- 2h 35min
Twins separated at infancy are brought up differently. One weak, one strong. One day, they end up at each others house. Their life is not the same anymore.Twins separated at infancy are brought up differently. One weak, one strong. One day, they end up at each others house. Their life is not the same anymore.Twins separated at infancy are brought up differently. One weak, one strong. One day, they end up at each others house. Their life is not the same anymore.
Based on the staple plot of twins separating at birth and circumstances leading to role reversals later, it is Sridevi who carries the film on her very capable shoulders, displaying incredible range by playing the alcoholic trickster Manju and her coy and repressed twin sister Anju.
Infact, the two male leads - Sunny Deol and Rajinikanth are mostly relegated to being bystanders getting a few fights and some hilarious one liners. One of them -"Aaj Sunday hai, aaj Sunday hai, toh daru peene ka din hai " mouthed by the thailavar himself has become a way of life for many...but Chaalbaaz is primarily a Sridevi film and she makes the best out of it.
Her sob story to creditors, run-ins with Sunny Deol at a bar where he offers her a drink and beating the hell out of Shakti Kapoor after tricking him in to a massage are some of the film's high points. Coming to that bar scene, the film even in the late 80's was refreshingly unpretentious enough to let a lady enjoy her drinks without attempting to label her or reform her in any way. Bravo!
Director Pankuj Parashar keeps the serious moments to the minimum - the atrocities committed on Anju by her buck toothed uncle (Anupam Kher) are not overdone - and concentrates more on the masti element. Technically too, the movie is impressive and a couple of Laxmikant-Pyarelal's songs score are noteworthy, particularly Sridevi's rain dance in "Naa jaane kahan se aayi hai"
The supporting cast delivers big time - Shakti Kapoor as Battuknath Lallanprasad Malpani is the perfect comic villain, idiotic enough to get robbed by a street beggar (Kader Khan in a two minute unforgettable cameo) and also devious enough to harass Anju to call him her "Balma". Rohini Hattangadi gets to show her evil streak as Amba, Anju's tormentor. The ever dependable Anupam Kher plays the evil uncle Tribhuvan as a criss cross between KN Singh and Mukri.
Undoubtedly, Chaalbaaz provides wholesome entertainment for all ages with Sridevi demonstrating true "Girl Power"...
Recommended watch (or re-watch if you have seen it earlier)!
Regards, Sumeet Nadkarni.
- Sep 9, 2020