Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Do Dooni Char: Sporadically charming
Watching Rishi and Neetu Kapoor on screen is truly such a pleasure. The couple have lost none of the effervescence they had a couple of decades ago – the chemistry still sparkles, as do their eyes and you are hooked.
They are the Duggals in director Habib Faisal’s “Do Dooni Chaar”, a gentle comedy about a middle-class high school teacher who wants to buy a car for his family, but finds that he can’t afford to on his very meagre teacher’s salary.
It does not help that he has two very brattish kids (Archit Krishna and Aditi Vasudev) who are constantly demanding iPods, indulge in illegal betting and refuse to sit with him on his worn down but trusty Bajaj scooter because it makes them look bad.
When his younger sister demands that he and his family come to her house for a family wedding in nothing less than a car, Santosh Duggal has to beg a neighbour to lend him his car, because he can’t even afford to hire one. But when that car meets with a slight accident and he has to face the brunt of his neighbour’s ire, he decides it is time he got his own car, even though he cannot afford to.
The first half of the film is quite engaging, but in spite of the good performances by all four main characters, you feel like the director is trying too hard to make a particular scene touching or funny. Even then, you are enamoured by this family and their dream of owning a car.
The second half unravels a bit. The screenplay is haphazard and the way Duggal goes about trying to get a car don’t seem plausible. The daughter’s character becomes too shrill and whiny, grating on your nerves
Other than these glitches, this is a film that will make you laugh, albeit in parts. While there are some real moments in the film, somehow it doesn’t come together in the end. Watch it though, if nothing else, then for India’s most evergreen on-screen couple and their chemistry. They make everything else, including flaws fade into the background.