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Chhello Show, Magical Mystical Masterpiece



Chhello Show

Chhello The Last Show

Written and  Directed  by Pan Nalin

Rating: *****(5 stars)

Watching this near-flawless  fable of  a film-fixated  boy from a  town  in Gujarat ,a second time, I thought of how close the magic  of moviemaking and the  wondrous  appeal of movieviewing are brought in  Pan Nalin’s film.

First things first, Chhello Show bears  no resemblance to  the Italian  film Cinema Paradiso, apart from the kinship of  cinema  and  food that grows between  our 9-year protagonist Samay(Bhavin Rabari) and the projectionist Fazal(Bhavesh Srimali) of a dilapidated single   theatre which has seen better days.

Samay has not seen  any better days than these. He has  just discovered  the magic  of cinema in the  rickety projection  room of Galaxy cinema  in a godforsaken  backwater  town called Chalala. The  Gujarati town is  sure to acquire a touristic  fame after this film.

Everything and  everyone  associated with this  bitter-sweet ode to the rites  of passage  are destined  for immortality. The  brilliance of  Chhello Show  is difficult to grasp all at once. It is  a  exceptional synthesis of   stillness  and turmoil  as seen through the film projector by a boy who is destined to be a renowned  filmmaker(Pan Nalin?).

 With no  acting experience behind him , Bhavin  Rabari’s  large expressive eyes convey a wealth  of  searching probing questions  on how cinema works, and  how the world  outsider his bucolic oyster works. This is a drama  of moments , of  a  silently stolen time. And it is no coincidence  that  the protagonist  is named Samay in this timeless  film that takes every cineaste in the world to the magic of those moving images  on silver screen.

 It is  hard to describe  the sheer  brilliance  of  Chhello Show when almost every moment is  an aesthetic reclamation of a time  when was  only  about telling a  good story. Swapnil S. Sonawane’s camera captures the  unspoilt  beauty of  the  lush rural landscape and the rail tracks that  pierce through the  virgil  tranquility.

Every frame  is  simply magical. All the untrained  little actors who are  part  of  Samay’s  boygang deserve on Oscar each.As for  Richa Meena  and Deepen Ravel as Samay’s parents, they are  so right in their moves it seems  they  never lived anywhere but in Chalala.

The film will leave you deeply satisfied and  very very hungry, why hungry? I am not telling.  Just go see  this delightful delicious drama of  discovering  the magic within  you.

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