Film: Motichoor Chaknachoor
Director: Debamitra Biswal
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Athiya Shetty, Vibha Chibber, Navni Parihar, Vivek Mishra
Motichoor Chaknachoor is a safe film. The Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Athiya Shetty starrer is a formulaic romantic comedy that plays with borderline nuances only to reinstate the set pattern of the genre we have been seeing for the longest time.
It is a new one for Nawazuddin who seems to be withdrawing from the Gaitonde fever, yet all for a moment, it seems like one is expecting to see in him some darker shade of the characters he has portrayed on screen. A breakdown moment that was much anticipated!
Athiya Shetty and Nawauddin are both well situated in the small town Lucknow set-up. Their dialects and mannerisms (to a certain extent) are perfectly played out and one believes their story completely. The supporting cast of the film is also a delight to watch, with grey characters like the spinster ‘mausi’ who refused 27 potential grooms and did not marry.
The narrative of the story is commonplace with an innovative addition of what happens after the happily-ever-after arch in the second half.
Motichoor Chaknachoor is well strewn with ‘universally acknowledged’ dialogues, tropes, and beliefs that are sometimes challenged through the sensibilities of its leading characters.
Nawazuddin plays the ‘paak’ (unquestionable) moral character that is so lonely in life, with his 7-years-sojourn in Dubai that he is willing to marry just about any girl. As he states somewhere in the film, for two people to be man and woman, is enough to be the reason for their getting married.
He plays the perfect, obedient Mumma’s boy, while Athiya’s character is another variation of a modern-liberal woman that Bollywood understands, a follow-up from Imtiaz Ali’s Geet in Jab We Met.
The pace of the film is consistent. There is an attempt to adhere to the ‘equal parts’ story in the pre and post-interval film which is very apparent.
The detailing and design are up to the point of believability without compromising on the aesthetics and visual appeal of the movie.
What stands out is, in fact, the performance of the film’s actors and the dialogues that are well-researched and written. There are elements of situational comedy put to use, especially in the climax of the scene, where for a lack of better option, the end looked exaggerated beyond the mark. As if the makers were bored with their own material and wanted the film to get over by any means possible.
What does not work, is the set pattern of formulaic romantic comedy genre which makes everything post-interval predictable. One understands that the social-message film is part of the content-driven cinema, per se, and that it is the need of the hour and workable business formula of filmmakers these days, but the loyalty with which it is followed is unbelievable.
As Motichoor Chaknachoor came to a close, one began wondering whether our obsession with marriage as a society will ever wean away. Almost all romantic comedies these days thrive on the idea of looking for a lover or a to-be bride/ groom or something similar to that. Let alone the experimentation with form, we are obsessed with the same content and the tensions around it. Perhaps, the diversity of the country, in particular, Uttar Pradesh helps (all films are based there, these days), where the same narrative can be dressed in a city, town, tehsil’s ethos and fed again and again.