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Chacha Chowdhry (1953) – Review

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Review

Premiered on December 4th, 1953 at the Liberty theater, Kardar Productions’ satirical comedy “Chacha Chowdhary” is an excellent picture, very cleverly conceived and written by G. D. Madgulkar and G. R. Kamat, superbly directed by Raja Paranjpe and boasting the first-rate production values one always expects, and gets, from Mr. Kardar.

Based on the Marathi screen hit, “Pedgaoche Shahane,” the film provides grand entertainment and moves at an evenly brisk pace. The well-knit scenario, which is compact and maintains a well-contrived balance between action and dialogue as well as fun and human values, has been exploited to the full.

The direction is flawless in that the treatment and the atmosphere created and sustained is just right. The cast, which includes Raja Paranjpe, Sashikala, Durga Khote, Dhumal, Kamal Mehra and S. N. Banerji in the main roles, put over consummate portrayals, excellently timed and highlighted by an utter naturalness which makes every role a polished, effortless performance.

Depicting the adventures of a lunatic and borderline case conditioned by the circumstance, who escapes from the asylum and is met at the station by a well-to-do woman who mistakes him for her uncle, the film tells amusingly of the bewilderment of the lunatic at the strange behavior of the topsy-turvy, though quite average, household.

The characters in the house are brilliantly drawn and sharply characterized. The mother, a charming though silly woman who is excessively modern, never really worries about her family and lives only to Americanize the household and for her singing lessons. The daughter, a sweet, uninformed girl gay and crazy about dancing, and the dance-master. The elder son, an irresponsible young man given to gambling, and the younger boy with a scientific turn of mind and a tendency to tinker with the radio are all just the kind of people who are considered normal and who could quite well amaze a lunatic. The addition to the family of the South Indian singing-master and the credibly artistic dance-teacher make it confusion worse confounded. The whole set-up is given a sly finishing touch by the father, a long-suffering man who lives on the fringe of the ragged family circle trying to cope with the bills.

How the lunatic succeeds in righting this crazy house and making it a home is beautifully told with sharp satire and a kind humor for human frailties.

The climax comes when the real uncle, who had been apprehended by the authorities and taken to the asylum, returns in a tearing righteous rage and discovers that the Chacha is his long-lost twin.

The lunatic returns amid the tears and affection of the house to the asylum and the film ends on a deeply satisfying note.

The scenes in the asylum are well handled and the song by the inmates is a rollicking highlight. Paranjpe does a superb job on all his assignments—direction and the playing of the dual role. Durga Khote turns in a brilliant role as the mother and Sashikala puts over a charming bit as the daughter.

A scrumptious role comes from Dhumal who is tops as the singing teacher. The rest do very well in their roles.

Well photographed, the film has beautiful music by Madan Mohan.

Year – 1953

Language – Hindi

Country – India

Producer – Kardar Production

Director – Raja Paranjpe

Music Director – Madan Mohan

Box-Office Status

Cast – Durga Khote, Raja Paranjpe, Shashikala, Kamal Mehra, Rajan, Maruti, Dhumal, Banerji

Miscellaneous Information

Songs List

Song
Year
Singers
Music Director(s)
Lyricist(s)
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