Kaam Chalu Hai Movie Review: This overly melodramatic film is static and bland

Directed by Palaash Muchhal, the film seems dated in its storytelling
Kaam Chalu Hai Movie Review: This overly melodramatic film is static and bland
Kaam Chalu Hai(1.5 / 5)

It would suffice to say that the Rajpal Yadav-starrer, Kaam Chalu Hai, has its heart in the right place. It tells the story of Manoj Patil, who loses his daughter in a road accident due to a pothole. Inspired by a real-life story, Patil takes it upon himself to fill all the potholes when the authorities refuse to help him. There is a genuine pain in the story that brings out the complacent behaviour of the government. However, the same feeling can be sufficiently induced from a newspaper report. When it comes to engaging with the heart, the film has little to offer. It resorts to heightened expressions to bring out the suffering at play, leading to an unnecessarily melodramatic, and often dull narrative.

Director: Palaash Muchhal

Cast: Rajpal Yadav, Giaa Manek and Kurangi Nagraj

Palaash Muchhal has written and directed the film along with composing the music. It is his second collaboration with Yadav after Ardh (2022). The actor, for most of his career, has garnered fame through minor, comic relief roles. It is a bit difficult to look beyond his established image. However, he has the bandwidth and scale as an actor to emote even in the most serious circumstances, as seen earlier in Apurva (2023). Even in Kaam Chalu Hai, his emotions find a sincere release, but it doesn’t help that the film is not interested in looking beyond the bare necessities. A scene towards the second half has him visiting the pothole which led to his daughter’s death. He sits beside it and gradually starts crying. The intensity of the performance increases with every passing second. It is the duration of the scene which makes it more awkward than heartfelt. There is no foreboding in the emotions and his bellows keep on increasing without an end.

The film is filled with many such scenes where the underlying emotions are too feeble to hold through. Cinema is a medium that streamlines real-life stories with gripping narratives. Here, in its obsession to bring the real story forward, predictability and exploitation of trauma take centre stage. Whatever forceful efforts the film takes to enhance the drama seem dated and out of order.

Having its heart in the right place is not a good enough justification for the shortcomings of the film. What separates a newspaper report from a film are pivotal scenes that enhance the emotional core of the moment through cinematic language. The film does nothing more than what the trailer showed. It struggles to keep itself afloat even for a brief runtime of 80 minutes. Its content seems to be stretched for reasons best known to the makers. Kaam Chalu Hai strictly remains an issue-based film with largely familiar beats and a narrative filled with plot holes (pun intended).

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