Star Cast: Deepika Padukone, Vikrant Massey, Madhurjeet Sarghi, Ipshita Chakraborty
Director: Meghna Gulzar
What’s Good: Manages to move not only the human in you but also creates unrest to your physical stature while you’re watching the film, Deepika Padukone balances the performance smartly between emotional & disturbing
What’s Bad: When it ends, it leaves you with an incomplete feeling of how better it could’ve been & that’s not a good thing to exit with
Loo Break: Might tempt some but those who will enter knowing what the film is about will not need any
Watch or Not?: Watch it for Deepika Padukone’s performance & to gain some knowledge about certain traditional laws that make no sense
Revolving around the life of an acid-attack survivor Malti (Deepika Padukone), the story covers 13 years of her life. From the 12th grade when the incident happened to the hearing of her court case, we see the ups & downs of her life. It starts with Malti lookout for a job and bumping into Amol (Vikrant Massey). Amol runs an NGO named Chaaya who helps the acid-attack survivors.
Malti unites him in this cause and goes through the traces of her journey through the other survivors. She also gathers the courage of fighting for the PIL (Publish Interest Litigation) helmed by her for banning the open sale of acid. It’s all about what all she goes through with the fact that few drops of acid can’t take everything from her.
Chhapaak Movie Review: Script Analysis
Out of her two brilliant movies (Talvar, Raazi) before this Meghna hasn’t written any one of them solely. Talvar was Vishal Bhardwaj & Raazi’s story was from Harinder Sikka’s Calling Sehmat. Even in Chhapaak, she gets Atika Chohan (Margarita With A Straw, Waiting) on-board to help with the story & dialogues. She lays the base accurately managing the pace & is pretty successful till the first half. My immediate thought at the intermission point was – “Mostly everything is accomplished, what now?”
There are genuinely chilling moments that will force you to adjust your position. An interviewer ignoring to have food in front of Malti, someone labeling her ‘disabled’ & more such moments disturbs the human in you. I majorly have four problems with the script – sluggish courtroom sequences, Malti’s family was totally out of the focus, with the strong story comes the need for a strong climax & romantic angle works partially.
Chhapaak Movie Review: Star Performance
The character of Malti & the prosthetics required an actor who can normalise its complex traits. Deepika Padukone hits those levels at certain points. Meghna banks on her smile to lit up the screen & she’s pretty successful at it. Deepika successfully attains a huge task to maintain the balance between displaying the emotions and let her face do the talking.
Vikrant Massey gets a very half-baked character. He genuinely tries to fit in the story, but there’s no solid substance he could add during the major chunk of his screen-space. From the supporting cast, Madhurjeet Sarghi who plays the lawyer is phenomenal at what she does. Ipshita Chakraborty is brilliant in her cameo.
Chhapaak Movie Review: Direction, Music
Let’s just put it in this way – I expected this to be at least Raazi level if not Talvar but Meghna Gulzar misses the mark. It might be because of retaining the sensitivity to the subject, but a lot of things are missing. She had everything designed on the platter to cook a delicious meal but she messes up with the ingredients. Meghna chooses to end on a shocking note but that too missed the landing for me. After a hurried & predictable ending, Meghna takes an unconventional route to conclude the climax.
The movie takes the right decision to include just two songs but Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy fails to impress with the romantic track, Nok Jhok. The title track by Arijit Singh strikes all the right chords & it’s totally soul-moving. Background score goes unregistered & could’ve been better.
Chhapaak Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, Chhapaak makes a bold statement exposing the lenient punishment for the heinous crime of acid-attack. It manages to display the pain but defocuses attention through the journey of recovery. It stretches the disturbance!
Chhapaak releases on 10th January, 2020.
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