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SWEET BUT STRAINED

‘Ra­jma Chawal’ strug­gles to bring father-son story to life

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The clos­ing song of this sen­si­ble

but scat­tered film goes, “Mu­jhe dosti karne ka shauq hai, mera

dil Chandni Chowk hai” (I love to make friends, my heart is like Chandni Chowk).

What is it about Old Delhi that drives film­mak­ers crazy with yearn­ing and nos­tal­gia? So many mem­o­rable and not-somem­o­rable films — from BR Cho­pra’s Chandni Chowk to Rakeysh Om­prakash Mehra’s Delhi 6 and Kabir Khan’s

Ba­jrangi Bhai­jaan — have pitched their tents in the crowded ‘galis’ (streets) of Chandni Chowk where the sun sets and the jalebis never stop siz­zling in the street­side ‘kad­haai’ (wok).

Here, Leena Ya­dav, who gave us the bril­liant Parched two years ago, is not as com­fort­able deal­ing with an es­tranged father-son duo’s at­tempts to iron out their dif­fer­ences as a gag­gle of friends and dis­tant rel­a­tives in Old Delhi egg them on. A tech-savvy aunt and her daugh­ter-in-law (played with won­der­ful charm by Nir­mal Rishi and Sheeba Chad­dha) sug­gests that the father chat on Face­book with his son.

The scenes where the two ladies set up Rishi Kapoor’s Raj Mathur on the iPhone with his son Kabir are done with a sense of reined-in fun.

But then it all comes un­done. The plot hops, skips and jumps all over the place barely able to avoid the pot­holes it cre­ates for it­self. For one, it is hard to swal-

 ?? Pho­tos sup­plied ?? Rishi Kapoor (cen­tre) in ‘Ra­jma Chawal’.
Pho­tos sup­plied Rishi Kapoor (cen­tre) in ‘Ra­jma Chawal’.
 ??  ?? Sheeba Chad­dha (cen­tre) and Amyra Das­tur (right) in the film.
Sheeba Chad­dha (cen­tre) and Amyra Das­tur (right) in the film.

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