Chhapaak Review: This Acid Attack Survival Tale Fails to Rise Above the Messaging

Chhapaak Rating:  ⭐️⭐️ ½

Chhapaak  Director: Meghna Gulzar

Chhapaak  Cast: Deepika Padukone, Vikrant Massey, Madhurjeet Sarghi, Vishal Dahiya, etc.

 

Chhapaak Review: Meghna Gulzar made her Bollywood debut (as screenwriter) long back in 1999 with Sunil Shetty and Tabu starrer Hu Tu Tu directed by her father Gulzar. However, she received name and fame through the critically acclaimed Talvar, which bagged her Filmfare award for Best Film. But Raazi (2018), a patriotic thriller, established her as a promising director in the Hindi Film Industry.

Now, she has come up with Chhapaak, which is a biopic of an acid-attack survivor  Lakshmi Agarwal. Would Meghna be able to create the same magic she did with Raazi or not, let’s dissect in this Chhapaak review.

Story

Malti (Deepika) is a happy go-lucky girl despite belonging to a lower middle-class family and loves a boy, but one of her family friends Basheer Shaikh aka Babbu (Vishal Dahiya) also loves her. He loses his calm when her affair is revealed to him. Eventually, he throws acid on Malti’s face as a revenge of not accepting his amorous proposal. Though, Malti survives, but her face is completely damaged so her life and dreams. However, having a great will to start afresh, she joins an NGO where she meets Amol (Vikrant Massey).

Screenplay and Dialogues

Penned by Meghan Gulzar with co-writer Atika Chohan, the biggest backdrop of their writing is Chhapaak hardly touches your heart; therefore, fails to move you. In such a story where the lead is a victim, this fact should evoke certain kinds of deep and natural emotions otherwise you do not connect with the character at all. All this is possible when the writer/s should feel those emotions to inscribe it more powerfully on the screen. Moreover, the film seems very preachy at times and that reduces its entire charm.

Dialogues have been kept as real as possible, yet they lack novelty. Some of them even make no sense at all. They could have been more creative and influential.

Chhapaak review

Direction

Alike Meghna’s screenplay, her direction has flaws too otherwise Chhapaak could have been a remarkable tale. As mentioned earlier, she probably failed to connect with the victim and so with what she went through. In addition, Meghna and Atika seem to focus more on messaging, which further turns out to be very preachy and reduces the whole impact.

For instance, when Malti files a PIL again open sale of acid, the Supreme Court of India orders it to curb. It’s a win for Malti even if it’s small, but Amol discourages her.  Meghna leaves the audience wonder why such scenes have even been written at first.

Performances

Deepika Padukone stuns you as Malti. Though the director could not connect with her character, Deepika takes the charge and enters the skin of Malti’s character. She portrays all her emotions well. Vikrant Massey also does a superb job as an NGO worker.  Madhurjeet Sarghi as Archana Bajaj does a fine job as Malti’s Lawyer.

Music

Though, all songs go well with the mood of the film, but the title song is the most lovable. You will really the lyrics backed with some absolutely intriguing melody by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.  Background music could have been better.

Why Should You Watch?

Go for it if you are a Deepika Padukone fan because her acting is as powerful as Malti’s (Lakshmi) will power to kick off a new beginning.

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