Samstag, 8. September 2007

Raju Chacha (2000; special appearance) - Review in English

In this film Sanjay does just a special appearance.

About the story: Architect Siddhant Rai (Rishi Kapoor) lives with his three children Rohit (Harsh Lunia), Rahul (Kingshuk Vaidya) and Rani (Sakshi Sem), butler "BBC" Banke Bihari Chaturvedi (Tiku Talsania) und family dog Casper in a palace, equipped with loads of technical gimmicks. Siddhant is very softhearted and has pampered his motherless children to the extend that with their bad behaviour they scare away every governess and teacher. Lovely Anna (Kajol) is the only one they finally take into their hearts. After many initial difficulties Anna accepts the love of bank robber Shekhar (Ajay Devgan) who, however, gets arrested on their wedding day. Shortly thereafter Siddhant dies with a car accident, and his money-greedy relatives mercilessly take over command in the house. The only one who could save the children’s heritage now is Siddhant’s brother Raju who years ago has run away and since then has been missing. Promptly Shekhar reappears and gives convincing evidence that he is Raju Chacha. But another stranger (Sanjay Dutt) claims to be Raju Chacha, too...

Even great stars can blunder. Producer and leading actor Ajay Devgan had to make this bitter experience, too; his immensely expensive Raju Chacha mercilessly foundered at the box-office. With his equipment spectacle, supplemented with animated cartoons and most various technical gadgets, he might have aimed to make a combination of children’s film and romance, but then the plot was mixed up with so much violence and intrigues that the result is neither fish nor fowl and therefore rather unenjoyable. Kajol and Ajay Devgan do their best but hardly have any chance against the weak script, and even Rishi Kapoor who, after his (much too long) career as romantic lover, with roles as the nice and understanding father finally found the perfect niche for himself, cannot save the story. Frankly, I already had a bad feeling when the film musically started quoting "Jadoo Teri Nazar" from Darr – and no one can tell me that not a single crew member knew this film resp. this song. The motive of a murderous psychopath as permanent leitmotiv in a children’s film – that’s not just a miss, that’s really a mile.

Probably only die-hard Kajol and Ajay fans can rate this film as watch-worth; for me, it meant three of my life’s most wasted hours. Except the, added together, just ten minutes featuring Sanju (who for his guest role was mentioned with "Special Thanks to Shri Sanjay Dutt" in the end credits). He has just three scenes but he plays them downright shamelessly well – with his usual aplomb and so ingeniously that you never would predict the twist his character takes within these few minutes. My conclusion? Difficult to say. Whether you want to spend your money for a weak movie of three hours just to get ten good Sanju minutes you really must decide for yourself.

Produced by Ajay Devgan; Directed by Anil Devgan
185 Min.; DVD: Eros, English Subtitles (including songs)
© Diwali

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