By Tracy Moore,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Uplifting tale of friendship may challenge attention spans.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Chillar Party knocks it out of the park on positive messages that center around tolerance, compassion, empathy, open-mindedness, friendship, and most importantly, fighting for what you believe in. To that end, there are additional lessons about the worthiness of struggle and the importance of not surrendering in a good fight when the course becomes difficult. It also illustrates that powerless people -- in this case, children -- can be a formidable force for positive change.
Positive Role Models
The children in Chillar Party are remarkable examples of compassion and positivity. The adults are initially peripheral and largely disciplinarian, but come to see their children as more complex and whole individuals who stand up for issues that matter to them, and they support them admirably in this effort.
Violence & Scariness
The movie contains no violence, but there is one difficult scene early in the film where a child finds his beloved dog locked in a car and cries frantically when he cannot free him. One of the main children is homeless, which may disturb some young viewers.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There is a brief scene of a young boy dancing naked with private parts blurred out. In a later significant scene, throngs of young children march in their underwear as a form of protest.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
In one very brief scene, adults appear to consume alcohol responsibly at a dance party.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Chillar Party is an incredibly uplifting, well-made subtitled film that features a fairly quickly resolved but difficult to watch scene where a young child is distraught when he finds his dog locked in a car (with no windows down) and cannot free him. Additionally, at just over two hours running time, the film may be a challenging length for some kids, particularly beginning readers, but it rewards your commitment with a big payoff. The central child character's homelessness may also be upsetting to sensitive viewers.
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Where to Watch
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What's the Story?
In CHILLAR PARTY, a group of neighborhood kids in an Indian colony befriend a homeless kid and his dog, Buddy. But when the Minister of Welfare makes eradicating stray dogs his cause du jour in a self-serving publicity grab, the children have to decide how far they are willing to go to fight for what they believe in to keep Buddy in the neighborhood. Along the way, the kids, their parents, and their entire community must learn some lessons about open-mindedness, tolerance, and most importantly, what it really means to stand up for a fellow friend.
Is It Any Good?
The film is a funny, heartwarming, sad, and triumphant look at the fighting spirit of children. It also examines the way adults often forget that they're whole people with their own concerns, worries, and existential questions. There's a song lyric in Chillar Party that aptly sums up the heart of the movie: If ants take a united stand, they can even scare an elephant.
If kids are game for reading subtitles, they will appreciate the relatable humor, pranks, and kicks of these neighborhood boys carving out territory and learning compassion. And parents will appreciate the positive messages about community, friendship, and activism presented here. The only drawback to such a well-crafted and moving story is that at 130 minutes, it could be a challenge for younger viewers to finish. That said, the swift pacing almost makes you forget the length, and the takeaway is worth it.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about what it's like to fight for a cause that you believe in, like the characters do in Chillar Party. What are the challenges? What are the rewards? Have you ever stood up for someone or something you felt didn't get a fair shake? What happened?
The film shows the importance of being open minded about people and not judging them merely based on appearances. Have you ever been judged because of where you live or how you look? How did it feel? How did you handle it?
Go online to learn what families can do to help prevent the epidemic of stray dogs from worsening, by volunteering at shelters, adopting animals who have been abandoned, or becoming educated about spaying and neutering pets.
Fatka is homeless in the movie and must live in an abandoned car in the neighborhood, circumstances that are unfortunately all too real for many children in the world. Read online or visit a shelter to learn what you can do to help homeless children in your city.
How do the characters in Chillar Party demonstrate compassion and empathy? Why are these important character strengths?
- On DVD or streaming: August 23, 2011
- Cast: Irrfan Khan, Rohan Grover, Sanath Menon
- Director: Vikas Bahl
- Studio: UTV Spot Boy
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Cats, Dogs, and Mice
- Character Strengths: Compassion, Empathy
- Run time: 130 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 17, 2023
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