ApunKaChoice : Bollywood


Kalpana LazmiChingari - Review
18th Feb 2006  22.00 IST
By Nikhil Kumar  

Kalpana Lazmi 's latest movie Chingari is based on a women-centric theme. But such stories inspiring the empowerment of women, no matter how noble in intent, are a bit off-sync with the present tastes of movie buffs.

Chingari's main stars are Sushmita Sen , Mithun Chakraborty and Anuj Sawhney .

The movie is set in a village called Rangpur in rural India. In the aptly named Laalbatti area in the village, lives and works prostitute Basanti (Sushmita Sen), along with many girls and women of the same profession.

An outspoken woman, Basanti caters to her customers without letting anyone trample upon her dignity. She finds love in Chandan (Anuj Sawhney), the village postman. But this love does not go down well with the village priest Bhuvan Panda (Mithun Chakraborty).

Panda is a powerful but phoney priest feared by many and revered by few. Beneath his saintly saffron garb lies a sinner who exploits others for money, sex and influence.

Spurned by Basanti, Panda tries to crush her pride by getting rid of Chandan.

Basanti refuses to bow and vows revenge. This is when the prostitute turns into a chingari, a spark that will burn the fake godman's house down.

In 'Chingari', Lazmi tries to walk the middle-path between art and commercial cinema. The story, its setting and the transformation of characters have hues of realism enmeshed with commercial elements. But overall, 'Chingari' ends up neither here nor there. That is to say, it neither really stirs you with the idea of women empowerment, nor it entertains you.

Sushmita Sen is the only light of 'Chingari', arguably delivering her best acting performance till date. She puts many shades into her character Basanti. She is charming, outspoken, mellow, rude, crass, self-esteemed, lovable and fearful.

Newcomer Anuj Sawhney adds a few light moments into the movie and gives a notable performance. Mithun impresses in some sequences and over-acts in others.

In a nutshell, 'Chingari' is all spark and smoke without any real flame. Even if the lethargic pace into which the movie gears time and again be discounted, the progression of the story and its predictable conclusion fails to grip a viewer.

Kalpana Lazmi
Sushmita Sen
Mithun Chakraborty
Anuj Sawhney

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