Chalk n Duster Courtesy Bolly Spice

Chalk n Duster Courtesy Bolly Spice

Chalk n Duster is not your average Bollywood masala movie and neither will it do well at the box office. The only high scores it will get will be from passionate students and respectable teachers.

Then why make this film? Bollywood is definitely changing and turning to more real and everyday characters who are heroes in their own way. Chalk n Duster thus talks of two such heroes, teachers- Vidya Sawant (Shabana Azmi) and Jyoti (Juhi Chawla) who are standing up to a corrupt and sadistic Principal Kamini Gupta (Divya Dutta).

Kamini wants the school to become a hangar joint for the rich and famous and in order to update her human resources she resorts to emotional abuse and physical torture. In the end, she tries to challenge the teachers with a quiz contest which is stylized like Who Wants to be a Millionaire, but alas she fails.

Chalk n Duster’s performances are incredible, especially that of Juhi Chawla who is seen as a regular person, regular teacher and surely deserves a National Award if possible. Divya Dutta is utterly convincing as a disgusting lady and Shabana Azmi is the eloquent master teacher.

The cameos by Jackie Shroff and Rishi Kapoor are hard-hitting, with actors of such calibre and experience they certainly enhance the profile and plot of the film.

This is a social film and if Aamir Khan had not been successful with his directorial film Taare Zameen Par, then films like Chalk n Duster would never have seen light of cinema.