With the ever increasing popularity of OTT platforms many movies which used to struggle to get into theatres because of lack of producers or distributors have now started getting their much needed due and deserving credits.Over the past few months especially after lockdown O.T.T content and movies have started becoming the second option for audience in absence of good movies on the box-office.
But many a times me and I guess many of us miss out on watching movies at the time of their release and this often happens.Well,anyways the latest film I am late to review is Chaman Bahaar.
The plot of the film revolves around Billu (Jeetendra Kumar) who resigns from his job in the forest department wherein his father has also been an servant for and ignoring the old traditions of the family decides to become self-employed by starting his paan shop(or gumti as called in rural India) and names it Chaman Bahaar but very soon comes to know that he has to struggle hard to run his business because of change in the district limits of a small town.
But he soon finds his business on the right track when one day a government employee along with his family shifts in the house situated in front of his shop who has a beautiful daughter named Rinku Naronia (Ritika Badiani) and very soon this ends the dry spell of his business as the launde lapadi of the town start visiting his shop just to please their eyes and behold her beauty.
Slowly and steadily this place becomes an adda for playing carom by the to be local politicians of the town and this eventually boosts up the business of Billu. By this point of time it arguably becomes the most preferred meeting point.
But will it be a cakewalk for any boy to woo or even talk to her or are they just going to waste half of their life stalking and staring her? Will Billu’s business forever run successfully or will he face wrath?Also,is Billu in love with Rinku and will they happily end up together? These are some questions the answers to which you will explore as you watch the film.
Cast and Performances:
The cast of Chaman Bahaar comprises of Jeetendra Kumar aka Jeetu Bhaiyaa who performs his part nicely and convinces the audience that he is a small town boy through his mannerism and body language. After much appreciated web series Panchayat(2020) and Shubh Mangal Zyaada Savdhaan (2020) this is another feather in his hat.
Yogendra Tiku who plays his father also performs aptly. Over the years he has established himself as the cute and doting dad in films such as FAN(2016), Neerja(2016), Queen(2014) to name a few.
Bhuvan Arora as Somu bhaiyaa,Ashwani Kumar as Ashu Bhaiya, and Alam Khan as Shila Bhaiya or Shiladitya Tripathi play their parts effortlessly and get easily into the characters of local UP boys.
Bhagwan Tiwari as Inspector Bhadoria is intense and ruthless and even in his very short appearance gives chills to the viewers . He is the worst nightmare any criminal or rather a local small town boy can have.
Last but not the least, Ritika Badiani as Rinku Naronia is pretty but that is all about her. Yes, that is all and if you want to know why you will have to watch the film.
The film has a very simple storyline and goes on a straight path but time and again it loses track and you might feel scenes such as Rinku going to school on her scooter, boys following her and she taking his dog out for a walk repetitive and you might get bored very easily.
But what saves the film many a times is its cinematography which might remind one of his home towns and since the film released in June 2020 during lock down it would have been a treat for many to watch a town more or less similar to their home town( I guess many people would agree with this line after they watch this film because I really felt so).
Moreover the characters and story is written keeping in mind the problems of a small town boy or rather I would say people running such businesses wherein they have no idea about what would be the fate of their shop and its location if in case there happens to be a slightest change in the geographical locations or circumstances.
Songs and Background Music :
The music of the film is very simple and soothing to hear and is composed by Anshuman Mukherjee and Anuj Garg and lyrics have been penned by Apurva Dhar Badgaiyann who also happens to be the writer and director of the film.
The film is not subjected to changing setup for songs and hence many of the songs mostly run in the background thereby taking the story forward.
Amongst all the songs I personally found Do Ka Chaar sung by Sonu Nigam to fun and a the same time melodious to hear.Personally I have always been a fan of his voice and it is extremely rare nowadays to listen to him and also other singers of the 90s era.It now feels so sad to see the music industry relying only on auto tunes and low quality copied and 2.0 versions of songs.
The background music is also soothing and treat for the ears and especially the scenes where Billu and Rinku have an eye contact and whenever Rinku comes out of her house to go for a walk with his dog are some instances wherein the music department has done a good job so as to keep one hooked and booked while watching the film.
Honestly speaking background music is the backbone of such films(Rather I would say any film irrespective of their genre or setup) which are set in the small town as repetitively hearing dialogues and watching scenes will lead a film to become dull.
A special mention of the song which is played in the background when starting credits appear.
Direction and Editing :
The film is helmed by Apurva Dhar Badgaiyann and this happens to be his very first directorial venture and he obviously does a pretty god job in capturing the essence,innocence ,mischevious and the funny side of people of Chhattisgarh.
He himself hails from Bilaspur which is a city in this Central Indian state and no one else could have done a better job in writing such scenes and characters which appears to be so relatable with many who hail from small towns of Madhya Pradesh,Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Apart from direction he also has donned two hats which are of writer and lyricist respectively and he can be amongst the best commercial film writers and lyricist the Hindi film industry if he gets more and more chances.
Talking more about his journey,he has been an Assistant and Second Unit Director for films such as Raajneeti (2010), Aarakshan(2011) and Superstar(2008) to name a few.
Coming to editing it can be seen that the film is entertaining in parts but sometimes repetitiveness of scenes such as Rinku taking her dog for a walk in the evening and Billu staring her might become boring after a point of time .
But more or less what saves the film is some good performances by all characters who with their witty answers,one-liners,good scene of humour and punches help keep the film engaging and entertaining.Here I feel the editing could have been more tight.
Ratings and Reviews :
The film opened to mixed reviews and since the film’s release and promotion was a low-key affair so many reputed critics might have either missed out watching the film or might not have reviewed it on their respective platforms.
But still some publication houses such as T.O.I , Quint,The Hindu gave mixed reviews for the film which more or less is case with almost many films.
As far as the film’s IMDB rating is concerned its rated 7.0 /10 having a runtime of 1 hr 51 minutes and talking of Google reviews they are 628 in number with an average of 4.4.
Where to watch online?
I know I know this is something which should have been mentioned earlier within the first few lines but if I would have done that many of you might have skipped reading this entirely ( Although I am also not sure as to how many of you have read till this point but still I am optimistic that many of you might have) or might have left midway.
But,the things is we should also appreciate platforms like Netflix (wherein this film is streaming) for helping these producers in bringing their film to limelight because not many of you know this that such films struggle to even reach to the theatres and even if they do so anyhow they get an extremely less screen count which eventually result in fetching very less numbers at the box office.
Hence this is where OTT platforms play their part and this i when any film here gets an equal screen count (Moreover talking about the above problem it can be said that our beloved Indian audience is busy chasing commercial and mindless entertainers with high-octane and gravity devoid actions scenes but are always ready to complain about nepotism and favoritism of producers when these films don’t work or deserving actors don’t get their due. Is that a bitter truth ? Yes,it is).
Production and Distribution :
Along with the streaming platform Netflix which has distributed this film there should also be an appreciation for production company Yoodle Films,which is owned by Saregama for undertaking this project and investing in it so that such films see the day of the light and directors like Apurva Dhar Badgaiyann get a chance to prove themselves worthy of this industry.
As far as some last words for the film are concerned I would call it a good one time watch on a weekend and especially if you are in a mood for some light hearted fun watch and are pissed off and frustrated with consuming controversial and problematic content over the web.
The film started streaming on Netflix on 19th June 2020 and many of you might have watched it even before you read my review and so if you already have then you are free to share your opinions with me in the comment box and if not you can first watch the trailer if in case you wish to :