Chhapaak, Movie Review: Deepika Padukone Shines In This Slow, But Impactful Film

Deepika Padukone delivers a very sensitive performance in her most important film till date

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Chhapaak, Movie Review: Deepika Padukone Shines In This Slow, But Impactful Film
chhapaak
Well, well, well... like always, I won't beat around the bush. I expected this one would be a 4.5 for me but it has turned out to be a 3.5 (you have seen the golden shades above and added them). Now, you want to know why.

Okay, so I have come out from the theatre bowled over by the second half and largely the climax and I will bring forth the grey areas soon. The long and short of Chhapaak is that it has several moments which are praiseworthy, but it should have been more engaging.

Vikrant Massey is fine- neat and sincere. Cast perfectly. I liked the way Deepika finally ends his frustrations to tell him that she loves him but silently. Watch her in that scene, you just don't want it to end. 

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Watch her in the scene wherein she's shown as the beautiful Deepika that we know- that lovely mango-coloured dress just multiplied her radiance. Watch her in the very next scene donning a school girl outfit; she so looks much the part. 

Watch her in the scene where she gives an interview to Vikrant in camera. Watch her where she gives her first statement to the police which cannot be comprehended. Watch her when she sees herself in the mirror the first time after the acid-attack. 

Miss Padukone is a brilliant actor- so effervescent, so emotive! Koi shaque?

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Meghna Gulzar pulls all her swords out. The erstwhile daughter of Gulzar saab has put her heart and soul in the film and you can make out that she can feel the pain that young girls go through when acid-attacked. It is obviously something that she could not avoid feeling, while making a film on such a sensitive subject. But, perhaps that's the reason why a flip side develops to this celluloid version of the acid-splash on Laxmi Agarwal. 

The focus often tends to drift to discuss acid-attack tragedies and their survivors in general and Deepika is only a part of them. What I am saying here's that the jockey can't keep the horse (the film's protagonist) way behind for too long in a race and expect him to burst on the scene only when the winning post is drawing near. That Meghna's capable hands and Deepika's brilliant acting talent manage to do so, is another story. 

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It is clear that Chhapaak has not been an easy film to pull it off for the lack of material that Meghna had on Laxmi. The fact that the story is devoid of layers just validates that Meghna did not have a lot from Laxmi. It's not a Laxmi biopic (as Deepika told me in my interview) alright, but--- I would've loved to see a lot more on her relationship front with her school friend and her fleeting moments with the culprit(s) before the interval. Even on the investigation front, for that matter.  

Also, why has the point that Laxmi's acid attack was more heinous because it was a woman who splashed acid on her not been emphasised? Didn't you miss that, Meghna? 



All said and done, why is still acid available so easily in India, when we know the umpteen tragedies of scarring girls has been a common phenomena in our country, especially since 2013? Meghna ends her 123-minute film with just this hard-hitting question and when you walk out down the escalator of the plex, you realise that she has compensated quite a bit for the unimpressive first half.

Chhapaak is not Raazi. Comparisons are unfair but inevitable.

I am going with THREE-and-HALF.


Image Source:- youtube/foxstarhindi/instagram/deepikapadukone
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