Chameli 2003 movies review


Chameli (transl. Jasmine) is a 2004 Indian Hindi-language film. It stars Kareena Kapoor and Rahul Bose, and was directed by Anant Balani, who died before the film was complete; after his death, Sudhir Mishra directed the movie. The film was later remade as Jabilamma in Telugu with Navneet Kaur and Rajiv Kankala in lead roles.

Aman Kapoor (Rahul Bose) is a wealthy investment banker, whose pregnant wife, Neha (Rinkle Khanna) was killed in a car accident more than a decade ago. The incident has left him depressed and lonely. Forced to engage in social events, he reluctantly hosts a party. The stormy weather puts Aman in a pensive mood, and he decides to go home. While driving, his car breaks down on a flooded road and his cell phone battery dies. He takes refuge in an alleyway where he meets Chameli (Kareena Kapoor), a street-smart prostitute.

Chameli offers Aman a match for his cigarette, and he is initially repulsed by her after she propositions him. Aman’s presence scares off a potential customer, and he offers to pay for her missed wages, which Chameli declines. Soon, two police officers arrive, looking for their bribe. They begin to manhandle Chameli, which aggravates Aman, who is then intimidated by the officers. Chameli defuses the situation, and Aman’s attitude towards her softens after the pair begin a conversation about their lives.

The discussion is interrupted by Johnny, a young boy selling coffee and cigarettes. Chameli is familiar with him, paying his school fees and looking after his health. He promises to come back with a mechanic to fix Aman’s car. Chameli then attends to Raja, an unstable young man who has stolen Rs 50,000 from his father. Raja is in love with Haseena, and is convinced that she has run off to become a prostitute. Chameli consoles and advises him, and then takes him away. Haseena, a hijra/trans-woman, arrives and playfully propositions Aman. Chameli returns and advises Haseena to run away with Raja to another city with the money. Raja’s homophobic father turns up to look for them, but he leaves soon when he realises they are not there. Each incident further develops the friendship between Chameli and Aman.

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