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Delightful atithi, come visit me :)
Mar 06, 2010 02:36 AM 6008 Views
(Updated Mar 06, 2010 06:34 AM)





After a really lo...oong time, I have watched a hindi movie that has made me laugh pretty much throughout, leaving a sweet warm feeling in my belly after!


CAST: Paresh Rawal, Ajay Devgn, Konkona Sen, Satish Kaushik.


Puneet (Ajay Devgn) and MunMun (Konkona) are a typical Mumbai urban couple, handling their respective careers (she's an architect, he's a movie scriptwriter), and a sweet little son, whose hindi and cultural values are somewhat lacking. When their son asks them, what an "atithi" is, they are not really able to answer him as they have never had to entertain a guest...and are somewhat glad of the fact!

Then one day, they have a Lambodhar Chacha from Gorakhpur (Paresh Rawal) landing up at their doorstep, who teaches them quite definitively what "Atithi Devo Bhava" used to mean in yester years! He takes over their household and neighbourhood, makes them do his bidding, gently harasses their shirking maid (who we all know is worth her weight in gold!), lets out gaseous emissions liberally all over the house..pretty much horrifying the couple into wishing him away..SOON. Yet, truth be told, "Chachaji" is quite the charmer, as is attested to by the son who follows him around the house like a puppy.

Are the couple able to chase their atithi out? Or do they go completely bonkers failing to do this movie to find out!


I simply loved this charming movie! The "Chachaji" character was sort of a throwback to the RK Narayan, Hrishikesh Mukherjee kind of characters...completely genuine, childlike, yet with an acerbic, witty tongue....the kind of character that Utpal Dutt used to enact so wonderfully!

Even though the movie is funny throughout, it does have a message to communicate too. Exactly what are we accomplishing by having a busy, self absorbed life? What do we gain out of a life that is so full of routine, and devoid of spontaneous, joyful human interaction? The Chachaji character takes so much pleasure in meeting new people, having no trouble placing them in the fabric of his life. Exactly what the urban couple struggle against, and end up alienating themselves in the process. A few life lessons to be learned here.

What I liked best about the movie was the clever writing and direction, that never lets the movie take itself too seriously. While there is a message to be sure, the main goal of the movie is to make you laugh. My favourite scene is when Paresh Rawal sitting despondently, is shocked out of his misery by an elderly neighbour (old enough to be his mother) who tries to chat him up and calls him "Chachaji"! Its a scene that comes out of nowhere and Chachaji's grumpy, sarcastic rejoinder makes you grin widely! The director throws in a bit of cine magic right at the end as well. Just when you, as the audience, are preparing to be emotional, there is a cute little plot twist that makes you giggle instead!

Its not just the writing that makes it a good film, its the spot on casting. Paresh Rawal is such a GOOD actor, a rustic Utpal Dutt of our times .I really think there isnt anyone out there who can match upto him in terms of his comic timing, or his ability to convincingly play whatever character he is asked to take on. A lesser actor might have made Chachaji a caricature..but not Rawal, who plays him like he was born to be a UP se aaye atithi!

Ajay Devgn and Konkona are perfect foils to Rawal. Natural and in tune with each other (catch the non verbal communication between them!), they are really quite cute as a couple. I know its the serious, intense Ajay who has won the national award, but I really like him in comic movies, when he's required to be dead pan and just show helplessness to get laughs!

Soundtrack is ok, goes well with the movie..especially the mata bhajan to the tune of Beedi jalaile....Paresh Rawal takes that song to another level by his enthusiastic dancing!

What more can I say to convince you...go out and watch this movie.

You have to be in a seriously bad mood to not enjoy it!

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