"Aam aadmi ki aatma jaag gayi hai..." says a corrupt official in the film and true that is. Suddenly everyone is singing songs about the "common man" and his travails (R. K. Laxman would've definitely been happy). Candle marches, fasts, protests and campaigns...suddenly we all seem to have risen up from our deep slumber. So maybe even Rumy Jaffrey woke up one fine day and said to himself, "Okay, since everyone is doing something and saying something about corruption, let me make a film on it..." and Voila- Gali Gali Chor Hai was thus made.
A common man, stuck in the political, governmental web of corruption and... That's all. Yes, that is all the movie is about. He doesn't fight back, he doesn't stand up for his rights (except when he takes out his anger by slapping the politician and the on-duty havaldar); in fact, each time he gets into trouble, he pays to get off the hook.
Akshaye Khanna plays the role of Mr. Bharat (Yes, Bharat, i.e. India... Bharat's problems, symbolic to India's problems...I guess, hence the name), the poor, middle-class, common man. Poor guy is under the evil eye of Lord Shani or maybe under the evil eye of the corrupt politician, or maybe both; or maybe he is simply that guy whose luck is always bad. His life is that of a trapped man in various problems of life. Firstly, his wife (Shriya Saran) is jealous of their Paying guest (Mugdha Godse) and wants her out (She is in the, "Ya toh mein rahungi, ya woh..." mood). Then, he has refused to give the outer room of his house to a politician for election, now they are after him and lastly, he has insulted some Sadhu (inviting that evil-eye). So basically the guy follows trouble and trouble follows him. The politician decides to take revenge and tries to rope him into some court-room matter. The matter is about a lost "table-fan"... Seriously! (Read: Lack of creativity for a more believable reason). What follows is the confusion that leads to, well, more confusion.
Apart from so many problems in his life, there is some Ramleela play going on, as one of the many tracks of the movie. It could've either been completely dropped or could've been used to draw parallels with today's world. But neither of the two is done.
The movie is absolutely absurd. Although the thought behind the movie is good, Rumy Jaffrey has simply failed to bring out the essence of the topic. The entire "anti-corruption" theme looks forced and it appears to be a movie which has been made just for the sake of it.
Akshaye Khanna is convincing and has given a sincere performance. Shriya Saran also has done a decent job and looks like an ideal wife. Mugdha Godse's character has no reason or rhyme and even though she barely has any role, she has done it poorly. Satish Kaushik is fine and the rest of the cast although is filled with really good actors, fails to rise beyond the mediocrity of the script. Veena Mallik's item song and her dance are downright cheap and vulgar (why don't people take offense at such songs and only target the ones that might create political upheaval, is beyond me).
The movie is every bit senseless. The topics of corruption, terrorism etc have been handled lightly almost making a joke out of them. Despite having a good star cast and a decent theme, the movie fails miserably to convince us of anything, let alone make us feel sympathetic towards poor Mr. Bharat.
Gali Gali Chor Hai is neither a movie about corruption, nor a tribute to anti-corruption. It is just a movie which is a pathetic joke on movies on corruption.