India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

Gali Gali Chor Hai: Well intentioned, badly made

February 3, 2012

Given that director Rumy Jaffry’s film “Gali Gali Chor Hai” deals with the burning issue of corruption, one would assume there would be no lack of material. Jaffry concentrates on corruption at the lower level and the everyday struggle of the common man who has to deal with this malaise as he tries to get on with life.

Akshaye Khanna plays Bharat, a meek bank cashier who lives in a dilapidated house with his wife, father and a pretty paying guest. When he rubs off a local politician the wrong way, trouble starts.

On the pretext of returning stolen goods, a local constable (Annu Kapoor) traps Bharat in an unending maze of red tape and corruption — all for a decrepit fan which doesn’t even belong to him in the first place.

Like I said in the beginning, Jaffry has a good idea — to portray the struggle of a common man against a corrupt and inefficient system, and to use satire as a medium to depict that struggle — and it does sound good on paper.

In reality though, there isn’t much holding the script together. Jaffry packs in unnecessary plot points — like that of a pretty paying guest (Mughda Godse) and Bharat’s wife’s (Shriya Saran) jealousy and a last minute terrorist angle.

There are few moments of humour and they come from the Ramlila scenes. Bharat plays Hanuman in the local play while the local politician plays Ram. Here, Jaffry manages to inject some genuine humour and satire; reminiscent of, but definitely not matching up to, Kundan Shah’s “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro”.

Of the cast, Akshaye Khanna, Satish Kaushik and Annu Kapoor give it their best but are pulled down by a bad script. Also, the climax of the film feels cobbled up together, as if the director couldn’t decide which direction the story should go.

This is a well-intentioned film but it falls short on several counts. Unless you want to watch it for the message, skip this one.

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