What do you do when you run out excellent ideas? Well, you try to look for some hit ideas that worked in the past and modify it and then you have this freshly baked new old concept. Confused? That is exactly what the directors are now trying to do with their audience. When they run out of creativity they try to look back into the past and revive some old concepts that have worked, but nothing works if the execution is not right. Chala Mussaddi Office Office is the new wine in old bottle and it is completely inspired from the popular sitcom Office Office that had Pankaj Kapoor in the lead role. Director Rajiv Mehra must be thoroughly impressed with the sitcom and therefore he decides to take the laughter of sitcom on bigger screen.
The movie revolves around Mussaddi Lal (Pankaj Kapoor) who loses his wife due to kidney failure and also because of his ignorance and negligence and pea size intellect. Soon, he decides to take off for a pilgrimage with his son Bunty, but when he returns he finds that his monthly pension has been stopped. On approaching the government officials to find the reason he is informed that he is dead as per their records and to continue the pension he needs to show the proof that he is alive. Writer Ashwini Dhir takes the concept of exploitation of common man by government officers and the bureaucratic system and transforms it into full fledge movie but impresses only in bits and pieces.
Apart from the main theme the entire concept of the movie remains close to the original TV series. Hence, in some way it feels like you are watching the entire TV series in one go. The government officials are the same as they were in TV series. Hemant Gupta reprises his role of Pandey, Manoj Pahwa plays Bhatia, Deven Bhojani plays Patel, Sanjay Shukla plays his role as Shukla and Asawari Joshi plays Usha in the movie. The good thing about the movie is that the crew has stuck to the basics of what the theme is and that might attract some audiences. However, the bad part is that some scenes are overly done in order to stretch the time limit and to fit the mini TV series into full fledge movie.
To some extent people may find similarities between Chala Mussaddi and Well Done Abba. However, Well Done Abba was far better and superior compare to Chala Mussaddi because Shyam Benegal had a great concept of how to weave an interesting dark comedy around the characters which would make the audience laugh even when the character would have deeper problems. The climax of the movie is a disappointment and Rajiv Mehra fails to execute it intelligently which ruins the fun towards the end. Chala Mussaddi Office Office has not received good ratings from many critics because it’s a straightaway lift of the TV series and there is no originality in the script. Even those who enjoyed Office Office on their TV sets would not find this full fledge version interesting.