After showing the 'hero' as a perfect man, who beats up the baddies, woos the lady in the blink of an eye and is the complete family man, Indian cinema has come of age of late. Today, it's their imperfections that are coming to the fore. Latest in this category of films is Ujda Chaman that deals with a man's baldness. While the venture is locked in a battle over a similar plot with another movie Bala, there's not much doubt on 'Who came first? ' since this is a remake of 2017 Kannada film Ondu Motteya Kathe. Should one go for this movie or just wait another week for Bala? Read on:
Director: Abhishek Pathak
Cast: Sunny Singh, Maanvi Gagroo, Atul Kumar, Grusha Kapoor, Sharib Hashmi, Karishma Sharma, Aishwarya Sakhuja, Saurabh Shukla
Duration: 2 hours
Release date: November 1
Reviewer rating: 3.5/5
Chaman (Sunny Singh) is a Hindi professor in a Delhi college. He has everything in life, good salary and a loving family; the only thing missing is hair on his head. His bald head is the sole reason why he gets rejected by girls for marriage, failing to find a match for five years. He tries his best to find a partner, be it at a wedding or asking his colleagues out. Just when he thought he found his partner, he realised he was being used. Things take a rollercoaster turn, when he meets Apsara (Maanvi Gagroo) through an unlikely source for marriage, Tinder.
Ujda Chaman is a quirky take on the battles a bald man has to face, be it being mocked with words like 'takla', looked down upon almost everywhere, and most importantly, the difficulty of finding a companion. Every meeting with the prospective girl's family ends in chaos. He can't get a hair transplant, one because it will cost him Rs 6 lakh, and other reason being his mother asking him not to, after hearing about someone's death through it. He becomes a hero when he sports a wig, but also a laughing stock when people know its truth. Moreover, he is facing the risk of being unmarried throughout his life, if he does not get married before his 31st birthday. After several failed attempts to find a suitable girl, he meets someone who has a 'flaw' too. Whether the two people, while dealing with their 'imperfections' and confused states of mind, end up together is what the story is all about.
Ujda Chaman is a light-hearted feel-good comedy-drama, that also conveys a message. The movie will not just make you laugh, but will also make you think about your behaviour towards 'imperfect' people. What works for Ujda Chaman is the plot, as the tale of a bald man leads to hilarious situations. Some funny one-liners and fun-filled situations add to the laughter quotient.
Sunny Singh (possible you’d mistake him for Jackky Bhagnani here) is sincere as the protagonist. He conveys his helplessness so well that you really feel sympathetic over his trouble. He conveys brilliantly enough his chaotic state of mind with his expressions and will be relatable to a lot of men out there, without even saying much. Maanvi Gagroo has also done a good job and comes across as a very natural and effortless performer. Her casting is on point, as she very effectively looks the part and conveys an array of emotions. However, it is the supporting cast who really stand out. Chaman’s parents, played by Grusha Kapoor and Atul Kumar, are an absolute delight on screen. They are just outstanding and bring out most of the laughs, with their perfect portrayal. They are also blessed with some of the best one-liners, some would leave you LOL. Gagan Arora as Chaman’s brother is impressive. Karishma Sharma is alluring and vivacious in a brief role. Aishwarya Sakhuja is decent. Special mention to Sharib Hashmi, who plays the ‘agony aunt’ throughout well, before leaving you teary-eyed in the most emotional scene of the movie. Saurabh Shukla is as always dependable on screen.
There aren’t too many songs, but all of them are energetic. The background music is good and played a part in creating the impact on the viewer to make them laugh. The picturisation and the locations, though not a lot of them, are effective. The prosthetic of Sunny Singh’s bald head looks quite natural.
On the flip side, some of the jokes or one-liners don’t quite create an impact. While body-shaming is being called out of late, this movie deserves credit for highlighting bald-shaming too. While the plot is all about it, the movie perhaps overdoes the bald-shaming and body-shaming, before making up for it in the end. The director tried to build up the ‘realisation’ of the protagonist towards the end, but it doesn’t quite come across very convincingly. Some viewers might find it preachy too. The story is also quite predictable all through as well.
Overall, Ujda Chaman is not an extraordinary movie that makes you laugh throughout its 120-minute running time. However, it is a decent comedy that keeps you entertained all through, since laughs are guaranteed. It is one of those movies that is perfect for a fun evening with the family. It is also a Rajkumar Hirani-kind of genre, since it conveys a very important message in a light-hearted manner. A much better option than Housefull 4 during this festive season.
What works: Performances, plot, One-liners
What doesn’t: Protagonists’ ‘realisation’ towards climax, some unconvincing jokes, over-shaming
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