Commercial masala films bring star-studded casts, gravity-defying fights and glossy romances to the table. Indie cinema must compete by sheer dint of ideas. Lead actor Deepak Dobriyal is a powerful actor and convincing as the ‘super chor’. Yet, as far as ideas go, they are just about as novel here as the film’s title.
The canvas (once again) is Delhi, its narrow lanes juxtaposed against its glossier malls and metro stations. Yet, this story of petty criminals could have played out anywhere. ‘Beware of pickpockets’ is a warning to heed even on Mumbai’s local trains and Kolkata’s rickety buses.
Satbir (Dobriyal) is a conman who wants out. He’s a romantic, and hopelessly in love with a girl who’s out of his league (TV actor Priya Bhatija as Neena). That apart, we know little about him. What are his motivations? What led him to the profession? The film glosses over such things. There are no back stories or insight into the criminals’ lives. Acts of theft, and a police-criminal nexus, merely make for comic set pieces. A Punk’d-style reality show, however, provides some novelty.
The film reminds you in parts of Dibakar Banerjee’s Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! That’s about the highest compliment one can accord debutant director Rajesh K’s work. Dobriyal, on the other hand, deserves some praise. His acting is earnest and understated. He belongs to that new crop of impressive Bollywood actors who, alas, only get supporting roles. This is his chance to play hero, which seems to have been his biggest motivation.
The film is, however, well-shot. And the editing is crisp (it clocks an impressive 99 minutes).
Exciting things are happening in the indie space. Films like Ship Of Theseus, even BA Pass to an extent, are proof. Chor Chor..., however, is a below-par effort.