Chutney – Short Film – Review

Chutney - Poster

Revenge is best served with Chutney

‘Chutney’ – Synopsis

Everyone we meet has a public face. The one they allow us to see. What if there is another side? A side so dark that it would make our souls shudder…? The film peeps into the seemingly moral world of the great Indian Middle Class with its new aspirations of imported cars and ‘organic food’. With satire as a narrative, here is a voyeuristic look into these relationships and the dark secrets hidden while casually going about ‘normal’ everyday lives. – IMDb

Native and/or alternate titles: चटनी
Year: 2016
Country: India
Language: Hindi
Genre: Drama
Director: Jyoti Kapur Das
Writer: Jyoti Kapur Das, Tisca Chopra
Cast: Tisca Chopra, Rasika Dugal, Sumit Gulati, Adil Hussain, Aakash Bhardwaj, Devesh Ranjan


‘Chutney’ – Review

Chutney – A spicy relish or sauce composed of various condiments, fruits or vegetables mixed together in a blend or grind.

It’s Tisca Chopra again! And she is better than ever~

At first, when I started the video I couldn’t even recognize Tisca for almost a whole minute! She truly embodied her character so well. Although as the story was progressing I felt that this story is really redundant as it seemed to be moving along the same lines as Chhuri (we saw Chhuri before Chutney) but this feeling disappeared very quickly.

Tisca Chopra - Chutney
The plain Jane Anita

Anita (Tisca) is living in the ‘modern’ neighbourhood of model town but she is often ridiculed (behind her back obviously) and sometimes even looked down upon because she is from a more rural township of Ghaziabad. She is the mirror image of an obedient and diligent housewife but does not meet the traditional standards of outer beauty. This often causes the other housewives in the neighbourhood to constantly gossip about her and treat her like she (Anita) is inferior to them.

Anita’s husband is having an affair with one of these neighbourhood wives. This adulteress (Rasika) looks down on Anita because she dresses ‘posh’, acts ‘refined’ and is pretty. She even has the audacity to openly flirt with Anita’s husband right in front of her eyes and not even feel ashamed or guilty about it. Rasika probably feels empowered by the fact that Anita is a simpleton and either would not notice anything or will not do anything. Maybe even assumes the both about Anita.

Adil Hussain - Rasika Dugal - Chutney
Rasika openly flirting with Anita’s husband at a party

In the story Rasika accidently gets herself invited to Anita’s house for cooking lessons. But when Rasika reaches Anita’s house the next day, she hears something so which she can’t unhear and sends chills down her spine. Anita tells a story. A story about her previous house help – Bhola, his wife and Bhola’s sudden disappearance. It’s a tale about adultery and its consequences. But more than that it is an indirect warning to Rasika to not consider her a helpless village girl and to keep her hands off her husband.

Everyone thought Anita to be meek and diligent, not knowing the ways of the world simply because she was from a small town. She didn’t dress fancy and definitely did not stand out in any way. She was very ordinary, almost invisible in most people’s eyes. In an interview Tisca mentioned that she wanted to know whether the everyday, average and ordinary people whom you see in the streets or on the roads, do they have a story? Well, Tisca really showed us through this film that looks can be deceiving. No one can say whether the story that Anita told is real or made-up but it is not something that Rasika or anyone would like to put to the test.

Shock and horror on Rasika and Munna’s (househelp) face after Anita finishes her story

But why is the name of the movie Chutney? Because ‘in Ghaziabad people don’t throw anything away, any garbage (bio-degradable) is not thrown but buried in the soil, it enriches the soil’. This seems like a fairly innocuous line but is the whole basis of the movie. After Rasika tastes the delicious chutney, she asks for the recipe which is the gateway for Anita to begin her morbid story.

The sheer detailing which has been considered in the movie is stunning. The team behind Chutney has really done a brilliant job in bringing refreshing reality to the movie set from the set, costume and appearance to the acting.


The acting is beyond perfect for me. It felt so real, as if I was experiencing the entire scenario rather than watching it. Every minor and major part was played to a perfection. But the biggest credit has to go to Tisca Chopra. She transformed herself for the role and her dialogue deliver gave me goose bumps. The narration of the story-built suspense and maintained a sense of curiosity and excitement. It was phenomenal to say the least. Tisca Chopra furthermore deserves a standing ovation because not only was her acting par brilliant but she has also co-written and produced the film. Considering this is a short film, the character and story development were exquisite and very well written and put together.

Chutney is a movie which leaves you feeling an array of emotions and packs a powerful punch in a very short span of time.

But the question remains whether the story is true or not? But lets not forget that in the very beginning of the film, one of the wives said that she has known Anita for a long time, and she cooks a lot of tales…

Have you seen ‘Chutney’? What do you think about it? Comment below! If you have not seen it then watch it on YouTube…

About Poornima

A Korea-phile by nature~ Love everything Asian and originally from India. Also, know a little bit of Korean and Chinese. Pleasure to meet you all who share my love for everything Asian - Dramas, Movies and more <3

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Maniparna Sengupta Majumder
Guest

I’m going to watch this movie, tonight. Thanks for the recommendation and a great review.

Mit
Admin

Totally agree that the acting in this film was beyond perfect!

kalpanaa
Guest

I watched this movie a while back and got the chills from it.