Film Review: Chalk N Duster (2.5 Stars)



Star Cast: Juhi Chawla, Shabana Azmi, Zarina Wahab, Divya Dutta, Jackie Shroff, Sameer Soni, Arya Babbar, Richa Chadda

Director: Jayant Gilatar

Stars: 2.5

Chalk N Duster is a film which is relevant in today’s times but lacks the necessary treatment. Although, power-packed performances of Shabana Azmi, Juhi Chawla and others try to keep the film afloat.

It has some negative points like unprofessional cinematography, unnecessary dramatic twists and overboard dialogues kill the spirit of the film. Even the climax is not up to the mark that leaves a bitter taste in the mouth for the film.

Sadly, the film loses its focus from the main theme which is the plight of underpaid teachers and with no job guarantee and hence the film loses its charm in the midway.

Kantaben High School is a privately held school which is being managed by an unwell principal Indu Shastri (Zarina Wahab) who is concerned for her teachers and their work woes. Aarya Babbar who essays the role a trustee of the school is a negative character and considers education as a business. In the wake of making his school one of the top institutes in the city, he hires Kamini Gupta (Divya Dutta) as the principal, by removing the well respected and former head Mrs. Shastri. Gupta is termed as Hitler by the teachers in the staff room, due to her aggressive behavior. Jyoti Thakur (Juhi Chawla) and Vidya Sawant (Shabana Azmi) are the two teachers in the same school who are extremely contained with their respective jobs until their new principal starts harassing them. Calling a senior Maths teacher Vidya’s teaching standards outdated, Gupta terminates her. This shock leads to Vidya having a heart attack.

Disgruntled with Gupta’s behavior and her negativity, Jyoti stands up for her friend Vidya and even approaches the media for help.

Will Vidya and Jyoti manage to shrug off their image of incompetence and bring a change in the education system is what the story further unfolds into.

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