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 Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon
Director :
Starring :
 Chandan Arora
 Antar Mali. Rajpal Yadav

By Kshama Rao

Debutant director Chandan Arora's film Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon (MMDBCH) is a very quaint and heartwarming look at a small-town girl's aspirations to become like her screen idol Madhuri Dixit.

Chutki (Antara Mali) is a die-hard Madhuri Dixit fan. So much so that she has no qualms in dressing up like the actress and entertaining her village folks with her nautanki. Dancing to Madhuri numbers is a passion with her and no matter what her conservative mother (Rita Bhaduri) has to say, Chutki is the self-anointed Madhuri Dixit of her Rajoura. Chutki's younger sister and her friends feel she can make it big as her idol in Mumbai. Raja (Rajpal Yadav), Chutki's childhood friend, confidante and silent admirer too shares Chutki's dream. When her parents decide to marry her off, Raja rescues her from volunteering to marry her himself and take her to Mumbai to fulfill her dream of becoming an actress.

Once Raja and Chutki come to Mumbai, then begins their tad predictable roller-coaster ride to the city that is Mumbai. From cabbies that con the couple to street side Romeos trying to 'maaro' a chance with Chutki, from out of work film producers to know-it-all Bollywood types, Chutki soon feels the heat. She goes through the grind of rejections and humiliations till one fine day a casting agent Pyarelal (Govind Namdeo in a super cameo) gives her the break of dancing in a music video. Luckily for Chutki, the song is a remix version of a Madhuri number and so she dances with gay abandon.

What's more, Chutki is a star and soon lands a film offer. She's the sole heroine in a film with the look-alikes of Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan, Shahrukh Khan, Sunny Deol, Saif Ali Khan etc. She gets conned into doing the film but soon her dreams are shattered when she watches the first day first show of her film with barely five people in the auditorium who rip the film apart with their nasty jibes. Chutki gives up and comes back to her gaon with Raja only to be lured back to the city of dreams.

Though the film ends on a positive note, the rejections and the frustrations aspiring stars go through has been poignantly brought out. Case in point, a scene when this director (Benjamin Gilani) who supposedly works with new talent (was he modeled on Ramgopal Varma) tells Raja point-blank that he sees nothing special in Chutki or even when the streetside tapori Romy (Ramman Trikha) in a fit of rage tells Chutki that she looks like a 'bandari' and stands no chance in Bollywood.

Art direction by Gautam Sen and Amar Mohile's sound design are other high points. About the performances, Antara as Chutki is great when she's dancing like Madhuri Dixit but as far as screen charisma and histrionics go, she is still miles behind MD. Worse, she just doesn't connect as the nave Chutki. Sad, the young actress blows up her one chance of becoming like Madhuri Dixit. Then whom does one watch the film for? RAJPAL YADAV. As the man who unconditionally loves Chutki and who is prepared to go to any lengths to make his girl's dream happen, Rajpal is excellent. Every time he comes on screen he tugs at your heartstrings with his simplicity and honesty.

On the flip side: Chutki's parents don't even doubt once her eagerness to marry Raja just when a scene before she was pleading to be given a chance to go to Mumbai. Also, the director has chosen to ignore the casting couch that exists in the industry or even Chutki's struggle and realization - barring a scene or two -- about the fickle nature of the industry. Last but not the least Chutki never seems to realize Raja's goodness. Till the end she seems to be thinking about just herself, her dreams and aspirations.

All said and done, Chandan Arora needs to be applauded to make a film like MMDBCH which is still refreshing fare though one wonders if it was not for Rajpal Yadav, would Antara Mali's strictly average performance have drawn the audiences?

PS: The interval point in the film shows Raja walking out of a producer's office saying that instead of Chutki it's he who's been signed for a film. Wonder how the film would have progressed if it had taken off from that twist in the tale?

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More about Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon
- Feature: Antara Mali
- Feature: Rajpal Yadav
- Antara Mali Featured Website