The ApunKaChoice movie review of Gali Gali Chor Hai. In the season of slaps and anti-corruption crusades, Rumy Jafry’s film Gali Gali Chor Hai comes along with its own Thappad Ki Goonj. This thappad, whacked by a common man on the face of a corrupt system, represent the breaking of the dam of pent-up anger and frustration that a venal system pumps inside a struggling aam aadmi day after day.
The movie marks the return of Akshaye Khanna after a long time. He plays a common man named Bharat, who works as a cashier in a bank, and follows his passion of acting in a Ramleela on the side. His bickering wife (Shriya Saran) suspects him of having an illicit relationship with their tenant, a skimpily clad Mugdha Godse.
Bharat plays the role of Hanuman in Ramleela and with his histrionics always ends up stealing the applause from Sattu, who plays Ram and is a very poor actor. Sattu is the younger brother of the local MLA Manku (Murli Sharma), who has a bone to pick with Bharat because he refused to let out his spare room for his election campaign.
Thereafter, the politico and his younger brother trap Bharat in a bureaucratic and judicial cobweb in which our protagonist has to first retrieve a stolen fan from a thief and then try to get rid of it. Through this tangle, Bharat has to bribe his way from constables to lawyers, before his tolerance snaps in a symbolic slap that makes him an icon of a common man’s rage and awakening.
Gali Gali Chor Hai had the potential to be an entertaining satire, but it ends up far from it, thanks to poor, unimaginative writing and shoddy direction. The sequences of Ramleela that keep reappearing could have served a great metaphor had it been craftily structured and collated to the events in the plot. The humour works well in some parts, thanks to Annu Kapoor playing the corrupt constable and Vijay Raaz as the thief, but it lacks punch most of the times. Even the songs look jarring in the screenplay and the racy item number ‘Channo’ with Veena Malik’s bursting-at-the-seams bosom adds little oomph to the ludicrity.
A bit of respite comes in the form of fine acting from Akshaye Khanna. He’s doubtlessly a good actor but hasn’t been wise in picking good roles lately. Satish Kaushik as his idealist, cynical father chips in well from the sidelines. Murali Sharma as the corrupt politico performs well, but it’s Annu Kapoor who walks away with most claps. The ladies have little to offer.
All in all, Gali Gali Chor Hai could have been a good satirical comedy with a message to boot. But such as it is, it offers little humour and hardly any message.