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Atkan Chatkan Review: It Is A Well-Meaning Mess

Atkan Chatkan(Zee5)

Starring  Lydian Nadhaswaram, Yash Rane

Directed  by  Shiv Hare

Rating: **(2 stars)

Somewhere in this aspirational  Slumdog Millionaire a  young woman roams around looking for  her children.We don’t know why she is there. But then, we  don’t know we are there either.

 Atkan Chatkan gets  points for  being well-meaning.But eventually it’s as  pointless as a candlelight vigil . The story of  a musically inclined boy Guddu(Lydian Nadhaswaram) and his four young friends  who form a band and eventually win a music contest  is so predictable  clichéd trite  and over-sentimentalised that many  times I found myself  cringing at  the director’s well-meaning but  outdated  homage to the bleeding-hearts’  club.

Of course we get  the point about the hopes dreams and ambitions of  the  under-privileged .Just two weeks ago Zee5’s Pareeksha  overcome the sheer  mawkishness  of  presentation with a  masterful  central performance  by Adil Hussain as a rickshaw puller who  aspires to educate his son.

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 There are  no such redeeming qualities in Atkan Chatkan. The  performances are uniformly  stilted  self-conscious  and  doddering with  dissociative theatrics. Everyone wants to  show  he or  she can act. Lydian Nadhaswaram who plays  the central role is effective when beating out a tune on  a tin pan or car parts  at a scrap dealer’s. But the minute he  speaks the  stilted  dialogues with that South Indian accent  he  loses his hold over   the  tenuous thread  of  the plot.

The children are cast only because they had to b. The girl who  plays Guddu’s sister looks nothing  like him.And  the  singing siblings on the  bus  look like kids from well-to-do  homes with parents  who have starry aspirations. About the villainous adults, the less said the better. Early  in  the film Guddu hangs around with  a bunch of weirdos who treat him with abusive disdain and even make him dance with a duppatta. Hello, this is child abuse!

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 With  a whole lot of subtlety and restrain Atkan Chatkan could have been the desi  Slumdog Millionaire instead of  the bloated rags-to-riches saga that it is. Moral  Of The Story: honest intentions are not a sufficient incentive to make a film. Every poverty tale is not a Salaam Bombay. This one  doesn’t even come close.

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