It is perhaps in the fitness of things that Saat Uchakkey opens in a psychiatric ward captured in desaturated frames. The first few sequences, no less perplexing than the remainder of the film, are signposts to what lies ahead.
So don’t even try wrapping your head around this one. It’ll only be ache-inducing.
An earnest shrink is determined to come to grips with the baffling mental condition of one of the asylum’s most difficult patients, a mystery man in solitary confinement around whom the staff members spin outlandish urban legends.
A senior doctor advises his sincere understudy not be too optimistic. We soon know why. The inmate in question is a wild, wild fella called Bichchi (Annu Kapoor), whose high-pitched sermons are as damaging as his numbing sting.
Even when the action shifts out of the confines of the loony bin and into the decrepit houses, shops and alleyways of Old Delhi, the wackiness of the first few scenes continues to run through the veins of the film until the returns it yields are diminished to the point of being non-existent.
Saat Uchakkey is a comic caper gone wrong. It seeks to blend wicked wit, wild flights of fancy and gritty realism. The outcome is well shy of productive.
That is rather sad because the talent on view, both off and on the screen, is anything but lightweight.
In the chaotic lanes of purani Delhi, a bunch of small-time crooks are desperate to rise above their lot. But their get-rich-quick methods are so slovenly that their acts do no good either to them or to the film.
Saat Uchakkey is songwriter and theatre man Sanjeev Sharma’s directorial debut. Marred by a scrappy screenplay, this film is going to be anything but the headstart that he might be looking for.
Saat Uchakkey beats about the bush for the most part. It isn’t clear until pretty late in the film what the bumbling, down-at-heels characters are really after.
The bickering drifters rave and rant at each other. Cuss words fly thick and fast. And the ragged, listless tale meanders through an excruciating narrative maze that gobbles up two hours and 19 minutes without delivering anything of lasting import.
An old mansion houses a hidden treasure chest believed to be crammed with gold. The ragtag gang wants the booty come what may.
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Saat Uchakkey Movie Review
Story: Seven petty crooks come together to find a hidden gold treasure buried in a purani haweli in Delhi. The gang even manages to locate the monies but their conscience comes calling.
Review: It is disheartening to see talented actors like Manoj Bajpayee and Kay Kay Menon succumbing to playing lousy characters in a loud and absurd film that pretends to be funny. Barring the authentic setting (narrow bylanes of old Delhi), nothing really works in the film’s favour. Bajpayee’s haircut is as hideous as the film’s dialogues. Every line is either meaningless or laced with the choicest of cuss words and it all seems uncalled for. (Read “Never let his wonder steal your thunder,” etc) Every character wants to shove something or the other into somebody’s backside. Characters are called Pappi, Jaggi, Bichchi and Haggu! Yes, you heard the last one right.
Saat Uchakkey movie cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Vijay Raaz, Kay Kay Menon, Aditi Sharma, Anupam Kher, Annu Kapoor
Saat Uchakkey movie director: Sanjeev Sharma
God who may be mad, an Anupam Kher who lives in a haveli a Muslim woman claims is hers, and a Kalawati who exists only in dreams. There is more going on in Sanjeev Sharma’s Saat Uchakkey than meets the eyes and, yes — despite the Censor’s objections — the ears. Sift through the abuses, those that have survived 90 cuts and a three-year wait for release, and the film is a delightful slice of life from that new pet haunt of filmmakers, Old Delhi.
However, it’s not the Old Delhi of just pigeon contests, closely knit houses and kite-flying, with Red Fort and Jama Masjid alternatively peeping over the horizon. Sharma’s Old Delhi is rather about the old ghosts and new dreams which co-exist here so organically, one feeding off the other, one fuelling the other. It’s about men who make a living “making antique idols”, or keys for “90-year-old iron locks”; the men who hawk wooden snakes alternatively as “engineering craft” or “sexual toy” to hassled but polite foreigners; the lawyers who fix cases through skinny, knife-wielding boys barely standing upright; and cops who must find order amidst this all. It’s also about the women who find their way through this, giving back as good as they get.