I went into this movie, not expecting much. "Another copy of an English movie... oh God...," I thought, knowing that Chachi 420 is a derivation of Mrs. Doubtfire. I was expecting much more of the Govinda starrer, Aunty No. 1, simply because I think that good old Govinda is a better comedian than either Robin Williams or Kamal Haasan. Much to my surprise, my views changed after watching this flick.
The movie starts out slowly, a divorce occurs between two lovers because the female┬┤s father is against the marriage. Jayaprakash (Kamal Haasan) is a dance director and is always scrutinized by Janki┬┤s (Tabu) father (Amrish Puri). Though Janki and Jayaprakash love each other, Janki┬┤s father can┬┤t look past the differences between their standings in society. They get divorced and Janki is left with custody of their daughter, Bharati.
Jayaprakash is allowed supervised visits (hummm... are we now sounding like Mrs. Doubtfire??) once a week with his child. But, he doesn┬┤t like this and with his friend┬┤s help is transformed into a woman, Mrs. Godbole, who lands a job as Bharati┬┤s caretaker. From this predictable scenes occur, as in Mrs Doubtfire, regarding Mrs. Godbole┬┤s whereabouts before her caretaker position and her husband(s).
Kamal Haasan┬┤s direction through these predictable scenes (especially with the Macarena song) is fantastic. He handles every scene with precision and the fine tuning it takes to become a wonderful director. His first Hindi venture as director has come out in a well-polished well-done movie. His acting is nothing less than brilliance, also.
Tabu┬┤s acting is brilliant, although Haasan┬┤s direction pulled off many of the scenes, regardless of the actor or actress. Om Puri surprisingly has a funny role as Amrish Puri┬┤s chamcha. Paresh Rawal also has a comic role, but in suitable fashion for him. Amrish Puri┬┤s character is more serious, but the direction pulls off the poke-fun-at comedy presented.
Surprisingly enough, this movie has only one thing copied from Mrs. Doubtfire, the concept. The rest of the movie is pulled off with a witty, wacky script (written by Gulzar) and wonderful direction and editing (the editing missing in the mega blockbuster, Dil To Pagal Hai). Haasan┬┤s acting also took me by surprise, as I found myself laughing at least 75f the time during the movie, and at jokes that were quite intelligent. Usually, Govinda┬┤s jokes are quite cheap compared to the witty jokes in this flick.
There is only one scene in the movie that may embarass a child in front of a parent (or vis-a-versa), but the scene is proper for the time and place in the movie and not many people should worry about it (unless if they are with children that are under the age of 11).
In any case, this movie is a movie that should not be missed. Chachi┬┤s direction, comedy, acting, and script should teach the likings of Subhash Ghai and even Yash Chopra a small lesson.