The theme of Crossroads or Chaurahen is very interesting because no matter where you are, whatever age you are at or whichever stage in your life you are, you would always find yourself being at one. Filmmaker Rajshree Ojha who was last known for her directorial venture Aisha, explores this theme and presents an adaptation of four short stories by eminent Hindi litterateur Nirmal Verma as Chaurahen.
Farouq Vacha (Ankur Khanna) is a writer who has troubles fighting with the skeletons of his past - the memories of his parents. He is willing to let go of his girlfriend Ira (Soha Ali Khan) but not the city which houses his parent's residence.
Dr. Bose, a 60-plus married Bengali man, played by Victor Bannerjee, develops an irresistible attraction to a foreigner played by Charlie Chaplin's grand-daughter Kiera.
Nandu (Karthik Kumar) is fighting his own battle. A homosexual, in a relationship with a foreigner from Viena, Nandu finds it really hard to confess this story to his parent's Nandakumar Nair (Arundhati Nag) and Mr. Nair (Nedumudi Venu) who are already dealing with the death of their other son Keshi (Shayan Munshi), a military soldier.
Rajshree Ojha for Chaurahen takes reference from four stories, Here And Hereafter, Last Summer, Such A Big Yearning, And The Man And The Girl. However, it's the representation of these short stories where she falters. Being her first works in filmmaking (as the film has been in the pipelines for four years), Chaurahen shows the amateurish approach towards filmmaker.
There are too many cuts and haphazard interlinks in the plot which almost leave you impatient in trying to understand what the filmmaker is trying to convey. The stories that run in parallel eventually come together in the last scene at the airport which has no relevance whatsoever and also is quite needless. The entire track of Zeenat Aman and Shayan Munshi could've been avoided.
What works for the film's favour is the subtlety involved in its making. Each and every city, Mumbai, Kolkota and even Kochin have their innate distinctive setting. Even the work on the background music is outstanding accentuating the culturally inclined attitude of the cities like Kolkota and Kochin.
The beauty of the film also comes around with the dialogues and the acting. There's heavy inspiration taken from Gulzar's verses including the poems used in the film. Even the performance of each and every actor is good.
Over all, Chaurahen falters in its narrative leaving too many unanswered questions in the cinegoers mind.