A boy falling in love with a girl and conning his way into her heart through lies
and some misleading is the norm of the day. Both in real and in reel life. And
when she pulls him up for cheating on her, there is the old excuse that everything
is fair in love and war. There is no sign of remorse. That's the theme and the
spirit of Cheli.
Rajesh (Madhavan), a software engineer, is a cool guy whose only pastime is making fun of people and drowning himself in booze with friends at the end of the day. Women are not his cup of tea and so he keeps an arm's length from them. But when he sees Reena Joseph (Reema Sen) dancing with kids on a rainy day, he loses his heart to her.
He manages to find her address and comes to know that she is already engaged to Rajeev Samuel (Abbas), a software engineer in the US. Since Reena hasn't seen him, Rajesh impersonates as Rajeev and manages to worm his way into her heart. But soon, of course, Samuel is back.
Cheli is a musical entertainer and the first half of the film moves effortlessly with some good comedy from Madhavan and his gang. But the tempo sags in the second half as the film reaches its expected conclusion. Reema Sen as the female lead, petite and demure, puts in a wonderful performance. The little girl of Chitram has really grown up and there is a bright future ahead for her. Madhavan too plays his part well, and since he corners the lion's share, Abbas has little to do except for bearing the brunt of Madhavan's pranks initially and Reema's coldness later. There are some good numbers, drowned in the music, but which have been choreographed well.
All said and conned, despite taking the clichéd route, the flick is still a pleasure to watch. More for the simple story-telling and infectious humor than anything else.