As an interesting co-incidence, where 2015 began with a well-intentioned film TAKE IT EASY focusing on the stressed life of schoolkids and the role of parents in it creating some serious issues, 2016begins with a similar message oriented film CHALK N DUSTER focusing onthe stressed life of school teachers and their relationship with thestudents as well as the management - more interested in money insteadof education. So where TAKE IT EASY dealt with psychological andemotional aspect of the subject, CHALK N DUSTER refers to the ethicaland business aspect of the same involving the political as well ascorporate section of the society revealing an ugly truth.<br><br>The second similarity between the two films remains that both theappreciable ventures are impressive and tacky in parts together, havingsome highly emotional sequences too making you feel for the keyprotagonists on screen playing all realistic characters. Andunfortunately, the third similarity is, that neither TAKE IT EASY wasseen by a big section of viewers, nor CHALK N DUSTER is likely to reachits actual target audience due to several debatable issues related withour personal choice of cinema, the blind (male) star-following andstep-treatment of the exhibitors given to such sincere attempts.<br><br>Talking about CHALK N DUSTER individually, here is a film that haseverything right and touching as far as its core important subject andleading performances are concerned. But the film certainly could havebeen much more impressive and moving with a better second half andanother novel culmination instead of the lengthy clichéd climaxshowcasing a 'KBC' kind of quiz show hosted by Rishi Kapoor (playing acameo).<br><br>It begins well with all decent sequences introducing a great castensemble of talented ladies namely Shabana Azmi, Zareena Wahab, JuhiChawla, Divya Dutta, Richa Chadha and Upasana Singh. The pace neverdrops before intermission and you enjoy watching the clashes betweenits strong characters heading towards a loud volcanic outcome in thelater reels. Plus the peak is rightly felt as Richa Chadha makes herentry as a journalist just along the text displayed on screen sayingRECESS referring to the interval.<br><br>However, things do not turn out to be exciting enough as expected inthe film's second half, in absence of any skillful execution and novelstory progression making way for all routine seen before stuff insteadof the much expected volcanic eruption in the heated clashes. The pacedrops and the sequences turn out to be nothing fresh with a more than15 minutes long climax as mentioned above. <br><br>Yet, thankfully the spirit remains the same as in the beginning and anextremely touching emotional quotient doesn't let you feel anyrepulsion watching the end proceedings probably with all moist eyes.Moreover such is the pull in all those rare facts shared in its finalethat you remain engrossed throughout, despite knowing the truth thatit's all going to end in the same predictable manner with the obviouswin. For instance, the questions asked include, what is the meaning ofKAUR used in Sikhism, what are the full forms of YAHOO & GOOGLE, whatBRUCE LEE did in the initial stages of his career and more.<br><br>As the two leading teachers, both Shabana Azmi and Juhi Chawla excel astrue teachers along with Zareena Wahab and Upasana Singh doing completejustice with their given characters as required. Divya Dutta playingthe negative role does it well (without any actual depth given by thewriters) but Richa Chadha is shockingly wasted in a role that couldhave been done by anyone with a pretty face (which is quite a shame!).In the male leads once again we have Jackie Shroff simply doing nothingsignificant in his few scenes and Aryan Babbar also remainingunder-utilized as the partner in crime with Divya, whereas Rishi Kapooris fine in his surprising cameo towards the end.<br><br>In totality, CHALK N DUSTER is an appreciable yet uneven project fromdirector Jayant Gilatar. It has a decent camera-work, just okaydialogues but an interesting background score demanding attention attimes. Besides I really liked the way the composer and sound designertreated the voice in songs describing the importance A GURU in our lifeusing traditional verses. As per its script, the brief references of ateacher's personal life post the school hours work well whereas theclichéd melodrama around the illness and the finale quiz doesn't, thatcould have been dealt differently.<br><br>Having said that, there still cannot be any denial to the fact thatthis honest effort surely deserves to be applauded (to a large extent)ignoring all it's the major hiccups and average insertions, as(nowadays) Hindi Cinema rarely gets into such educating, realistic modetalking about our basic social problems and lack of moral values.<br><br>As an important film CHALK N DUSTER brings forward a scary issuewherein we are not actually taking good care of the most crucial andguiding figures of our lives, our school teachers displaying a flawedvision. The corporates are clearly considering 'Education' as anotherprofit-oriented industry instead of a nation-building exercise and theteachers are openly treated as easily replaceable clerks without anyindividual importance or a contributing value. <br><br>Hence serving its purpose well, CHALK N DUSTER works at many levelsgiving a significant message and with such an inviting cast ensemble ofall extremely talented ladies, its surely deserves to be given a chanceby the thinking viewers.
Chalk N Duster
Chalk N Duster
CHALK N DUSTER is an emotional journey of two teachers Vidya ( Shabana Azmi) & Jyoti ( Juhi Chawla) , serving at a Mumbai - based High School. Their passion and love for teaching, bonds them in a special relationship with their students. Their gratification is good grades, moral values they strive to impart to students.However, in an evil turn of events, a wicked lady, Kamini Gupta ( Divya Dutta) gets appointed as the School Principal, who earlier worked in the capacity of a Supervisor. She is extremely cunning by nature and monopolizes on every opportunity she can find her hands on. In a bid to make profits for the school, she decides to fire experienced teachers to replace them with fresher teachers. The saved funds of which she can boastfully present to the school trustees, at the cost of quality education. Vidya suffers a sudden heart attack due to her dismissal from school. The school management threatens the staff to cut ties with Vidya. At such a time, Jyoti stands up for her ...
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