Film: Mukhtiar Chadha
Cast: Diljit Dosanjh, Oshin Brar, Yashpal Sharma, Kiran Juneja
There was a time when the Punjabi film industry languished in Bollywood’s shadow. Not any longer.
Over the years, Punjabi films have slowly and steadily spread their wings and reached a juncture where they can take the leap of faith and eat into Hindi film revenues. And there is nobody better than the star, Diljit Dosanjh, to ride on this wave.
But to do that, Diljit and his fellow Punjabi actors will have to ensure novelty of content. Has he done it in Mukhtiar Chadha? Let’s probe.
Mukhtiar Chadha (Diljit) is a ‘Purani Dilli’ guy whose only desire in life is to get rich, by hook or by crook. He is so business-oriented, he doesn’t even spare his neighbour Dimple (Oshin Brar) from his shrewd tactics. He finds out Dimple flunked in her exams, so he starts extorting money from her to not tell her father.
This, of course, is the beginning of their love.
Like most heroes, Mukhtiar also ends up fighting the baddies – led by Yashpal Sharma in the disguise of a poetry-loving land-shark Chidi Hussain.
Now, Hussain and Chadha are at loggerheads, and there’s a lot at stake.
A smile comes to the audience’s face the moment Diljit arrives on his brand-new red scooter, clad in a red turban. Such is his charm.
Initially it seems he is going to take his Sardaar Ji act forward, but his character is more nuanced and humorous this time around.
The writers (Dosanjh has written the film with director Gifty) have used language identifiable with the West Delhi middle class.
There are characters who even speak Hindi. They mostly use, ‘Pant nahi pajama ji, main munde ka mama ji,’ sort of one-liners to introduce themselves and take you through the bylanes of Karol Bagh and adjacent areas.
In case, you still don’t get it then the stock footage of the Delhi Metro with the Hanuman statute is also present.
Basically, it’s a clichéd Delhi story: A property dealer who wants to make some quick bucks. A funny gangster with a certain Western UP touch. Some guys doing Ramleela. A wannabe middle-aged Bihari man who dreams of dating college girls. Some police officers with an artificial Haryanvi accent. A heavily built wrestler with a child’s voice. And a mother (Kiran Juneja) who keeps praying for the well being of her son.
The list goes on and on. Mukhtiar Chadha has every stereotype you can think of, but, surprise-surprise, it works in entirety. Partly because of the hidden humour quotient in these typical Delhi characters, and mostly because of Diljit’s presence at the helm of affairs.
Consider this scene: Mukhtiar is sitting with his mother and uncle. His dislike for the ever-complaining uncle prompts him to fight with him. And just when the argument heats up, he puts his hand inside his uncle’s pocket and brings out a ‘mathhi’ (a popular North Indian snack) and says, “Kaun hai ye banda mummy jo mathhiyaan churaata hai” (Who’s this guy mother who steals snacks). The spontaneity with which Dosanjh does it is remarkable. His quick reaction time makes many such scenes funny.
Sometimes the film looks ‘different’ conceptually as well. In one sequence, Mukhtiar arrives at the villain’s den with a huge machine gun and stars firing like Arnold Schwarzenegger. And then suddenly, he runs out of bullets. Such anti-climax provides a distinct flavour to Mukhtiar Chadha. Similarly, an Osama Bin Laden impersonator will crack you up.
On a serious note, this part of the film has been shot like a video game which adds immense value to it.
Watch: Trailer of Mukhtiar Chadha
The theme and basic premise isn’t much better than usual rehash of clichéd comic scenes from other Delhi-based films, but the treatment makes it a good watch. And of course, Diljit Dosanjh’s comic timing is the icing on the cake. Mukhtiar Chadha is a fun film with a laughter guarantee for a good part of it. A good watch this weekend.
(Interact with Rohit Vats at Twitter/ @nawabjha)
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