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Upperstall Review



Gali Gali Chor Hai


Hindi, Comedy, Drama, 2012, Color

Bharat (Akshaye Khanna) is a part time cashier and part time 'Hanuman' at Ramleela, residing in Bhopal with his father Shivnarayan, an old timer who values freedom and hopes to see a corruption free administration in the country. Bharat is married to Nisha a schoolteacher, loving and caring but doubting wife concerned more about Bharat's promotion from cashier to manager at the bank than his flying tricks at the 'Ramleela'. The small and happy family lives with a forced upon guest Amita, a young, beautiful girl who works at a call center. Bharat wants to graduate from his role as Hanuman to Lord Ram, a role being portrayed by Sattu Thripati, the younger brother of MLA Manku Thripati. Sattu, a bad actor, is always unhappy that Hanuman steals the show with his performance and Manku the MLA is unhappy over Bharat's refusal to let out his extra room to campaigning for his re-election. Worse, Bharat's father befriends the opposing candidate, Mohanlal, and lets out the room to him! And in the midst of all this, Bharat's table fan is stolen!

Certainly this satire on corruption has its intentions in place. The premise of how ridiculously easy it is to trap the common man in the mires of bureaucracy and judiciary of the country is the main focus of the film, and the idea is consistently pursued all the way through. The letdown is the handling of this material. With all the elements of a black comedy in place, the film lacks original and interesting plotting, and memorable characters to put it all together and make this idea come alive.

Take the example of Bharat’s (Akshaye Khanna) efforts to dispose the fan. Repeatedly, he sets off on his scooter to try and dispose it, only to be foiled by circumstances. Maybe just once, he did not need to ride out on his scooter. Maybe once, the police had no role to play in his fate. Annu Kapoor becomes a stock presence in each and every situation, right till the end, and you kind of get tired watching him being bribed after the first hundred times. These are key sequences in the film, and though well intended and initially funny, lack the freshness and originality to engage you. The climax is insipid, and really feels like the writers had no idea how to end the film, and penned down the first thing that came to mind.

The weakest link is definitely the one including Bharat, his wife (Shriya Saran) and their paying guest, played by Mughda Godse. It does not fit into the film at all, and is completely redundant. Even if the wife’s track is a bit of a stretch, Mughda’s character is a completely needless complication on top of this mess. Take the whole rigmarole out of the film, and you won’t miss a thing.

Satish Kaushik as Akshaye’s father is the redeeming performance in the film. He grasps the nuance of his character perfectly, and is spot on in every situation in the film. Akshaye is decent, as are some of the supporting roles – Annu Kapoor as the bribe friendly hawaldar, Vijay Raaz in a blink and miss cameo. The other positive is the Bhopali dialect used in the film, consistently adhered to by everyone (even bit roles), a rare attention to detail in most films today.

Kailash Kher kicks of the film earnestly with a song on corruption, in the spirit of a Hazarian movement. But like Anna’s movement, the film loses steam very quickly, and becomes a shadow of the ideal it set out to demonstrate.

Upperstall review by: Mr Care





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