Despite a meaty premise, there are too many missed opportunities in ‘Ujda Chaman’. Read our full review of the movie below.
- Last Updated: November 1, 2019, 9:45 AM IST
Cast: Sunny Singh, Saurabh Shukla, Maanvi GagrooDirector: Abhishek Pathak
Who says beauty isn’t skin deep? Or in this case, scalp deep? The Ujda Chaman in this film is 30-year-old Chaman Kohli (Sunny Singh) from Rajauri Garden who’s the subject of much mirth and ridicule courtesy his balding pate. To make things worse, Chaman has been rejected on countless occasions by prospective brides because of being follically challenged. Shallow Janes you’d say.
Matters aren’t helped by the family astrologer’s (Saurabh Shukla) predictions that if Chaman does not get married by the age of 31, he will remain unmarried for the rest of his life.
Right there, is a meaty premise, one that a writer can sink his teeth into. Unfortunately in this instance, the story and screenplay by Raj Shetty and Danish Singh leave the juicy possibilities undercooked. The humour wears thin after the first few minutes and the shrill background sound doesn’t help. The first half of the film (pre-interval) is dedicated entirely to establishing the numerous problems of a balding person —the most significant of them being the possibility of not finding a suitable life partner! It was difficult to wrap one’s head around the fact that pre-mature balding could be such a major cause for rejection among millennials who follow the policy of “No Judgements” with dogged determination. Not to mention that bald, shaved scalps are now a legit and fashionably acceptable look.
Chaman, who is a Hindi teacher in a government college, in fact, starts dating–well, almost– one sympathetic (read conniving) student who understands his predicament but alas it’s too good to be true. Fortunately, an hour or so later, post-interval, the writers move on from whipping up sympathy for the lovelorn Chaman and find him a Tinder match. Apsara (Maanvi Gagroo). But there’s a twist –she’s plump. There is some biting irony here that two hopeless candidates right at the bottom of the dating food-chain, turn up their nose at each other for the obvious physical quirks. Until finally, they fall victim to cupid’s arrows.
Director Abhishek Pathak fails to impress with this one and the cast of lesser-known actors does not help his cause. Evidently director Luv Ranjan’s success formula –he made his mark with Pyaar Ka Punchnama with a non-starry cast–does not work well for everyone. Leading man Sunny Singh had shown much promise in Pyaar Ka Punchnaama and Sonu Ke Titu… but in Ujda Chaman where he flies solo, without an ensemble of buddies it is quite evident that he has to hone his comic timing some more. Manvi Gagroo as Apsara shows promise but gets very little to work on. Grusha Kapoor and Atul Kumar play hapless parents with aplomb but it is Saurav Shukla who, even in his two scenes, gets the maximum laughs with his pitch-perfect performance.
There are too many missed opportunities here. An oddball romance between two unlikely partners would have proved a far better bet for Ujda Chaman than focussing on the list of socially embarrassing situations premature baldness can cause. This could have been one of those rambunctious rib-tickling comedies, but alas, it turns out to be as much a retro-fit as a toupee on a bald head.
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