When Chameli first came out, way back when I first started watching Hindi films, it generated a lot of buzz for itself. It was supposed to be an artsy little film about a dark but deeply compelling subject, starring good actors with an interesting story. Still, I avoided it like the plague because it starred Kareena Kapoor and I was still reeling from her Poo-fect job in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. Finally, scanning the movie shelves at the Queens Public Library for some masala, I stumbled across it and decided to give it the chance it never had with me in the first place.
My final verdict? Not that impressed.
I can understand why people might have liked it to begin with - for anyone craving popcorn entertainment, this is much starker fare. Still, it does have the requisite songs and stars (Rahul Bose as well as Kapoor) which makes it a much easier pill to swallow. But its appeal to the mass audiences also compromises its artistic integrity. It's not a particularly exceptional film - I had the feeling while I was watching it that it had all been done before. There wasn't anything particularly well-done about the technical aspects, either - both leads were rather blasé, the cinematography was lacking, and the pace was so slow I fell asleep twice watching it. The best part about the movie was the brief running time. Avoid, yaar, unless eye-candy Bose is tasty enough to convince you otherwise.