It looks like the season of women empowerment will continue into the next year. If one didn’t know better one would say Chalk n Duster is Angry Indian Goddesses Part 2.
If the trailer is any indication, every woman protagonist, from the formidable Shabana Azmi to the rapidly-evolving Richa Chadha seems very angry. Even Upaasna Khosla the comic actress from Comedy Nights With Kapil seems pissed off as she gets to plant a resounding slap on Ms Azmi’s cheek. Quite a historic moment.
Ms Azmi plays a dedicated teacher named Vidya Sawant, who is hounded and sacked by an evil principal, played by the very talented and under-used Divya Dutta, in short hair to prove she’s vampish. The unlit cigarette clutched in manicured fingers is missing. Maybe after school hours?
The film’s approach to the theme of spreading the light of education seems heavy-handed with a melodramatic confrontation between the dedicated teacher and mercenary establishment.
What rescues the trailer from didactic drudgery are the actresses, Juhi Chawla, Zarina Wahab, Divya Dutt and above all, Shabana Azmi, who is doing what she does best — playing a part with a strong social message on the important of honesty and dedication in the teaching profession.
We haven’t had too many films on the teacher-student relationship since Aamir Khan’s Tare Zameen Par. Even if Chalk n Duster depends blindly on women power to put across its message, we are game.
Even the giant academician-actor Girish Karnad playing Shabana’s husband(interesting casting, that) is reduced to a shadowy figure who apparently loves Sachin Tendulkar’s batting.
Watch the trailer of Chalk n Duster here: