Chillar Party is a slice of life kind of film, but has a larger than life twist
Written and directed by Vikas Bahl and Nitesh Tiwari, Chillar Party is a heartwarming film which is not just for children.It’s a slice of life kind of film, but has a larger than life twist. The story is about a motley bunch of kids with funny nicknames and funnier quirks. A new entrant in their lives is an urchin who, along with his dog, joins the gang. The urchin speaks colloquial Mumbaiyya language and the other kids in the gang start speaking like him, which irks their parents. Somehow the parents accept the urchin after a lot of convincing by their children. Just when you feel all is well, a sinister politician makes an entry with his own agenda of gaining ground within his political party.
The rest of the film comprises a tussle between the politician and the ‘chillar party’, who want their urchin friend and his pet to be left alone. The plot may seem bland, but the pitch perfect casting that the makers have pulled off takes the film to an altogether new altitude. The laughs are genuine and there are moments that will make your eyes moist. The bonding between the kids seems so natural, so non-filmi. The parents are also very believable, not shown as villains. Another brilliant aspect of the film is the music by Amit Trivedi, which subtly adds to the story.
Any review has to talk about the ‘chaddi march’, where the boys take to the streets of Mumbai wearing briefs, to be heard by the people and obtain a NOC (no objection certificate) from the housing society to keep the stray dog as a pet. It would have been a huge challenge to shoot that scene, which is the poster moment of the film, one that has the audience clapping and whistling. Kudos to the makers for not going over-the-top in the sequence where the children have a face-off with the politician, after the ‘chaddi march’ creates a stir in the media.
In a lighter vein, it seems that the sight of hundreds of boys going shirtless on the streets might have caught the fancy of Salman Khan, who agreed to become the co-producer of this film. Among the kids, Sanath Menon as Arjun/Encyclopedia, Vishesh Tiwari as Laxman/Second Hand, Naman Jain as Balwan/Jhangiya and Irrfan Khan as Phatka are most endearing in their roles.