Those who have seen Manish Tiwari’s last film Issaq would know he has a knack of penetrating the hinterland with a perceptive eye for dramatic conflict. Chidiakhana is charming story of a boy from Bihar who wants to play football in Mumbai. A simple story, Chidiakhana doesn’t aim to be anything more than an elementary aspirational tale.
There is an earnestness at the heart of the story that makes us overlook its craggy patches. There are gaps in the storytelling which writer-director Manish Tiwary covers up with his undying spirit of levity.
The protagonist Sooraj’s cloistered world of sports and poverty is effectively reified in young Ritvik Sahore’s artless performance. Sahore is not much of an actor. But he has a disarming simplicity in his personality, matched well by Rajeshwari Sachdev’s punctuated motherly act.
A large part of the narration occurs on the football field ; and the on-field discriminatory politics recalls Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar and more recently Jhund. However, as mentioned earlier, there are gaps in the storytelling. The mother’s back story is told in sketches rather than as a film: probably a budgetry constraint. Ravi Kishan’s cameo apprearance too didn’t quite fit. And the subtle bond between Rajeshwari Sachdeva and Prashant Naryanan is never explored to a logical conclusion.
The supporting actors Prashant Narayanan, Anjan Shrivstava , Govind Namdeo are capable of shouldering the fringe faction of the plot. But the central conflict of a migrant youngster’s efforts to merge into Mummbai’s mainstream could have been done with more gravity. However the film has a locational charm . The chawl is captured on camera with an understated veracity by Sriram Ganapathy. But flow of drama is lacking in energy.