What is the story about?
Ronny is a spirited small-time worker for an Indore-based political party, being groomed for the bigger stage by the local MLA – his uncle Ashwini Pathak. His role in the party is undermined with the arrival of a US-return, Vicky Maheshwari, a son of a recently-deceased senior leader Maheshwari. Ronny and Vicky are equally keen to contest for the councillor seat on behalf of the party. Though Ronny has a fair understanding of the local pulse, Vicky outsmarts the former with a shrewd plot to rise through the ranks in the party. Ronny’s thick friends Anwar and Kranti aren’t by his side, but he surprisingly finds support in the form of his former romantic interest Avantika.
The second instalment of Zakir Khan’s Chacha Vidhayak Hain Humare had all the ingredients to be a witty take on ground-level politics in India, provided it had taken itself more seriously and the writing was smarter. The laidback, happy-go-lucky vibe is both its advantage and weakness. The lightweight setting works best when the tale captures the highs and lows of male friendships, the instability in the love life of the lead character and the free-flowing moments unfolding within a familial setup.
However, this casualness is exactly the problem when the action shifts to the political stage– it’s as if a bunch of aimless characters are up to some pranks or buffoonery. The characterisation is loose and the lack of depth in the story is another curse. The small-time rivalry between two party workers in arranging funds to host an election, to oversee the 20th-anniversary celebrations of the party are funny to watch – though the show barely scratches the surface in terms of the detailing. The slick pacing and the 25-minute episode duration makes up for it to a certain extent.
It’s hard to root for an underdog lead character who uses the death of his friend as a trump-card for his election campaign. The romance chapter in Ronnie’s life doesn’t pass muster either – there’s nothing to suggest why a banker or an academician would be interested in a hardly-charming, mostly jobless character. Also, the show would’ve warranted greater interest had the political rivals (Ronnie and Vicky) been equals and their clash was more than ‘good versus evil’ or ‘truth versus injustice’. By showcasing the opponent (Vicky) as a man of poor character, the scope for any drama is reduced.
The role of most women is confined to providing moral support to the men, the staple ‘emotional anchor’ – a shame considering we’re in the 21st. Even had the writing worked better, there’s very little chance of a show winning your heart when its lead actor is its biggest problem. The political rivalry between the lead characters is partly engrossing and may qualify as a one-time watch at best.
Make no mistake, it’s quite obvious that standup comedian Zakir Khan is a non-actor. He barely strains his acting muscle and wears the same expression throughout the show regardless of the situation. This is surprising given he’s also the creator (and one of the writers) of the show and doesn't realise his own limitations. His political speeches seem more of an extension of his standup comedy shows. The other Zakir – the ever-dependable Zakir Hussain – holds the fort whenever he’s around and springs warmth into the conversations between him and his on-screen son.
Kumar Varun and Vyom Sharma strike good on-screen camaraderie as Ronnie’s best buddies. Abhimanyu Singh sleepwalks through the role of a senior political leader and so does Alka Amin as the mother. Onima Kashyap and Venus Sharma don’t get roles with much substance. Sunny Hinduja’s villainy in the shoes of a politically ambitious US-return comes through his emotive pair of eyes and fine body language. The supporting actors playing the roles of Chagan and Magan steal the show with their terrific screen presence.
Music & Other Departments
Karan Malhotra and Nitish Ramabhadran’s chirpy, colourful background score backed by the sharp sound design works well in capturing the flavour of the small-town ambience. Mohana Krishna’s cinematography is impressive but rather dominated by a cluster of drone shots desperately trying to capture the length and breadth of Indore. Afzal Shaikh’s edits lend good momentum to the storytelling though it would’ve been more effective with better writing. The dialogues are catchy, especially in light-hearted moments.
- Slick pacing
- Enjoyable humour
- Good performances by Abhimanyu Singh, Sunny Hinduja
- Zakir Khan, the actor
- Lack of depth in writing
- The casual staging of the political drama
Did I enjoy it?
Do I recommend it?
For time-pass only