‘Atkan Chatkan’ film review: Concoction of old tunes


Lydian Nadhaswaram makes a solid debut and ‘Drums’ Sivamani’s soul-lifting tunes are worth checking out, but ‘Atkan Chatkan’ falls flat due to the lack of drama in its storyline

There is a universal appeal about a rags-to-riches story; there is enough drama at the outset for the majority audience to find resonance with such tales.

The issue with modern-day filmmakers conceptualising a script on this theme is that so many have tried it before to varied degrees of success that such films infuse an instant feeling of déjà vu. Some try the ‘old wine in a new bottle’ trick, and depending on the filmmaker’s luck, it could be jackpot or bust!

Atkan Chatkan is also marketed in a new bottle; the sticking point is that filmmaker Shiv Hare seems to have mixed up his spirits before pouring it.

The story follows Guddu (Lydian Nadhaswaram) and his friends Chuttan (Sachin Chaudhary), Madhav (Yash Rane) and Meethi (Tamanna Dipak).

Atkan Chatkan cast and crew

  • Director: Shiv Hare
  • Cast: Lydian Nadhaswaram, Sachin Chaudhary, Yash Rane, Aayesha Vindhara, Tamanna Dipak
  • Storyline: A group of street kids overcome the odds to learn and play music

A sequence of events bring the four of them together; the quartet find their sync in music. They produce beats out of anything they touch and this brings them into the limelight. But there are hurdles to jump before success can come to them.

Lydian Nadhaswaram, the boy wonder pianist, plays the role of an aspiring percussionist with maturity. Acting may not be his strongest suit, but he is confident enough to rise to the challenge and puts on a solid show as Guddu.

Drums Sivamani’s musical score is as impressive as one can expect in a musical feature. It is the backbone of the film’s narrative, gently nudging the story along and ably filling up for the emotion that is absent in the script due to weak writing.

Case in point about inefficient writing: tokenism could have been avoided. Like a group of elite students who don’t like the street kids getting attention playing the token villains. These students work out the worst possible plot villainy: bribing the kids’ guardian to lock them up and breaking their makeshift percussion instruments. There is also a random tale of a long lost mother woven into the mix.

However, Atkan Chatkan does have its high points… like the scene where Guddu and his little sister listen to the different sounds they hear as they fall asleep.

But it fails to dwell on the many dramatic plot points spread throughout the narrative. The film meanders into the second half, attempting to work crisis torn adults into the mix, when instead focussing on building more drama around the story’s protagonists would have been the wiser choice.

Its unique background composition that relies heavily on percussion makes Atkan Chatkan an interesting watch. However, the film stops short of being a musical journey par excellence. The fault for it lies with the pen and not the drumsticks.

‘Atkan Chatkan’ is streaming on Zee5

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