Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Chakravyuh- a story of no comebacks.

I have always liked #Prakash Jha for his attempts to raise the social issues and examine the contemporary political milieu in his films. He blossomed into direction with the hard hitting Daamul and then gave us such wonderful movies like Mrityudand,Gangaajal, Apharan etc, all dealing with socio-political themes. With the superhit Rajneeti and then the lukewarm Arakshan, he seemed to have made the
 necessary adjustments with the demands of commercial Bollywood setup and diluted a lot on the sharpness of his commentary on the issues he raised on celluloid. But he had gained a lot on the other aspects of filmmaking and production value, no doubt.

It is thus with some trepidation and prejudice that I entered the theatre on the Vijaya Dashami evening to watch his latest offering #Chakravyuh and from the initial information gathered about the movie, I had already put its story as a cross between Namakharam(Beckett) by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Ravaan by Mani Ratnam and Drohkaal by Govind Nihalani.

As the story unfolded my anticipation about it was proved correct . The storyline is based on the much used Beckett syndrome as was done in Namakharam and had small traces of the other two movies. But that does nort take away any credit from Prakash Jha for his presentation of a good movie as he addresses the issue as an impartial observer without taking sides.

Why is the film not excellent. Well let me tell you the reasons. Firstly the movie is too long and could have been edited by about 20 minutes shorter. Secondly the heroine Eesha Gupta is totally misfit and a bad choice. She spoils every scene which she is in and that includes the climax. This also points out to the dearth of good actresses in Bollywood. Not all roles can be played by Vidya , Kareena or Priyanka. For an athletic looking heroine as needed for this role of a lady IPS officer, someone like Neha Dhupia would have been a good choice if not some better stage actress from NSD.

Thirdly Arjun Rampal even after taking much pains to suit the role he plays could not come out of his heavily urban accent which was jarring . But one should give due credit to him for taking all the pains for the physical part of acting. As long as he does not speak the dialogues , he fits the role to a tee. Fourthly there was no need for the item number by Sameera Reddy for its titillation value.

After the negatives let me point out the positives which redeems the movie from being another run of the mill Bollywood fare as dished out in numerous movies where the oppressed versus state (police) has been depicted ad nauseum. The best feature of the movie is , as I said earlier an unbiased presentation of the story. The first half of the movie follows a somewhat documentary format whereas the tempo and the drama picks up in the second half. The action scenes are very good and the night scenes stand out. Also the location totally matches the story and serves as the perfect backdrop to deliver the message. The camerawork is also superb. Production value is of a high order and some scenes are better than Hollywood movies. The honest efforts by the director to make things believable to the best possible extent is apparent

Inspite of a predictable climax once the storyline is more or less fixed on the lines of the police mole who has a change of heart and becomes a renegade and a not so tight screenplay, the director shows touches of his creative brilliance in making some scenes speak for itself. He is ably supported by the acting of the entire crew other than the aforesaid two mentioned earlier. #Abhay Deol with his underacting is superb and #Manoj Vajpayee has done a great job as the revolutionary leader, once again. But the surprise package is #Anjali Patil , who gives a powerpacked performance. Om Purie has played such parts many times earlier.

But the biggest positive of the movie is the human touch which the director has given to the story which will make the audience think. To generations of Indians being fed on the pseudo nationalism and fake patriotism glorifying the state, the director tries to expose some hard hitting truths. The questions raised in the movie remains unanswered and will probably remain so because we are actually afraid to know the answers. Till then there will be many more insurgencies, the state oppression will shed blood of its own citizens, the police and the forces will be used against the poor and the oppressed and they will in turn also lose their lives in defending the mistaken notion of patriotism at the behest of politicians who are nothing but hand maidens of the rich and the corporates .

The movie is a good watch but not good fun . It will entertain to a certain extent but will also make you uneasy at some points. You will not come out of the hall with a clear conscience. But still I liked the movie. And I recommend it to people who would put content and message above simple entertainment.

No comments:

Post a Comment