Chain Kulii Ki Main Kulii
Cast: Rahul Bose, Meera Vasudevan, Zain Khan
Direction: Kittu Salooja
This is the story of what happens when 20 adults in either acne-’n’- jeans or dentures-’ n’-dhotis gather to watch a children’s movie about cricket. Of the number, at least half treat the auditorium as if it were a lovers’ lane thicket. The others, me mainly, keep hissing, “Shhhh, yeh kya budtameezi hai” — to the couples in tight clinches.
Oddly on its first day of release at a rain-drizzled multiplex, Chain Kulii ki Main Kulii directed by first timer Kittu Salooja, attracted an audience that was more into steam-’n’-sex than the wicket ways of the kiddies.
Aah dear ladies and gents, the point is that none of us was aware that this Chain flick was meant for juniors and their happy daddies-and- mums. On the contrary, Chain seemed to have suggested a sado-masochistic theme — thus, the canoodling audience. Kiss, slurp, sigh, the works.
In the event, this ancient critic’s concentration was ruined. A gang of orphans live in an enormous villa that could fetch multi-crores in the real estate market. Yet their guardian, with Bandar chhaap charcoal teeth, treats them as if they were slaves under an Egyptian pharaoh.
At this sight, the youngish couple bunking office (proof — briefcases) embraced passionately as if they were about to part for a decade. They didn’t separate despite a loud “Shhh”.
Next: among these baba slaves, there’s 13-year-old Karan Joe (Zain Khan) who loves cricket. He discovers Kapil Dev’s old bat and goes batty. Thunder, lightning and more rain than the city has experienced this season so far — Kjo is discovered by Coach Vijay Crishna (his spelling, not mine). Coachycoo believes Kjo is the answer to the Indian team’s woes.
Meanwhile, a middle-aged couple in the next row, stroked each other’s cheek tenderly. They didn’t stop despite a very loud, “Shhh”.
Believe it or hazel nuts: Kjo becomes India’s opening batsman against Pakistan. Kiddo hits boundaries, sixers, clap clap. Kjo’s hot, happening and moves into the hotel suite of the team’s captain (Rahul Bose). Captain tells the boy to order burgers, biryani, pizzas, tandoori chicken, French fries and ice cream from room service. Does Bose want the boy to kill himself ? No, no, there’s just some ewww… fart noise. And the cosiest twosome in the last row are now attacking each other like a love scene from March Of The Penguins. Superloud “Shhh” doesn’t work.
Oof. Even the ushers have vanished to a love den of their own. Kid Kjo sorts out Bose’s psychological warfare with an estranged dad (Hennaed Hair), loses his magic bat and runs all over the city in the middle of a crucial Indo-Pak match. Will the kiddo win? Or will he bump into Kapil Dev all over again (after Iqbal, KD is a superstar)? Or will the kid simply elope with Bose’s fiancée who’s been fluttering her lashes at anyone who moves? It’s nearly the end, but the ageless couple making funny sounds, suggest that they have only just begun.
Honestly, is this the way to release a children’s movie? It’s not much in that department either… it’s neither fish nor fowl. Tedious and requiring total suspension of disbelief, it also blasts muzak by Salim-Suleiman who grabs lilts from Vangelis and Pink Floyd. The script celebrates clichés and the direction is lustreless.
Perfomances? Zain Khan is appealing, Rahul Bose is as earnest as a Boy Scout leader.
Lesson learnt: More and more couples are heading for empty cinema halls… to snatch an hour or two of intimacy. Indeed, Chain Kulii Kulii can be recommended only to lovers deprived of space in the cities. Shhhh.