! Special mention must be given to the picturisation of all the songs, as they are all very well done!

Mausmi is somewhat confident for a debut. She has the majority of her facial expressions right, but she must work on her make-up and dialogue delivery. She could have made wonders with her author-backed role, but overall, she is just average. 

Zulfikar Syed is a revelation! He has jumped leaps and bounds from his debut in Pyaasa. Yes, he is still rusty when it comes to technicalities, but overall, his performance is noteworthy. Hopefully, we will see more of him after his special appearance in Akhbar Khan┬┤s Taj Mahal.

Rati Agnihotri completely overacts her role. She should go back into retirement. Dilip Prabhavalkar is hilarious! Om Puri is wasted in a somewhat funny role. Tinnu Anand is pathetic. Raman Lamba is not made for the silver screen. He has a weird acent and uses too much English, with no inflection. The rest of the supporting cast is adequate.

Do not to expect much from this cliched potboiler! Chupke Se... is an attempt at an entertaining venture that just doesn┬┤t cut it. Ridden by cliches, incongruities, unnecessary use of derogitory language, below average direction and a supersaturated plot, this movie can simply be judged as amateur.

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