August 30, 2002 
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Chor Machaye Shor
Attack of the clones
Chor Machaaye Shor is filled with lookalikes

Priyanka Bhattacharya

A thief buries his loot on a construction site before getting arrested. When he returns from jail two years later, he discovers the new police headquarters has been built there -- with his stolen diamonds forming part of the foundation.

This is the basic premise of David Dhawan's latest offering Chor Machaaye Shor. Starring Bobby Deol, Shilpa Shetty, Bipasha Basu, Paresh Rawal, Om Puri and Shekhar Suman, Chor Machaaye Shor is a crazy ride all the way.

The moment Shyam (Bobby Deol) realises the whereabouts of his 30 crore bounty, he rechristens himself Inspector Ram and begins working at the police station. Soon enough, he finds favour with ACP Ranbir Singh (Paresh Rawal), much to the chagrin of Inspector Pande (Om Puri). To ward off the latter's growing suspicions about his true idenity, Ram weaves a tale of a hopelessly corrupt twin called Shyam. Golmaal anyone?
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Meanwhile, Ram romances Inspector Ranjita (Bipasha Basu) while Shyam dances around trees with the ACP's daughter, Komal (Shilpa Shetty).

Also in pursuit of the diamonds are Tito (Ashish Vidhyarthi) and Tony (Rajat Bedi) -- David Dhawan's much-favoured actors in the role of villains. Shekhar Suman, who plays seven random roles in the film, is especially commendable as Bobby's mother.

What happens next? Does Shyam retrieve his diamonds before he is caught red-handed? What happens to Inspector Ranjita and Komal?

Complicating matters further is Dhawan's fetish for twins in the film. Almost every major character seems to have one. For no apparent reason, we have a Tamil speaking dance master (Paresh Rawal) and Punjabi truck driver (Om Puri). Which does make it one twin too many to handle.

The movie is full of absurdities, inanities and clichιs but Dhawan still manages to raise a few laughs.

Anu Malik's music, though is a different tale altogether. Coupled with lyrics like Mera dil toh Pali Hill hai and Kaan ke neeche bajaa daloonga it only serves to make you cringe.Bobby Deol and Shekhar Suman in CMS

If Chor Machaaye Shors has one strong point, it is the performance of its cast. Not only do versatile actors like Paresh Rawal and Om Puri steal the show, even Bobby Deol displays great comic timing in an uninhibited performance.

Sadly, Shekhar Suman, despite -- or maybe because of -- his seven characters tends to go overboard.

Actresses Bipasha Basu and Shilpa Shetty do not have substantial roles. The leggy duo in fact, are simply required to look glamourous, and dance to a few tunes.

Chor Machaaye Shor is a typical Bollywood masala potboiler with fun, romance, music and mandatory dishum-dishum. But if you are attuned to and enjoy David Dhawan's brand of humour, then this one is a barrel of laughs.

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