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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Sridevi's comedy of errors

Author: Chrysanthepop from Fraggle Rock
27 June 2008

Getting straight to the point, what makes 'Chaalbaaz' immensely enjoyable is Sridevi. Displaying her comedic skills to the max, she proves again why she's among the best. Dual roles weren't anything new to her and here she plays mirror image twins. There's the tough kickass no nonsense Manju and her (separated at birth) pushover sister Anju who's brutally abused by her maternal Uncle. The story falls on the lines of 'Seeta aur Geeta'. Those were also the days when Sunny Deol was quite likable as an actor that he would do a little more acting than the over the top action sequences. Rajnikunt isn't bad either. Anupam Kher and Rohini Hattangadi are good as the caricature evil Uncle and Aunt. Shakti Kapoor is quite annoying and a young Aftab Shivdasani is unintentionally funny. One ought to keep in mind that 'Chaalbaaz' is a masala entertainer and not to be taken too seriously. On the down side, many of the songs are terrible but there are a few that are worth watching only because of Sridevi's dance and comedy. On the technical side, it's not very impressive as cinematography, sound and lighting is quite poor (which was the case with most 80s commercial Hindi films).

However, 'Çhaalbaaz' provides plenty of laugh out loud moments to make it worthwhile and that is due to the divine Sridevi. Thanks to her, this one woman show is worth watching.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

You better watch Seeta Aur Geeta, but then give it a try for Sridevi

4/10
Author: Peter Young from Earth
15 September 2015

There are so many things that I like in Chaalbaaz, and then, there are so many things because of which I would never want to see it again. I like its craziness but I hate its stupidity. Chaalbaaz is a mere copy of the 1972 classic Seeta Aur Geeta. Clearly, this one is not a patch on Ramesh Sippy's timeless comedy of errors, and well, frankly, the fact that these two films are compared is an insult to Seeta Aur Geeta. Chalbaaz just lacks the latter's excellent script, great humour, music, light comic mood, and of course the performances. Hema Malini's performance is unmatched, and here the director actually turns the twin sisters into some hysteric and mentally unstable damsels in distress. Then there's the element which many people disliked the film for. While the film aims to be a comedy, there's one really disturbing part in it, and it is the way Anju is abused by her uncle and his wife - it is hugely exaggerated, but very often far from funny because not once does it appear downright sadistic. The action sequences are poorly handled and actually there's too much of them.

Sridevi is an excellent actress, but just like with the film, I like and dislike her performance in equal parts. I liked the fact that she evidently highly enjoyed playing her part, I liked her spontaneity, and her neurotic dance numbers were truly outstanding. It is her portrayal of the scared and frightened Anju that I liked more, as she was so intensely involved with the character. The role of Manju, the street smart lost sister, is totally over-the-top. She is not just brave and defensive, but a violent idiot. And it's not Sridevi's fault, she is just let down by the script and forced to ham it up. The leading actors are very average, while the two who actually understand the film's mindless mood and act accordingly are Anupam Kher and Rohini Hattangadi, who are very good and easy to hate. It's of course a masala flick and one should never take it too seriously but then it's not a very good film even as mindless entertainment, and sadly so, because this is the kind of story which could churn out a terrific comedy of errors, a goal this film unfortunately never manages to achieve.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A Entertainer

8/10
Author: bhuvanmathur from delhi
15 December 2009

Chaalbaaz was one of the best comedies of the late 80s with some landmark performances from Sridevi in a double role , Anupam Kher as the evil uncle Tribhuvan Das , Shakti Kapoor ,Rohini Hattangadi and Rajnikant.The movie also has Annu Kapoor in a special role and a young Aftab Shivdasani as Sridevis young brother.It also won Sridevi a Best Actress Award for 1989.The " Jaani ye Chaaku hai" scene is legendary and unforgettable.A typical bollywood formula film with Twin Sisters separated at birth and with strikingly different personalities .Sridevi was the real " Hero" of the film .I remember I had copied it on my VCR as a kid and used to watch it everyday ! A most memorable film .

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

One of the defining movies of it's time

10/10
Author: keviv from United Kingdom
31 August 2005

Having read the previous negative review posted by Gunsha, all i can say is that she seems to have completely missed the point.

Chaalbaaz is an all out entertainer which shows no pretence of being anything other than a wholesome fun family entertainer.

This film has everything that is good about Hindi cinema, excellent songs, dialogue, action and above all side splitting comedy. Sridevi & Rajnikant fans won't be disappointed, as they perform to the height of their iconic status'.

Chaalbaaz is a timeless masterpiece, a text book reference on what Hindi entertainment is. Though the film was made 15 years ago in an era when Shakti Kapoor & Anupam Kher weren't annoying & when Sunny Deol was able to give a restrained performance. It's brand of comic humour, far from appearing stale, comes across just as fresh as when it was 1st made (in fact David Dhawan could learn a thing or two on what REAL comedy is, by watching this). Definitely one of the definitive movies of the 90's.

Classic Scene : Shakti Kapoor mistaking Anupam Kher for the "Ghar ka naukar"

Watch it with friends & prepare to laugh your socks off!

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6 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Sri Devi at her best

10/10
Author: john m quigley (jquigley2@webtv.net) from moore, OK.
17 October 1998

Sri Devi is at her best in this Hindi comedy/action movie. She plays a dual role and as usual is perfect in both parts ,great supporting actors and a corny but lovable story. Well worth watching.

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4 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

This is a gut-wrenching horror of a film!

3/10
Author: gunsha from India :-) ... -na :-(, USA
19 June 2005

This film is a pain to watch. Not because of technical flaws or performance (it's an 80s film, so one must be quite tolerant), Sridevi is a great actress and dancer, but the story is terrible. There is just no way to enjoy this film. It shows such gut-wrenching abuse of the one twin role of Sridevi, Anju, and the whole film long you see the poor girl being broken and exploited. The film has some good intentions, which is to accuse the men's society of ruining the lives of women, but this film is so mercy-less and seems to right-out enjoy the Anju being abused, that the message becomes a farce. The ending does not help this film either, they spoiled it. I have not seen many Bollywood films before the 1990s, but I would say this one is special. Special because of Sridevi, but also infamous because of its cruelty. Just maddening and gut-wrenching.

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