A BREEZY MUSICAL, ‘ATKAN CHATKAN’ HITS THE CHORDS OF HEARTS

Rating: 4/5
Presented by maestro A R Rahman and directed by Shiv Hare is a film telling that dreams don’t depend on class, caste, and economic backdrop, and they need to be respected

It’s a film about hope. It’s a film about dreams. It’s a film about passion. Atkan Chatkan, through its sweet innocence conveys the right meaning. It does get dramatic towards the end, and that’s a little setback but films like these, although great in number rightly lift up the standard of Hindi cinema by means of sheer storytelling.

Watch the trailer here:

PLOT

Guddu (Lydian Nadhaswaram) works at a tea stall. Very keen to observing various sounds, he finds music in almost everything. He aspires to become a musician but doesn’t have the means to fulfill it. An inter state music competition gives him hope.

STORY/SCREENPLAY/GENERAL

Written by Shiv Hare with additional screenplay by Aadesh Raathi, the story is simple. Not that this is some first-of-a-kind film as far as story is concerned. We have seen films with motivating plots involving children. What hits the right note here is that it is well made. The positioning is right, without exaggerated drama. The best part is that the conflicts and ways to come out of those are very real.

You feel sad when your characters face troubles and you smile when they smile. There are points in the film when Guddu is rejected and is left with nowhere to go. How he bounces back isn’t heroic but very much pertaining to the nature of a kid of his age. This association with the character’s reality is what charms you.

atkan chatkan, zee5, film, review, hindi, 2020
Lydian Nadhaswaram with A R Rahman (image source: thehindu.com)

Things flow smoothly. One thing leads to another and they progress in their journey. Apart from their dreams, there is also an emotional parallel track of Guddu’s parents who are not together anymore. Not only does this track offer variety of narrative, but is also availed to advantage to create further conflicts in Guddu’s life. Infact, conflicts are many and the brighter side of the tunnel is not clearly visible.

The film teaches you at several levels. Right from meaning of friendship to the fact that it’s never too late to ask for forgiveness, be it strong determination to follow your dreams irrespective of the availability of resources or even creating opportunities around you when there are actuall none.

What falls on the down side is weak direction in some parts, not majorly of course. The stakes aren’t shown too high for the kids or even the climax has deliberately been made more dramatic, when it wasn’t that necessary.

PERFORMANCE

Lydian Nadhaswaram has done a decent job. Since the film rests on him, he should have been a little more emotive. He isn’t bad though. He excels in portions of his mental turmoil or parts where he is all dejected.

Ayesha Vindhara as Lata is cute and bubbly. You like watching her. Similar is the approach of Tamanna Dipak as Meethi who binds the group well. She acts nicely.

atkanchatkan, zee5, review, film, hindi, 2020
Scenes from the film (image source: midday.com)

Yash Rane as Madhav is very good, giving a mature angle to the group who’s carefree. His character is the learned one and he emotes positively with his face. Sachin Chaudhary as Chhuttan is brilliant as the brash boy. He acts impressively, making the film very practical.

Jagdish Rajpurohit is also fine. He has key role in the plot and the man justifies his part well.

OTHER TECHNICALITIES

Music by Drums Shivamani has been arranged and composed well. The drum beats form the essence of the film, and full marks must go to conceptualisation. The music remains the essence of the film, and it is never overpowering. It stays as the crucial element and keeps the film lively.

Cinematography Subhransu Das by is also good, for the sets are real. There isn’t any drama in how the film looks. Production design by Arun Rathod has kept the entire scenario relatable. That connect comes from fact that locations are not superfluous. The places which the kids visit or inhabit give the film a tangible feel.

Editing by Lionel Fernandes has been done nicely. The film isn’t dull anywhere. Where is falls short is the matter of written text. The flow of the film is crisp and nowhere does the film lag.

It’s an entertaining film. It’s an inspiring film. It’s a good film. Even with some shortcomings, it is still a very good watch for those who need good cinema.

Rochak Saxena

Rochak Saxena a Mass Media Teacher, former journalist at DNA and an ardent lover of Hindi films - literally. The blog derives its name from the popular term ‘Willing Suspension of Disbelief’, most commonly used in the world of literature and cinema. Meaning to immerse yourself in an unreal world (where you know what you see on screen is fake) with a self-proclaimed/declared belief/wish to consider it real, the willing world becomes magical. It’s the same magic every Friday that drives Rochak to share things in the perspective that it needs to be observed with. Every film is different. And the difference needs to be cherished.

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