Chota Packet Bada Dhamaka

Name: Toolsidas Junior

Director: Mridul Mahendra

Year: 2022

Language: Hindi

Of late, there has been a surge in the number of movies showcasing and promoting sports. However, Toolsidas Junior explores the relationship between a son and father, which is based on a Snooker tournament. It is a simple story of a family in Calcutta set in 1994: A cool dad Mr. Toolsidas (late Rajiv Kapoor) who has just one failing, the sweet Mrs. Toolsidas and their teenaged sons Goti, who loves betting, and the younger Midi, who simply adores his dad. A brilliant snooker player, the father has a soft corner for Midi and for alcohol. The latter results in him never winning the annual Snooker tournament held at the Calcutta Club. This motivates Midi to take it upon himself to take a sweet revenge by putting his dad’s name on the champion’s board. How? By playing the game himself.

The movie is how Midi bonds with every character: his father, his bullying yet affectionate brother, his classmate Pia, his coach Salaam Bhai (former Snooker National champion) and most importantly with Snooker. Nothing can stop him from training for the sport, not traveling in the tram all by himself, not training at not-so elite YMC Wellington Club (where the winner is rewarded anda pav (egg bun), nor carrying luggage to make some money to pay for the training at the club. But the list doesn’t end there. However, Goti’s unflinching confidence in him and Midi’s efforts work wonders.

Each character has been beautifully written. Midi’s Dad is still loveable despite his weakness for alcohol. Jimmy Tandon (Dalip Tahil, a familiar villain figure) is the reigning Snooker champion who is snobbish and proud of his manipulating ways. Goti as the overbearing yet protective brother has gray shades too. Midi’s coach, Mohammad Salaam (better known as Salaam bhai) is a man who is passionate about the game, but was sadly bitten by the nepotism bug. The way he coaches Midi is very interesting. The different coloured balls have unique names(Pinkie, Kalia, etc.). The main shots are Amitabh ka chumma(Kiss), Rajinikanth ka kick, Mithun da ka maar, chamaat (tight slap) and so on. It comprises life lessons and game lessons. For example, Salaam bhai remarks that if a player is unable to pocket the pink-coloured ball, it’s ‘ladies’ problem’. Incidentally, Midi's slightly taller classmate Pia invites him to the carnival dance with him, which he turns down due to lack of confidence. Salaam gets him high-heeled shoes and a few words of motivation.

The movie leaves you feeling good about the whole experience. It’s a coming-of-age story of Midi. It’s a very personal account presented very beautifully by the director.

Janani Rajeswari is a freelance journalist who feels writing is a way of staying happy and positive. She teaches foreign languages. She also loves music, pets, books, movies, art and craft and learning new languages.

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