Chala Musaddi Office Office (Movie Review)

Indian television has had a very few serials it can honestly be proud of. Office Office was surely one of them. Pankaj Kapur as the hapless common man Musaddilal Tripathi managed to evoke the right sentiments in the audience, undoubtedly making him one of the most loved characters on TV.

Episode after episode, he went around fighting against the system and corrupt government servants to avail of his basic rights.

You empathised with him, wanted to fight his battles and felt vindicated when he emerged victorious after his arduous crusade. There is a nice nostalgia attached to this serial of yesteryears... then they go ahead and make it a movie and spoil it all for us!

While what made Office Office popular was its portrayal of reality, ironically that very essence is missing in the movie. Consistency is a huge issue here. In some parts, the movie seems real enough.

But several scenes are absurd and downright unbelievable. Some episodes are handled so casually that it comes across like play-acting by children. The serious issues are not given their due. Being humorous and being casual are two different things.

Musaddilal's (Pankaj Kapur) wife dies, thanks to a kidney racket. Even when Musaddi and his no-good son (Gaurav Kapoor) are off to visit holy places for the final rites, back home people from the pension office declare him dead and promptly stop his pension.

The story revolves around Musaddi's fight to prove that he's alive, and of course against corruption.

The movie meanders and is all very predictable.

In short, it looks like a brilliant episode of Office Office was taken and stretched beyond limits to make it into a film. The climax is boring and a tad too simplistic. Pankaj Kapoor is brilliant as expected. Even in the silliest circumstances, his angst and helplessness is palpable and touching.

Gaurav Kapoor as the son is very good. The rest of the cast -- the corrupt gang of Asawari Joshi, Sanjay Mishra, Deven Bhojani, Manoj Pahwa etc. -- perform well.

The intention is right, but not nearly as engaging enough as the cult TV series to hold you down for those 100 odd minutes.

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