Out Of Theatre

Chalk N Duster

Out Of Theatre
15 Jan, 2016 2 hrs 10 mins U
Juhi Chawla, Shabana Azmi, Zarina Wahab, Divya Dutta, Girish Karnad, Jackie Shroff, Anupam Kher, Aarya Babbar
'Chalk N Duster' has its heart in the right place. Made with an intention of showcasing the worms in the current education system, this film can be lauded to some degree.

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Story : Teachers Vidya Sawant (Shabana Azmi) and Jyoti Thakur (Juhi Chawla) impart knowledge and values to students in a middle-class school. However, when an ambitious shrew becomes the principal, they are forced to wage a 'war' to safeguard their legacy.

Review :'Chalk N Duster' has its heart in the right place. Made with an intention of showcasing the worms in the current education system, where money often gets merit over capability; this film can be lauded to some degree. However, it flounders in the first half due to its tacky narrative approach. Told like a TV serial, it takes the oft-taken path of following the underprivileged on local train rides to the Mumbai chawl. Okay so the point of a teacher's life being hard is made. Yet, it's predictable to see Shabana dabbing sweat with her sari pallav as she gets off an over-crowded Virar local, buying vada pav and keeping the positive spirit at home that has a handicapped husband (Girish Karnad) and their about-to-be chartered accountant daughter. The revered teacher also coaches the neighbourhood children for free!

Then, there is Juhi who is slightly more privileged than her didi, Shabana. She can buy a car on installments. These two teachers also have hardworking colleagues, who become sisters in misery when Kamini Gupta(Divya Dutta) a devil wearing designer sarees is appointed as the principal. Divya is more unreasonable than Cinderella's stepmother and stepsisters put together. The shock of having to bear her nastiness gives Shabana a heart condition. Juhi exits the school and vows to get back the 'honour' of her didi and herself. So, they reach out to a media person, Richa Chadha, an IAS officer, a Minister, conscientious past students from the world over and even win Rs 5 crore in a KBC-styled contest, with Rishi Kapoor in a cameo as the quiz master!

The execution for the most part is clumsy. Yet somewhere in the second half, Gilatar redeems himself and the film. He touches on the importance of teachers in our lives and shows the apathy of the powers-that-are towards providing equal education opportunities. It also gives us a proud India moment as we watch two teachers pass a GQ contest with flying colours. Life, after all, whether in a cinema hall or on the outside is about minor triumphs (staged or otherwise), isn't it?

Shabana and Juhi are irritatingly saccharine initially; but get firmly in the saddle soon. They're from the dependable lot of actresses after all.
Avg Users’ Rating 2.9/5 ( 198 users )
Ikwinder Singh
After almost 2 years, today I had the privilege of watching the movie, Chalk and Duster.I felt as if I was watching a mirror of my life. I have undergone similar problems, in fact most of the teachers of my time have undergone similar humiliating situations.<br/>I have been associated with one of the so called reputed schools for over 2 decades, and then again with another reputed school, and the crux remains the same, power and money rule over our education system. I wonder where is true education? Sadly it has become a dirty business. Having been a teacher first and then a Principal, at the moment I am unemployed as the chairman of my current school is in prison!!! Such is the credibility of the uneducated franchise members who are given charge to manage schools. No names taken, I would still like to expose them one day with solid evidences. Don't want to leave this world till I get justice, am trying.......
P Reddy
CA Amol
ok ok
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