• …was ready to sprint for the exit just so I didn’t have to endure another minute of this sloppy, misguided movie. Shabana Azmi and Juhi Chawla’s charming presence and sincere performances aside, this could well turn out to be one of the year’s most forgettable films.

  • Shubhra Gupta
    Shubhra Gupta
    Indian Express


    It is a subject that deserves a great deal of attention, but not in the way this Juhi Chawla, Shabana Azmi film does it.

  • Rohit Vats
    Rohit Vats
    Hindustan Times


    Chalk N Duster is a film worth your time. It’s fast, dramatic and meaningful. Simply put, a good watch.

  • Kusumita Das
    Kusumita Das
    Deccan Chronicle


    A little more finesse could have helped Chalk n Duster emerge a topper in the genre. With a subject like this, telling the story well was as important as telling it at all. Unfortunately, for now it better hide its report card.

  • Mistaking intent for quality, Chalk N Duster’s greatest drawback is that it tries to take the high moral ground without substantiating its material or projecting the least bit of depth…

  • …is the unkindest cut. If you have any respect for your teachers – past present or future – give this film a miss.

  • Meena Iyer
    Meena Iyer
    Times Of India


    The execution for the most part is clumsy. Yet somewhere in the second half, Gilatar redeems himself and the film. He touches on the importance of teachers in our lives and shows the apathy of the powers-that-are towards providing equal education opportunities.

  • The only lesson you learn is how the Indian film industry neglects veteran actresses such as Azmi and Chawla, and forces them to accept mediocre roles just to appear on the big screen again.

  • …is a dramedy that is high and on drama and some unintentional comedy.

  • …inspite of its obvious flaws, it’s still worth a watch. The quiz round towards the end is quite entertaining with his suspense. The scenes where Vidya teaches with care and concern in school and her neighbourhood are enlightening. Juhi Chawla as her solid friend is endearing. And although the scenes where the ex-students and students in general come to the help of Vidya when she is in hospital appear over-the-top, it still manages to strike a chord in you.

  • The director’s objective to bring forth the issues that teachers have been facing for decades now is laudable. But handling of such a subject evidently requires lot more finesse and depth.

  • Yes, ‘Chalk N Duster’ isn’t magical or earnest like Aamir’s works, or delightful like ‘Rockford’, or ‘Stanley Ke Dabba’. It slips into the category that has Shahid Kapoor’s ‘Paathshaala’.

  • Subhash K Jha
    Subhash K Jha


    Chalk ‘N’ Duster is not great cinema by any stretch of the imagination. It is often crude and unapologetic in its melodramatic pitch. But its heart is in the right place. It is a decent conscientious attempt to depict the bond between teachers and the taught. Shabana’s Vidya and Juhi’s Jyoti (vidya and jyoti, get it?) are more aspirational than real. There is irony there. Because the treatment of the subject is more street-play blunt than aspirational.

  • Manisha Lakhe
    Manisha Lakhe


    Although the movie has been made with the right premise in mind, and has an enviable cast, the shoddy execution makes it a terrible watch. You sit through it because it means well.

  • Tania Rana
    Tania Rana


    …picks a topic rarely explored by the film industry and shows the Indian education system in its current form. Watch it to get on a nostalgia trip remembering your teachers as well be presented with the reality of the education system today. 

  • Save a few good performances then, Chalk N Duster is just another story about honest, diligent workers vs. big, bad management; about the common man vs. the system. Other than the ‘education’ angle there is nothing new, which is a shame because this angle actually has a lot of scope to be novel. Especially when it was in the capable hands of Shabana Azmi, Juhi Chawla and Divya Dutta.

  • If you had been in a classroom, you may have found yourself looking for the nearest exit since the subject isn’t particularly riveting. But fortunately, the scenario isn’t so bad for a viewer, because this movie, featuring Shabana Azmi and Juhi Chawla, improves significantly in the second half. But be warned, the first half is a bore.

  • While the treatment is overdramatic and exaggerated, comparing tradition with modernity, the messages hit the right nerve.

  • Folded into the mess is a heartfelt message reminding viewers that teachers should not be taken for granted and should be accorded the respect and dignity they deserve. But the movie is too overwritten, shoddily produced and amateurishly performed to make its point convincingly. Of the cast, all of whom have been directed to act as broadly as possible, only Azmi makes a mark. The film’s report card: an A for effort, but with marks cut for general incompetence.