Friday Streaming - Disney+ Hotstar's original Chhappad Phaad Ke gives you Vinay Pathak at his best!

Shachi Lavingia
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Chhappad Phaad Ke

Directed by Sameer Joshi, Chhappad Phaad Ke struggles with making a political statement and being a satirical dramedy inspite of having Vinay Pathak and Ayesha Raza in the lead.

Vinay Pathak has this insane ability of portraying the ever changing human psyche with his body language alone and Chhappad Phaad Ke is yet another example of his brilliance. This satirical dramedy mainly delves into one of the biggest issues we face in India - corruption and showcases this via focusing the story around the time of demonitisation, with a healthy mix of "ache din aayenge" and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan all while talking about Indian hypocrisy aka how quickly we change our beliefs when faced with inane amounts of money, no humans spared!

Cast - Vinay Pathak plays Sharad Gupchup, a retired middle-class man who is a little too idealistic and honest for his own good. Ayesha Raza, plays his wife, Vaishali, the pati vrata patni of the 90s. Siddharth Menon is seen as Sharad's son, Shubham Gupchup, a photographer in the making if only his family would support his dreams and Sheetal Thakur plays Ketaki, the sole breadwinner of the family and is also dating Shubham's friend who the family isn't very happy with.

Storyline - Initially, this story is about a middle class family that struggles to make ends meet. Sharad Gupchup is an aam admi with extremely high morals and doesn't let a moment pass by without breaking into a monologue about the same, especially while talking to his family about the importance of money when they talk about making expenses that sound pretty important. Sounds familiar, eh? Singing praises about the new government and the change that it will bring along with it is an everyday phenomenon for Sharad and as a result, his family suffers with him being a stickler for honesty. Everything changes though when Shubham chances upon a duffel bag full of new Rs. 500 and Rs. 2000 notes during the demonitisation era after the family has lost a lot of money in a scheme.

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Watch the trailer here!

What I liked - Vinay Pathak reminded me of my father through and through with his portrayal of the middle class aam admi who frequently breaks into a speech of staying true to your ethics and not taking shortcuts to success. That's what made this movie a lot more hilarious for me! Chhappad Phaad Ke leaves you shook for sure with its various twists and turns right until the very end. So many bits from the movie are so relatable like the core plot itself - a middle class family questioning their morals when they're faced with 5 crores even if they found it next to a dead body; also the rickshaw driver not taking Shubham at face value when the latter asks him to follow the rickshaw in front. Living in India, if a rickshaw driver agrees to go somewhere without asking questions, you're not in India!

What I didn't quite like - Scenes where they've used the grandfather's puzzle to give adjectives for a member of the family to highlight what's happening during the course of the film felt redundant because it was pretty self explanatory. A rather average screenplay pulls down Chhappad Phaad Ke which could've worked very well with a fantastic plot that highlighted so many issues Indians face daily.

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