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'Khajoor Pe Atke': Hits the right notes but lacks big screen lustre (IANS Review, Rating: **)


Film: "Khajoor Pe Atke"; Director: Harsh Chhaya; Cast: Manoj Pahwa, Seema Pahwa, Vinay Pathak, Nagesh Bhonsle, Dolly Ahluwalia, Alka Amin, Suneeta Sengupta, Vicky Arora, Birendra, Kishore Chougle; Rating: **

Harsh Chaya's directorial debut "Khajoor Pe Atke" is an engrossing tragi-dramedy about the lives of the Sharmas, who gravitate to their home. The film is about the interpersonal relationships of this family during a crisis situation.

The film opens in with (Manoj Pahwa) receiving a call from his nephew (Vicky Arora) informing him that his dad, Jeetendra's older brother Devender's condition has deteriorated and he is now is in the of a hospital, in

Emotionally rattled, Jeetendra informs his other siblings - (Vinay Pathak) who is based in and (Dolly Ahluwalia) their sister who is based in

Anticipating a tragedy, the trio reluctantly land up in along with their families. But lingers for several days, supported by a with tubes attached. As the days pass, the family members find themselves having to deal with each other in a way that most of them seem unprepared for. What follows is a series of interactions between family members that takes the term, 'family drama' to an extended level.

The weakness of this film is its predictable tale. The film never builds up enough momentum - emotional or narrative, to get the viewer on its side. At times, the screenplay feels influenced by TV and theatre which is, not an unreasonable association considering Harsh Chaya's involvement with the medium.

The strength of the film is its tongue-in-cheek humour. The writers take many true, basic real-life incidents and mine them for comedic gold. The dialogues are razor sharp and hit the right notes.

This is one of those films where the comedy prefers to accentuate the characters' peculiarities, deficiencies or eccentricities - than pursue slapstick. Because of this, aka Lali and - Devender's wife, shine. Lali is obsessed with tantric intervention to save her brother's life and in her bouts of depression is constantly on an eating binge. For most part, 'Khajoor Pe Atke' elicits quiet chuckles than full-bodied guffaws, although there are some laugh-aloud moments.

The characters, most of them are presented as selfish and myopic in the extreme and are all the more amusing as a result. They all perform competently with natural flair for comedy. The senior actors playing their generation seem like seasoned professionals, while the younger lot seem like fledglings who hold their stead efficiently. Notable among them are Manoj Pahwa, and as siblings, as Sushila - Jeetender Sharma's wife, as Anuradha - Ravinder's wife and as - Devender's wife.

As for the younger lot, Sanah Kapoor as the flighty Nayantara and as her brother Sharad, as Devender's only son Alok, Kishore Chougule as the ward boy Ganpat, Pratamesh Parab as Rocky and Daljit Singh Gujral as Aaditya - Nayantara's love interest - all have their moments of on-screen glory.

Overall, mounted with moderate production values the film is a mediocre fare worth a Sunday watch on television.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 17 2018. 11:12 IST