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Ek Chalis Ki Last LocalEk Chalis Ki Last Local : Movie Review
18th May 2007  23.49 IST
By Nikhil Kumar  

Timepass. That is what the protagonist of 'Ek Chalis Ki Last Local' decides to do after missing the train. Two and a half hours later he's got 2.5 crore rupees and a girl. Lucky chap!

Ek Chalis Ki Last Local has an interesting premise upon which a gripping movie could have been made. Alas, debutant director Sanjay Khanduri makes a hash of things by trying to add too many angles to the story. There are sequences in the movie that are stretched unnecessarily. Some characters are a tad caricaturish. As a result, what could have been an intelligently presented, quirky and dark comedy merely ends up being a timepass flick.

Nilesh ( Abhay Deol ) is a call centre employee who misses the last local at 1.40 am to his home in Vikhroli. He meets Madhu ( Neha Dhupia who has also missed the same train. Since there is an auto strike in the city, Nilesh and Madhu have no other option but to while away their time until the morning local after 2-and-half hours.

They go into a dance bar, where Nilesh tries his luck at gambling and gets into a scuffle with a goon. Thereafter, a series of misadventures begin for both Nilesh and Madhu. There is a kidnapping, there are two groups of gangsters out to get the hefty ransom money, and there are cops on the close trail. Even Madhu turns out to be Mala, a prostitute.

In this labyrinth of multi-tracks, 'Ek Chalis Ki Last Local' chugs along through some interesting turns and some overstretched curves. There is humour, drama, violence and weirdness as both Nilesh and Maya find themselves in inescapable situations. However, the story's culmination is quite pleasing.

Director Sanjay Khanduri's debut effort is noteworthy but not laudable. Khanduri gives a dark and surreal feel to the film. He presents the story realistically but tries to innovate it to the extent where it begins to look too much coincidental.

Abhay Deol is perfectly suited to the role of a common middle-class man with an unassuming demeanor. His acting style is not so filmi as it is real. He is not the typical hero who would deliver lofty lines and bash up a bunch of baddies in a few winks. Abhay's performance is underplayed and has a shade of vulnerability.

Neha Dhupia, yet again in the role of a prostitute, is beginning to show glimpses of good acting.

The film's soundtrack is inconsequential. The cinematography is fine.

'Ek Chalis Ki Last Local' is good to while away your time, even if you don't get as lucky as the film's hero who gets the booty and the girl in the end.

Rating: **1/2

Ek Chalis Ki Last Local
Abhay Deol
Neha Dhupia

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