Aam Aadmi’s Fight Against Corruption…
Director: Rumi Jaffery
Cast: Akshaye Khanna, Shriya Saran, Mugdha Godse, Anu Kapoor, Satish Kaushik, Akhilendra Mishra, Vijay Raaz, Ashok Samarth, Rajpal Yadav, Shashi Ranjan, Amit Mistry, Vipin Sharma, Arun Verma
Synopsis: Bharat is the quintessential aam aadmi, who lives in Bhopal. He is a cashier at a bank and like all bankers, has a trusted sidekick his scooter. He is also a part-time actor, and portrays the role of Lord Hanuman at the local Ramleela skit. His family consists of his wife, Nisha, a schoolteacher and his father, Shivnarayan, a patriotic, idealistic man, who dreams of a corrupt-free nation. Then there is Amita, the unwanted guest, who is a call centre employee. She is a pretty young thing, which is enough reason for Nisha to be slightly insecure about her marriage. Nisha is ambitious for her husband, and would like him to be promoted from cashier to manager at the bank. Bharat, however, has other goals. He wants to be Ram, the protagonist in Ramleela. Sattu Tripathi, an extremely bad actor, gets to portray Ram, without opposition, because he is the younger brother of the politician, MLA Manku Tripathi. Both the Tripathi brothers dislike Bharat, for different reasons. Sattu is overshadowed by Bharat’s superior acting skills on stage, leading to a rivalry between the two. Manku, on the other hand, is miffed with Bharat, because the extra room in the latters house is now used as a re-election campaign room by Mohanlal, Mankus adversary. And then one day, Bharats table-fan gets stolen. The police constable, Parshuram Khushwaah tells Bharat that the local paanwala, Bacchu Gulkand, can testify in court that it was none other than Chunnu Farishta, burglar par excellence, who is responsible for the crime.
Review: Fighting corruption has become a new found passion for many people in our country, while for some it’s just another ‘political thing’ that they watch on their television screens. "Gali Gali Chor Hai" is a very honest portrayal of a common man from a tier-2 city fighting it out each day to make an honest living. The common man in question is Bharat (Akshaye Khanna) who works as a cashier in a bank and lives with his patriotic father (Satish Kaushik) and wife (Shriya Saran). While there is an array of performers in this story and it started very well with the plight of the common man etc., post-intermission it just went on and on. The table fan that was the actual bone of contention must have also breathed a sigh at the end of the shoot.
The story highlights corruption at every level in the society. You must be able to pay the other person some cash or kind to appease him. In the olden days, we read about how villagers appeased the many Indian Gods by offering them harvest or sacrificing animals. Looks like the bureaucrats and public servants are becoming just that and the Indian Gods are going through a makeover.
Also, one cannot help but notice the striking resemblance of this plot with Kundan Shah’s 1983 release, "Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron", a very well portrayed black comedy on corruption. While the former had a rather funny climax scene of a stage act on “The Mahabharata”, GGCH had nothing outstanding to offer. Also, the protagonist is a struggling stage actor who dreams of becoming “Ram” in the city’s Ramlila show. Believe it or not, he has competition there… from the politician’s (Murli Sharma) younger brother (Amit Mistry), who otherwise is a very bad actor but his strong political contact will not let him budge from the acquired position.
Shriya Saran and co-actor, Mughda Godse – playing the Paying Guest have by far been wasted. The script did not demand much of a female character unless it was addressing more than one issue. Vijay Raaz was quite a treat, he is one of those who effortlessly perform as though it’s his daily routine to be a Chunnu Farishta like in the case of Annu Kapoor who has little to do in his films and was last seen portraying a good role in Vishal Bharadwaj’s ”7 Khoon Maaf” that released last year.
What I liked: The story-line uptil the intermission; Vijay Raaz and Annu Kapoor, the battered table fan, Kailash Kher’s song.
What I disliked: A waste of an actor like Akshaye Khanna, the very dragged story and most importantly, Veena Malik (Pakistani actress and Big Boss 4 contestant) – why was she trying to do a Rakhi Sawantish stint with those light bulbs and weird moves? Like stated in the movie, she was trying to portray how a “big star from Mumbai” acts and looks like… doesn’t look like she will be very successful with that.
Verdict: Enjoyed the first part, rest you can watch at your own risk and gawk at Veena Malik.