- Movie Name:Ujda Chaman
- Critics Rating: 1.5 / 5
- Release Date: Nov 1, 2019
- Director: Abhishek Pathak
- Genre: Comedy-drama
When a movie opens with a "special thanks" to Luv Ranjan -- famous for his sexist comedies (read: Pyaar ka Punchnaama series and Sonu Ke Titu Ke Sweety), you can visualise beforehand what kind of a joy-ride you are in.
TBH I had gone in to watch 'Ujda Chaman' only for its similarities with Ayushmann Khurrana-starrer 'Bala' -- which is slated to release next week. But by the end of the first half, was left scratching my head, and eyes, in pain.
Pain -- of having to bear some grossly insensitive jokes, and even more sexist punches.
It's not like 'Ujda Chaman', and I am trying to be really honest, did not intend to be a good movie, because let's face it -- it does raise an important issue. But the movie, by the end of 120 minutes, gets reduced to a sum total of sloppy writing, bad filmmaking and even worse dialogues.
ISSUE -- that is the operative word now.
The ISSUE 'Ujda Chaman' raises is 'no hair, no girl' -- which can be true in cases, because despite of what one claims, the initial attraction is guided by the looks. And premature balding does take away that attraction besides adding years too to your face.
Because a few bald men in the Hindi film and fashion industry, and Hollywood too, are few of the very good looking men on planet Earth -- and I don't even need to quote examples.
By that measure, rendering a person so unattractive based on just the receding hairline looked a bit too far-fetched. We have the answer though too -- Sunny Singh's unidimensional portrayal of Chaman Kohli. [Who will fall for a guy who keeps a sullen face throughout the day?]
Now, we don't know if Sunny was told to keep that brooding face throughout the runtime of the movie. If he was, that serves as an affirmation of bad filmmaking. And if he wasn't, it was a sheer wrong judgement of the character on Sunny's part.
Sunny's Chaman is a 30-year-old pure ladka (read: virgin), and his family publically boasts about this and secretly hates it. Chaman is, however, left to bask in his own miseries -- stemming, by the day, due to the crude insensitive jokes and pranks people, especially, his students, play on him.
Chaman is horny, annoyed, frustrated, and sad -- all at the same time -- so much so that it stops making sense, and any impact, after a point.
There's one scene in the movie where Chaman, who as I detailed is horny, stares at the cleavage of his house-help. And that's where the ISSUES of the movie start glaring at you in full might.
Trying to do a 'Badhaai Ho' and giving the movie a 'middle-class' feel is one thing, and doling out cringe in the name of doing so is a different aspect of filmmaking altogether.
Dialogues like 'yeh iss ladki ko gatak lena chahta thha', hence, add to the said cringe. But the winner is the use of the word 'choosna' [Do I even need to mention the context?] The less I say the better.
Maanvi Gagroo's Apsara is the only saving grace of the movie. Apsara is an overweight girl who is soon going to turn 29.
You get the point now? You do. Right?
Apsara is fat-shamed, just like Chaman is made the butt of insensitive humour due to his hairline -- and both are not getting anywhere close to a marriage despite the "ticking clock".
Maanvi is earnest in her portrayal of Apsara -- but the character looks somewhat like what she played in the web series 'Four More Shots Please'. She now needs to move on from such roles, and put her immense talent to a better use.
Karishma Sharma and Aishwarya Sakhuja do justice to whatever little is asked of them. [Their characters are borderline evil -- and that's what I expected when 'Luv Ranjan' popped on the screen.]
Grusha Kapoor and Atul Kumar make for a very loud Punjabi family, and quite convincingly so.
The only sane voice in the movie is Sharib Hashmi's Raj bhai -- the office peon, who mouths the underlying message of the rigmarole: "Dilon ki baat karta hai zamaana, mohabbat aaj bhi chehron se shuru hoti hai."
Aaaah! Such a brilliant thought totally gone to waste. Because the story did have a brilliant idea -- obsession with the worldly standards of beauty, but what it came to lack in was execution.
'Ujda Chaman', at best, is a missed opportunity -- of taking a potentially good concept, originally written by Raj B Shetty, further and making a socially relevant film. What Abhishek Pathak, the director, does instead is misuse and abuse the novelty factor the script had, and dole out a borderline cringey narrative of a 30-year old who hasn't yet got the "opportunity" to get laid because of premature balding.
Don't watch it, until [and unless] 'Bala' review is out [and is even worse].
IndiaTVNews.com verdict: One-and-a-half stars