Tisca Chopra Kills It In Chhuri!


Chhuri (Short Film)

Starring Tisca Chopra,Anurag KashyapSurveen Chawla

Directed by Mansi Jain

Rating: ***

After the  tangy Chutney it is the teekhi Chhuri for the very talented Tisca Chopra. Seeing Chhuri her second…errr…stab at short film production, I can’t help wondering about this hugely accomplished actress’ preoccupation with adultery. In both the short films that Tisca Chopra has  produced she  plays a vengeful housewife who takes unexpected revenge on  her husband’s mistress.

 In Chutney the location was  a dusty off-Delhi North Indian town. In Chhuri the milieu–metropolitan  Mumbai—is far more accessible and identifiable as a  place where extra-marital relationships  just happen . The strikingly-shot film opens with the morning-time bustle of an upper middleclass highrise apartment. The juice in the blender, the sizzling omelette in the pan, kids eating , squabbling and getting ready for a Sunday with the family.

Quickly director Mansi Jain, much appreciative of  the economy  of  expression required of her , introduces us to the man of  the house, played with inexplicable smugness by AnuragKashyap. We see Kashyap peeping into his phone with a leery impishness. Yes , that’s right. He is  having an  extra-marital affair.

“How can you take this so lightly, you’re hopeless,”  the daughter excoriates her mother, the woman of the house.

Just think. If Shabana Azmi in Arth had a  daughter, and a sense  of humour, wouldn’t the narrative of her  husband’s affair  been radically different. Tisca Chopra invests no tears  in the cheated  wife’s role? Rather  she takes the horny  bull by his  horns and shakes up the  Other Woman’s sexy citadel by blabbering of domestic obligations .

 Not that the  Other Woman feels any guilt. She  is  just annoyed when the wife suggests that  they come  to an understanding on how  to share the unfaithful husband(who hides in the mistress’ cupboard while the two women negotiate).

 It’s  a hilarious  take on adultery done with flair and flamboyance . Tisca delivers her Cheated Wife’s diatribe  with such confidence, she almost makes adultery look like a silly game.Poor Surveen Chawla, typecast as a Seductive Siren  tries to have fun smooching and cuddling with Kashyap.

Oh, didn’t I tell  you? Anurag Kashyap gets to do all the touch-feely stuff with Ms Chawla. His achche  din  are upon him,I am sure.For some strange reason he keeps thrusting his bare legs  into the camera every time he is seated. Then Surveen too joins him with her legs up on the table.

 Maybe Tisca and her capable director are trying to tell us that these two ill-behaved people deserve one another.

Suffice it to say that the denouement  of  the adulterous dilemma is way to simple to be taken seriously. The light-hearted approach to  a domestic crisis is made palatable and appealing byTisca Chopra’s tearless hardheaded  performance.At one  point she is  shown determinedly climbing up many flights of stairs to her Soutan’s apartment while she, the Wanton Woman, is seem getting intimate  with the  husband.

The Wronged Wife never seemed more empowered.

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