Chhapaak Movie Review: Deepika Padukone and Meghna Gulzar's film is worth the time and money

Chhapaak Movie Review: The story of the Laxmi Agarwal, the acid attack survivor, will remain an essential chapter in Deepika Padukone’s film career, both as an actor and producer.

Updated on Jan 10, 2020 04:51 PM IST  |  4.4M
Chhapaak Movie Review: Deepika Padukone and Meghna Gulzar's film is worth the time and money
Chhapaak Movie Review: Deepika Padukone and Meghna Gulzar's film is worth the time and money
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Movie Name: Chhapaak

Chhapaak Cast: Deepika Padukone, Vikrant Massey

Chhapaak Director: Meghna Gulzar

Chhapaak Stars: 3/5

We live in a time where any movement worth remembering needs a Bollywood script to brush the dust off the forgotten struggles and crimes that continue to plague the society. Deepika Padukone and Meghna Gulzar’s Chhapaak captures one such long battle of Laxmi Agarwal, the acid attack survivor and campaigner of the rights of acid attack victims.
For those who have still not caught up, Laxmi Agarwal was 15 when she declined the love interest of a 32-year-old man named Naeem Khan. He threw acid on Laxmi’s face for refusing him, destroying her face, but not her will. Thereon began her struggle to fight for the rights of the victims and file a PIL in the apex court to ban over-the-counter sale of acid.

In Meghna’s script, a 19-year-old girl named as Malti (Deepika Padukone), a young aspiring singer, gets attacked by Bashir Khan with acid. Bashir is a family friend and fondly called as Bashir ‘bhaiya’ by Malti. Despite undergoing multiple surgeries, she struggles to find a job to support her family and is constantly reminded that a face is necessary to make the society face you. Post the traumatic turns of events, Malti decides that just being a survivor isn’t enough. She gets support and love from Amol (Vikrant Massey) who runs an NGO for acid attack survivors.

ALSO READ: Chhapaak screening: Deepika Padukone looks enthralling in red; Vikrant Massey suits up for the event

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Whether you are a Deepika Padukone fan or not doesn't matter for she deserves accolades not just for acting in Chhapaak but also producing a film which many might have not even dared to make. De-glam is a risk that not many actors wish to take at the peak of their career. Usually, challenging scripts and roles are often used to provide thrust in the downward cyclical career graphs. Deepika should be given credit for taking up an inspiring story and a challenging role that will be a defining moment her film career – both as a producer and an actor.

Vikrant Massey handles his role with ease and fits in perfectly. The intensity and honesty with which he performs are both conspicuous and infectious. His chemistry with Deepika is natural and soothing. Madhurjeet Sarghi, who plays the role of a lawyer, plays his part well and ensures the courtroom scenes are devoid of unnecessary dramatisation. The realisation of how acid attack victims are made to relive this horror every day by society is heart-wrenching. Dialogues such as, "Acid cold drink se sasta bikta hai" is a wake-up call for us to ponder why we undermined the potential threat.

Meghna Gulzar is a raconteur who has delivered critically acclaimed and box office hits such as Raazi, Talvar, etc. Through Chhapaak, she unites the audience with Malti’s struggle and influences them to stand against the wrong. She utilises the first half of the film on Malti’s struggle and trauma. The second-half has moments of victory with Malti celebrating even the smallest joys of her life is something which catches your attention. The makers have also beautifully and subtly weaved in the love story of Amol and Malti. Although, it’s unfair one cannot help but draw a comparison with 2019 Malayalam film, Uyare. One stark difference between Uyare and Chhapaak is that the former evokes anger against the culprit, while Chhapaak focuses on empathy. In Chhapaak, there is a dialogue that justifies the director’s viewpoint. When Amol tells Malti that he wants to see Bashir in court, she says, “There is nothing worth in him to see”. Meghna makes the culprit unworthy of attention.   

ALSO READ: Deepika Padukone’s Chhapaak lands in trouble as Laxmi Agarwal’s lawyer to opt for legal action against makers

The makers have a track-record of taking real-life stories a notch higher. However, in totality, it does fall a bit short of expectations. There were powerful moments in the life of Laxmi Agarwal that you expected to see in the film. Laxmi, in her interviews, has narrated how she desperately attempted to see her face in the cups of liquid food which was being served to her at the hospital; primarily because her room had no mirror. Similarly, she was aghast when the culprit showed no remorse in the courtroom and instead offered to marry her as a solution to his ‘mistake’. Setting these things aside, Chhapaak is a film worth the time and money.

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Anonymous
2 years ago
till now d best acting of Deepika ... heart touching movie ...just u have to feel d movie .. without dragging any political issues ...acid attack was a major issues ...Nd we should know d contribution of Lakshmi Agarwal ..and Deepika mam u just nailed it ..❣️❣️❣️..lotz of luv for you ..and for Meghna mam ..to give us d opportunity to se d real story ...it is a kind of contribution for those girl who r not safe Nd underprivileged..dat what is d consequences of an acid attack..she has to suffer whole life wid dis fate ..it is not so easy .. so if u have emotion ❣️u could connect wid d movie other wise d political and religious barriers make u blind ..❣️❣️
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