Director: Rumy Jafry
What’s Good: It has few very good performances but not all of them work in a way they should’ve to make this a decent final product
What’s Bad: A very interesting concept has been narrowed to add unnecessary drama toning down the desired feel of the story
Loo Break: Just as life, the second half of this film is full of opportunities (for a loo break)
Watch or Not?: Try, if you can get out before the film slides into the land of
Somewhere in North India, passing through a very make-believe snowfall, we enter a very manor-like house with Sameer Mehra (Emraan Hashmi). Due to the freakish arctic weather, Sameer finds no option but to stay in the house with a couple of retired lawyers, a retired judge, a mysterious caretaker and some ‘if a serial killer had a face’ person. What do you expect to do for fun amid such law-loving people? Mock trial, Of course!
Lateef Zaidi (Amitabh Bachchan) invited Sameer to be a part of a trial around his real life. An extremely confident Sameer jumps in with Paramjeet Singh Bhuller (Annu Kapoor) representing him against Lateef in the absence of Justice Jagdish Acharya (Dhritiman Chatterjee). How this mock trial turns into a serious one & what is Sameer really hiding is what the film is all about.
Chehre Movie Review: Script Analysis
Ranjit Kapoor’s story is divided into two major halves and only of them manages to hold the intrigue. The first portion of the script tries too hard to instil Quentin Tarantino’s ‘The Hateful Eight’ and no this isn’t the problematic half of the film. This is the interesting one in which a stranger crashes into an unknown bungalow filled with smart yet shady strangers. You are into the narrative about what they’re going to do with this (yet) innocent, smart & successful businessman.
But, that’s it, that’s where the good part ends because what happens next (in the second half) comes like a whirlwind for the beautiful house of cards set in the first half. The flashback sequences unveiling Emraan Hashmi’s personal life is the problematic second half you all have been waiting to know about. Those portions remind you so much of Emraan Hashmi murder dramas but poorly executed. This is where ‘a boring, predictable film’ in ‘what seemed to be a smart film’ starts bothering the viewer.
I could go on for many minutes to talk about how uninspiring the CGI of this film is. From a distinctly artificial-looking snowfall to an outright bizarre VFXised version of Rhea Chakraborty’s hands, there’s a lot of things going wrong in this particular department. This also hampers the climax involving an avalanche/ice-break accident including a certain character, and it looks nowhere close to reality. The final impact could’ve been way better if the film would’ve been ended in the house.
Chehre Movie Review: Star Performance
There are hardly any flaws performance-wise because of involving legendary artists such as Amitabh Bachchan, Annu Kapoor. Emraan Hashmi stands out despite the film being heavy-on-dialogues, which isn’t quite his strong forte. His natural charm and the ‘serial kisser’ (which he ironically wants to get rid of) actually backs the cockiness of his character. From a wicked smile to the confidence of maintaining the act helps him to face the stalwarts dropping soupy lines.
Amitabh Bachchan’s quest of experimenting with his characters continues but it doesn’t land as expected this time. Instead of an altogether different character like in 102 Not Out, this one has some shades from Pink and others from Badla. His character follows an interesting Sherlockian method of deduction but unfortunately, it’s rarely used.
Annu Kapoor delivers a rock-solid performance backed strongly by his trademarked eccentric dialogue delivery. His character is used to contradict Amitabh’s and it’s performed equally well by Kapoor Sahab. Rhea Chakraborty hams at places but is subtle overall. The character (Aana) she plays is a difficult one to handle but she manages to sail through despite some flaws.
I wished to see more of Raghubir Yadav as his role of ‘Jalaad’ had a boatload of potential to add eccentricity. He’s instead used too little to make any impact. Krystle D’Souza adds the required oomph but she lands in the taxing portions of the movie. Despite that, she showcases an earnest act if you minus the happenings around her character. Dhritiman Chatterjee is just about okay, not because he has acted averagely but his role is written in an uninteresting manner.
Chehre Movie Review: Direction, Music
A fun fact – Sequel before the original?
Director Rumy Jafry has written a film called ‘2 Chehre’ (Suniel Shetty, Shatrughan Sinha) way before directing Chehre (2015). Of course, it’s not a sequel and just a fun coincidence. Regarding his current directorial, Rumy gets stuck in directing two films in one. As already mentioned above, the other boring one takes you back to the vintage ‘sleeping with boss’ wife’ murder dramas. If Rumy could’ve found a way to keep everything in the house focusing just on dialogues, Chehre had a high chance of ending up as a memorable film.
Clinton Cerejo’s background score gives no room to complain about anything as it fits in perfectly with the proceedings. It’s overqualified & doesn’t let you feel the lousy shift in the narrative. Thankfully, there were just two songs in the film because none of them develops any kind of connection.
Chehre Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, Chehre could’ve easily been recognised as a film coming from the school of movies like Aamir, Table No 21, Pink, Badla and even Article 15 (to some extent, but its structure lacks two major things all of the above films had – ‘a good second & third act’. A good yet misdirected attempt!
Two and a half stars!
Chehre releases on 26th August, 2021.
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