There are movies that jolt you. There are movies that make you think, hard. There are some that just make you laugh, some make you cry, some leave you in awe, some preach, some are just a waste of money. And then there are some that do nothing of that sort but still leave an impression on you. Chumbak is one of those.
Two village boys, one a minor Bhalchandra aka Balu (Sahil Jadhav) and the other just turned adult Disco (Sangram Desai) are toiling in the city of dreams, Mumbai. Balu who waits tables, dreams of opening a sugarcane juice shop back in his village. Month-on-month he saves a couple of thousand rupees which aren’t enough to fulfill his dream. His street-smart friend Disco helps him to invest in a scheme that promises to double his money. Predictably, the man runs away with the money.
Desperate to send money back to his village to open the shop, Disco suggests Balu to run a lottery scheme and scam people. Their first victim happens to be a naive Prasanna Thombare (Swanand Kirkire). After taking his cash and gold chain, all seems well for the two until their conscience kicks in.
It is this journey of the three main characters who go through the everyday emotions of love, ambition, desire, need for acceptance, guilt-ridden and after-thought — just like each one of us goes through — is what makes the movie stand-out.
Jadhav and Desai, both new to the world of acting, give a raw and realistic performance and shine in their respective characters. Their underlying chemistry and ease in front of the camera is enduring. The multi-faceted Kirkire adds another feather in his cap as an unsuspecting and intellectually challenged village simpleton. Truly an award-winning performance for someone who usually shines behind-the-camera. The subtle yet powerful performances of all the three leads instantly connects you with the story.
The simpler the story-line, the more complex is the execution. Chumbak scores brilliantly on that front. Debutant director Sandeep Modi has highlighted the best and worst of human emotions without becoming lop-sided.
The music is fresh and making waves across social media. The background score is very well integrated in the plot. From the local trains and the fast-paced life of Mumbai to the idyllic and almost lethargic setting of rural Maharashtra, the cinematography captures every frame beautifully.
The movie ends with the line — ‘vaat chuklo hoto’ (I had lost my way) — which is the crux of the entire plot.