Feature Name: Chhapaak
Directed By: Meghna Gulzar
Cast: Deepika Padukone, Vikrant Massey, Madhurjeet Sarghi
Run Time: 120 minutes
Review By: Grinell Jacinto
Chhapaak, a film based on the life and struggles of teenage acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal. This story is sure to give you goose bumps, it surely gave me some from the very first scene.
Meghna Gulzar’s Chhapaak follows the life of Malti (Deepika Padukone) an acid attack survivor who is attacked in broad daylight on the streets of Delhi. This heinous crime is carried out by a friend of the family, Bashir Khan aka Babbu and his aide as Malti ignored his advances to get romantically involved with him.
What’s is special about her is that she refused to let the acid attack ruin her life. Instead she fights back hard in hospitals and court-rooms, with painful face-reconstructing surgeries and more. She refused to stay hidden and starts speaking for herself, and others in the same circumstances.
The film follows a non-linear story telling pattern with us being introduced to Malti while she is job hunting. Owing to her disfigured face and incomplete education, Malti faces difficulties is getting a job to support her family following the death of her father and brother falling very ill. Her support during these trial times comes in the form of her lawyer Archana (Madhurjeet Sarghi) and Amol (Vikrant Massey) an NGO worker who gives her a job.
Hats off to Deepika Padukone for delivering a performance that will make you cry, laugh and much more. She gives a powerful performance with her strong willpower, her eyes that express her pains and happinesss and a strong undying spirit. Madhurjeet and Vikrant as the supporting characters leave a powerful impression even though their screen space isn’t as much as Deepika
Talking about the music and background score, hats off to the music directors Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy. The title track when ever played will leave you with goosebumps. The other songs go in sync with the story and emotions of the film. The story isn’t preachy, it makes it belivable with many scenes including the one when Malti sees herself for the first time in the mirror post the attack,
Though there may not be many drawbacks in the film one of the few shortcomings is that the second half seems a little stretchy.
In a nutshell, Chhaapak is a sensitive film that needs to be heard and seen by many. It is delicate yet powerfully handled and talks about the heinous crime against women. This movie should be watched over the weekend.