Chakravyuh – Movie Review
Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on October 24, 2012 | No Comments
PRODUCER – Prakash Jha, Sunil Lulla
DIRECTOR – Prakash Jha
WRITER – Prakash Jha, Sagar Pandya, Anjum Rajabali
CAST – Arjun Rampal, Abhay Deol, Esha Gupta, Anjali Patil, Manoj Bajpai, Om Puri
MUSIC – Salim-Sulaiman, Aadesh Shrivastava, Shantanu Moitra, Sandesh Shandilya,Vijay Verma.
Chakravyuh is a story of two friends set apart by political ideologies. Set against the backdrop of the Naxalite movement, the film sets out to explore the complex and grave movement that is at once a threat and a significant question on the identity of India as a nation. Adil (Arjun Rampal) and Kabir (Abhay Deol) are college buddies, who reunite after years. Adil now an upright police officer is on a mission of ‘cleaning’ Nandighat of the divisive Naxal activities and Kabir volunteers to become his under-cover agent by infiltrating the Naxal ranks for information. But soon, Kabir finds himself leaning towards the same ideology he has set out to fight. Lines are drawn and everything from love, friendship and loyalty comes under question.
With roaring bombast then, Prakash Jha sets out to tell his story in the same vein we saw him explore political machinations and the reservation issue in his previous two films. Massive action set pieces are staged and a rapid volley of events follow. Amongst all these are interspersed hastily sketched romantic tangles between Kabir and Juhi (Anjali Patil) a brave-heart Naxalite and representative ones between Adil and his wife Rhea (Esha Gupta). The mandatory item number also figures with Sameera Reddy once again doing the honours.
Apart from the insistence on overt drama and hyper-bolic representation of social issues, the film is weighed down by a clumsy and heavily conventional screenplay. Cliches abound with political and corporate motivations personified in the age-old, evil mercenary character. Character’s motivations are single note descriptions and events unfold with a simplistic linearity that makes for an extremely dry watch. Except when hordes are engaging in fierce battles and bombs exploding in our faces.
In a film so decidedly dramatic there is little opportunity for nuanced performances. Within the restraints Manoj Bajpai as Rajan, the much-wanted Naxalite and Om Puri as the revolutionary chief (reminiscent of Kobad Ghandy) bring a gravitas that an issue such as this demands. Abhay Deol balances the underpinnings of his juicy character with an effort that unfortunately shows. Arjun Rampal carries a large weight of the film on his positive and one-note central protagonist yet fails to justify it. A dead weight dialogue delivery style and equally wooden expressions nullify the seeming sincerity of his performance. Anjali Patil as the young, fiery Naxalite sparkles in her small role suggesting the passionate intensity the film required as a whole. Esha Gupta is simply miscast in her role.
Prakash Jha’s filmography has largely centred on films related to social issues. In the recent times though, they have taken a template-like tone that is informed with resounding drama and distinctly Bollywoodian elements that sets it in a unique formulaic zone. Chakravyuh does nothing more than become yet another peg in this genre.