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Bollywood Movie Reviews

Chidiakhana A Genial Coming Of Age  Saga




Rating: ***

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.

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