Deepika Padukone’s most anticipated movie of the year ‘Chhapaak’ has created major headlines because of the powerful topic it is based on. The film revolves around acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal who has become a symbol of strength and inspiration for many women.
The life of a nineteen-year-old Malti takes a turn when she is subjected to a horrific acid attack. But she resolves to fight for justice and reclaim her life.
The film is a fictional account with Deepika Padukone playing the central character Malti, who is attacked in broad daylight on the streets of Delhi by a friend of the family, Bashir Khan aka Babbu and his aide.
At the start, we first meet Malti when she is on a job hunt who is trying to move on from the emotional scars that the heinous crime has left her with. For the physical scars, she has to go through a number of complicated surgeries. In fact, far from the dreams, she nursed of being a singer, her life is now an intersection of her work with an NGO for acid victims, her multiple surgeries and her court cases.
Chhapaak takes away the melodrama or manipulation and instead gives us a powerful protagonist whose resolve to fight is punctuated.
On the performances front, Deepika Padukone is the soul of the film, delivering a brilliant performance. In fact, there are many scenes where her act will move you to tears, for example, the one where she holds up an earring to her face but realizes now she can’t put it on. The reason why Malti’s character is a winner because at no point does she succumb to self-pity. Both Vikrant Massey and Madhurjeet Sarghi deliver very commendable performances.
On the technical aspect, the story sends out a strong message and is undoubtedly a brave attempt, however, the edit seems a bit rough at certain places. In the second half, the narrative of the film suffers a bit. The music tracks stand out – with ‘Chhapaak’ title track and ‘Nok Jhok’ (soundtrack by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, lyrics by Gulzar) adding to the mood.
Overall experience, Chhapaak is not an easy film but a one you should definitely go for. It doesn’t let you go that easy. Just as one begins to settle in to think Malti has managed to get better of her perpetrator, it brings you to with a few uncomfortable reminders.