By Jyotsna Kumar
Not so long ago Rajiv Mehra did a social service to the Aam Aadmi. He taught him how to ‘go places’. All he has to do is to enter a Sarkaari office. Taking a step further from the famous-long-running television series Office Office, Chala Mussadi Office Office is a hard look as to where things are going wrong with public servants in India.
Unlike RK Laxman’s famous cartoon character, The Common Man- an eye who watches when bureaucracy bears all behind curtains; Mussadi Lal gives voice, hope and aspiration to those Aam Aadmis who are caught in the bureaucratic web.
The drama unfolds when a retired school teacher Mussadi Lal (Pankaj Kapoor) wife (Farida Jalal) expires due to medical negligence; Mussadi is unaware of it and goes on a pilgrimage for three months. He returns only to discover himself dead in sarkaari kaagaz which in turn makes him no longer eligible for his long running pension. What follows thereafter is an endless struggle by a sole voice to fight against corruption in a government office where the infamous gang of five- Manoj Pahwa, Sanjay Mishra, Deven Bhojani, Hemant Pandey and Asawari Joshi -- are determined to swindle him till the very end.
CMOO is believable in most areas except climax, which is a bit of an exaggeration. But to prove a point rather a philosophy by Mahatama Gandhi i.e. to be the change in the world! I think it’s ok to go a little overboard. The film is full of emotional tracks which is somewhat different from the social satire route that Office Office as a sitcom used to take. But still the film provides enough fun moments to cling you on your seat. The editing and Delhi snapshots through a lensman eye on a two-wheeler scooter only marks the beauty and awesomeness of a great technical team- cinematographer Carlton D’ Mello and editor Manish Jaitely. Performances were spectacular by the entire ensemble cast where each and every character neatly fit the bill. And what I can say about Pankaj Kapoor- his one confident stare into the camera lens says it all- what Aam Aadmi goes through in this society. Gulzaar sahaab lyrics and Sajid-Wajid’s title track composition-- Chala Mussadi is a magnificent look into the world of bureaucracy and how bureaucrats, public servants have made a mockery out of it through corruption.
I sincerely hope this mockumentary film is not lost due to its poor promotion; because if it does, it could well be ‘THE CURIOUS CASE OF AN AAM AADMI LOSS’ so please don’t let that happen. And if you have no background to the Office Office television series I still recommend you watch Chala Mussadi Office Office – as an Aam Aadmi that’s the least you can do right?