Film: "Chargesheet"; Cast: Dev Anand, Naseeruddin Shah, Jackie Shroff, Milind Gunaji, Divya Dutta and Devshi Khanduri; Director: Dev Anand; Rating: **
"Chargesheet" is a whodunit murder mystery from the renowned Navketan banner. Veteran actors on screen with legendary actor Dev Anand leading the list, naturally that is reason enough for anyone to go and watch the movie.
Set in the backdrop of the Bollywood-underworld nexus, Sultanbhai aka Naseeruddin Shah, an underworld don based in Dubai, loves his moll, a young babe, to distraction and to fulfil her desire to enter Bollywood, he commissions a film to be made just to launch her.
The team assembles in picturesque Mahabaleshwar. A well known director Mahesh (Jackie Shroff) and a scriptwriter (Milind Gunaji) are virtually on his payrolls and have to comply with his request of taking his beloved Maria as the heroine. Suraj, the current heartthrob, too has to agree.
Maria's entry spells an unceremonious exit for Mini Singh, the erstwhile reigning heroine (Divya Dutta). Annoyed with this ouster, she threatens to expose Mahesh and Suraj, who have obviously had good times with her. Both of them have ugly fights with her and leave. They realise she has to be eliminated and a plot to kill her is hatched.
Sultanbhai instructs his trusted lieutenant, the one-eyed KK to give supari to a local guy, Tony. Gambhir Singh, a retired cop, enters to meet Mini Singh, his former daughter-in-law Reema, who bid goodbye to her little daughter and husband for the arc-lights.
A heated argument ensues. He too threatens to kill her. Mini Singh is suddenly shot. The needle of suspicion points to all three.
Gambhir Singh is outraged as his integrity is questioned by a corrupt police inspector Dhamle (Yashpal Sharma) who has been bought over by the don. Dhamle manipulates the chargesheet and thus lets the filmi duo go scot free. Gambhir Singh appeals to the home minister to let him investigate the case in seven days else he is ready to be hanged in public.
The investigation drags and has Dev Saab in the forefront of course. Expectedly so, he solves the murder mystery and emerges as the real hero of the film. In any case, he is the only one who still retains his charm and style.
Divya Dutta does Mini Singh to perfection. The younger breed of new actors is sincere but leaves no impact. Cham Cham (Devshi Khanduri) has shades of Zeenat Aman of Dev Saab's Ishq Ishq Ishq with a guitar, short skirt etc. Yashpal Sharma as Dhamle is his usual self, a la "GangaaJal" kind of performance.
The treatment has old world sensibilities. The plot, though not predictable, is neither gripping nor is the music hummable. But unlike some of the movies made today, "Chargesheet" story and screenplay are good. With some literally titillating scenes liberally thrown in, this movie would definitely appeal to the mass front benchers. A must see if you have to.