Chot - 2004


Director Nabhkumar Raju's previous Sooraj Barjatya-inspired romantic musical "Hum Tumpe Marte Hain" gave us no clue as to what he has in store this time.

Raju's tale of a milkman's violent struggle to keep his dairy farm from criminal elements is virile and distanced from the dainty tales of valour, love and friendship which we see coming out of Bollywood all the time.

Though the north Indian language and the rustic rugged ambience may put off those metro-centric viewers who look for more in their entertainment, "Chot" makes its point about the emigre's plight with a velocity that subconsciously mimics the cinema of John Woo.

The story of Kishan Yadav (Ashutosh Rana)'s struggle to make a life for himself and his kid brother (Rohit)in Mumbai is strewn with potholes. There are gaping holes in the treatment. Better production values could have taken this milkman's tale through a new trail.

Viewers find themselves growing warm to the real-life situations and characters, and then growing progressively cold as the director focuses more on building up to a commercially acceptable climax than in bringing the rugged narration to a logical conclusion.

Raju's first film too focussed on a feud between two families. He moves in the same direction again, though this time he has a far better grip over his narrative.

Many of the film's flaws (undeveloped peripheral characters, loud soundtrack and even louder performances) are made digestible by Ashutosh Rana's central performance.

As the milkman who fights back against the mafia, Rana reveals a riveting range of dramatic emotions.

As his main adversary, Sharad Kapoor is an aggressive attention-seeker. But he is nonetheless effective. Though the two newcomers are negligible (and their romantic interludes unbearable) Nethra Raghuraman in a small role as a conscientious cop and debutante Jesse Randhawa as a fearless TV journalist reveal the Hindi film heroine as the working-woman in her post-domestic avatar.

Everyone seems to get into the belligerent menacing mood of "Chot".

But at the end of it, the audience isn't really affected by the desperate plight of the characters. Much too violent to be digestible with the popcorn, much too provincial in characterisation and language, "Chot" does make a valid point on the nature of crime and violence in the city: does the law-abiding citizen need to resort to the gun to get himself justice?

Cast & Crew

Nabhkumar Raju
Raju Singh

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