In an industry plagued by a surfeit of brainless, soulless, tacky, slavishly-marketed, big-banner, star-studded products, it is a breath of fresh air when a small film comes along with the promise of a story. So it is especially disappointing when such a film turns out to contain the same weaknesses that the big banner films do.
At its best moments Chor Chor Superchor is a vehicle for Deepak Dobriyal to showcase his severely underrated acting range. Sadly, there are only two such moments in director K Rajesh’s well-meaning though ultimately superfluous debut film.
Veering between farcical, overdone and heartfelt, Chor Chor Superchor is a hot tonal mess that swings from slice-of-life to melodramatic and is devoid of both consistency and ingenuity. This might sound like harsh criticism of a film made by newbies on a tight budget, but there really is no escaping the moldy antiquity of the film. It’s a Delhi-based movie about con artists and thieves, but it’s certainly not Oye Lucky Lucky Oye. Even for a casual viewer, this film is little more than an old fashioned relic.
Deepak Dobriyal plays a small timer who hangs out with sadak chaap paakitmaars and gundas of Delhi, but he doesn’t believe in breaking the law to earn a living. He falls for a pretty, suburban lady who is clearly way out of his league and manipulates a few situations to hang out with her. Inevitably, things don’t go according to plan, and his only way out of hot water is forming a pseudo-reality TV show with his tapori friends and conning the whole nation.
The story doesn’t make a lick of sense and that would’ve been fine had the film actually been funny instead of tedious. Dobriyal’s character freelances as a prop at a food court by dressing up as a samosa, and his clumsy movement in his large yellow samosa suit is mined for humour. The antagonist of the film is a gratingly loud, over-the-top goon whose boring quasi Punjabi dialect is supposed to be funny.
There is also an extremely greedy character who is supposed to make you laugh just because he is greedy. And the comedic scenes are not only badly-timed, but are also accompanied by repetitive upbeat music that behaves like a canned laughter track. It doesn’t do any favours to a movie audience that doesn’t need prompts to know when and how to react.
If the attempts at humour fail, the attempts at drama and resolution of plot fail harder. Dobriyal’s character is an overt ‘bechara’, and the filmmakers try to make you feel for the character’s ignominy. It doesn’t work, despite Dobriyal’s believable appearance and relative restraint. Dobriyal is even given a song in the scene where he wins the girl over, and it is grossly unconvincing because he is just not leading man material. He has neither the good looks of a mainstream hero nor the winningly compassionate, magnetic persona of Naseeruddin Shah to pull off the charming everyman. Primarily, he doesn’t have the comedic chops to pull off a solo lead in a comedy.
Perhaps Dobriyal and Vijay Raaz should do a TV series together. That would probably result in prime-time gold.