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Deepika’s ‘Chhapaak’ will chill you to the bone and shake your core. But sure, movies should be only entertainment, no? So why would you watch it anyway?
Deepika Padukone starrer and Meghna Gulzar’s directorial movie, Chhapaak was already making news before hitting the theatres. What with its extremely sensitive subject and how it’d been taken up with such grit and courage.
But before you read on the full post, let me alert you that this is NOT a review of the movie. I don’t think a project like Chhapaak that cares to step beyond the conventional boundaries of cinema deserves anything but applause.
For those of you planning to watch the movie, go with a strong heart. The pain of Malti, portrayed by Deepika, is not an easy watch. It will shake you to the core, bring a cyclone of emotions and even leave you paralysed for a fraction of time.
However, there are a few (not so great) reasons for why this film is definitely not for everyone. Here is why-
Yes, a number of us may be the biggest Bollywood fans who are unable to resist the OTT action, music and dance. Chhapaak, however, has none of this. The film has good music and incredible lyrics, but not the glitzy show.
Go to the theatre with no masala expectations and you will be amazed by the performances and the hard-hitting reality the movie shows.
Undoubtedly, one of the most gorgeous faces in the industry, Deepika’s fans are bound to be disappointed by her not-so-glam avatar in the movie. At the same time, in the movie, she has proven her mettle through her performance.
And believe me you will not miss her enigmatic persona on the screen. After watching Chhapaak, everyone will definitely be a huge Deepika fan!
The movie may be very well made but it, too, has its flaws. In places, it feels unnecessarily stretched. While in others, you crave to see Malti’s personal struggle instead of the court battles.
For the movie critics, there would be several other gaps to highlight, but that is okay. As long as you are ready to accept and look at the larger issue being highlighted.
Saluting the spirit of the acid attack survivors is something that stayed with me long after I left the movie theatre. And I think that is much more important.
While it is a film based on the horrible crime of acid attack and portrays the struggles of the survivor, it is not really an emotional drama. The narration of the tragic circumstances and the trauma that followed is something the audience can relate with. It is an emotional roller coaster that the victim goes through and the film makes sure that you go through it with the survivors. But all this is done in a very balanced and subtle manner.
There is no background music, no unwanted tears or heavy dialogues. It is a seamless depiction of the human emotions- of pain, anger, joy and love. There is nothing more or nothing less than that.
There has already been a lot of gossip and rumours about the movie. People have had all sorts of opinions on the ‘what, why and how’ of Chhapaak. They also went on and on about publicity stunts – including the leading star’s appearance in a recent protest gathering.
Yes, all of us have the right to express our political views. To protest anything and everything that stands against our ideologies or hurts our sentiments. But a similar right applies to others too and that doesn’t make them bad or evil.
Most importantly, this movie is based on a dreadful issue that is unfortunately still prevalent in our society. It is as important as many other burning problems around us. There could be nothing more frivolous than boycotting Chhapaak for mere political differences.
I watched Chhapaak and did not regret a single moment of being in the cinema hall. But if some of us have better (read worse) reasons to ditch it, then sure, don’t go for it. There will be thousands of Maltis who’ll continue fighting the demons and paving their path to dignity, regardless of our decision to watch a film.
Just to bring to your notice ‘There are 250 to 300 acid attacks reported in India every year, despite laws restricting the sale of acid or other deadly chemicals.’
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