by Veekshita Arasa
Daijiworld Media Network – Entertainment
Rating – 2/5
When television serials are made into full-fledged movies, there is always a tendency to compare the two. Recently, 'Khichdi', the popular comedy serial on television was made into a movie, but did not receive much applause, and now we have another one, in the form of Chala Mussaddi Office Office, which too, sadly misses the mark.
Retired schoolmaster Mussaddi Lal Tripathi, the typical 'common man' troubled by his wife's serious illness takes her to the hospital where the utter negligence and vested interests of the doctors result in her untimely death. Mussaddi then along with his young unemployed, drifter son Bunty, sets out for his pilgrimage to the four holy sites for the immersion of his wife's ashes.
In his absence, pension officers arrive at Mussaddi's house to enquire his status. Musaddi's neighbour Gupta tells them that Mussaddi has gone far away, and the pension officers interpret that Mussaddi Lal has expired, and report him dead in their files.
When Mussaddi returns he discovers to his utter shock that he is dead according to government files. He tries his heart out to make the pension office staff believe that he is alive, but they are not convinced at all as they want proper proof. Mussaddi Lal bemused and dejected by the irony of the situation sets out on his mission to gather proof that he is alive while the pension office employees resolve that whatever proof Mussaddi brings they will not allow him to be officially alive since they have already mopped up his pension.
Pankaj Kapur's award winning tele-serial 'Office Office' was loved by all because of its clean comedy, amiable characters and the basic plot of common man versus corrupt bureaucrats. Making it into a full-fledged feature film was the safest bet citing its immense popularity. The actors of the TV show are all on the big screen. All actors from Pankaj Kapoor, Manoj Pahwa, Deven Bhojani, Sanjay Mishra, Hemant Gupta to Asawari Joshi, revive their roles from the television show and though they remain in their characters, they tend to get theatrical at times and are marred by a weak script. Success brings with itself responsibility as the expectations with a film are definitely much higher. The movie just partially managed to stand at par with the hype.
The problem with the film is that it lacks novelty and the cinematography and screenplay seems age-old.The film seems dragged and boring in parts.
As far as the acting is concerned, there are no issues. The film relies totally on Kapur who undoubtedly is a man with immense talent and experience. Gaurav Kapur as Mussaddi's unemployed son is quite impressive. Farida Jalal is in a blink and miss role. The rest of the cast is similar to what we have used to seeing in the industry. Even the dialogues are the same. The comic sequences just manage to create small giggles here and there. Not a superb comedy to be specific.
The film has a good message that asks the common man to stop bribing officials so that the future generation can live in peace. Based on the Gandhian philosophy of 'being the change', the film hits the right chord, and for that and for the performances, it would be fair to give two stars for this one. It isn't until a few minutes before the intermission that the film really reaches a point where it promises to finally spring to life. It eventually doesn't.