I watched the movie with a gang of friends who were all reliving the memories of watching Chashme Buddoor in the past (multiple times, in most cases). And while deja vu seemed imminent, it never happened. A spanking new print (and seeing the movie in a darkened theatre for the first time) ensured that I caught a lot more of the small joys of this classic.
The simple love story, complicated by two good-for-nothing friends of the hero is nothing novel but the characters seemed to have all walked out of our past lives. Jomo's bike which never starts. The never-ending khata at Lallan Mian's paan shop. The awkward wooing by a geek. The all-consuming (but innocent) desire to be in female company. The romatic day-dreamings, garished with sher-o-shairis and Hindi film songs. All of them are so brilliantly etched that you keep smiling through out the movie.
Of the cast and crew, Farooque Shaikh has lost none of his easy charm. Deepti Naval remains as sparkling as ever. To the comedy, Rakesh Bedi is the genteel side while Ravi Baswani brings that manic edge. And of course, there is the ebullient Saeed Jaffrey as the good-natured Lallan Mian. And the whole ensemble is led materfully by the writer-director Sai Paranjpye. (Trivia Alert: Her daughter, Winnie Paranjpye, does a small cameo as a girl seeking a lift on Ravi Baswani's bike.)
If you haven't watched the movie (lucky you!), go with someone who has. The movie watching will be like a super-fun karaoke experience with people mouthing the dialogues and doing pre-emptive clapping/whistling at key scenes. That's exactly what we did and had great fun reminding ourselves of simpler times left behind. That, and we also mercilessly ribbed a SRCC alumnus when we spotted Ravi Baswani sporting the college's jacket.
My day was further made when I confirmed with the guy at the PVR counter while picking my tickets - "Purana wala hain na?" The guy replied, "Classic wala." True, that.view less