Deepika Padukone, Vikrant Massey
After 'Raazi', director Meghna Gulzar returns with 'Chhapaak', a film that is inspired by the real-life of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal. Deepika Padukone plays 'Malti' inspired by Lakshmi and she is joined by Vikrant Massey for the first time.
The film starts with Malti searching for a job post the attack as she tries to lead a normal life and heal from the emotional trauma the attack left on her. She still has to bear the pain of a lot of surgeries as the doctors try their best to make her look normal but this normal is not actually normal.
Malti once dreamt of being a singer but the attack left her life now revolving around three things, her NGO work for acid attack victims, her surgeries and the court cases. Malti has resolved to fight for herself and others like her and determined to get justice facing whatever hurdles come her way and her spirit is unbreakable.
The death of her father and her brother's sickness adds to Malti's grief but her lawyer Archana (Madhurjeet Sarghi) supports her in this painful journey. Together they file a PIL to put a ban on the sale of acid to stop the acid attacks. Her journey is a difficult one and she gets major support when Amol (Vikrant Massey) an activist who runs an NGO comes into her life.
The life and soul of 'Chhapaak' is Deepika Padukone who delivers a touching and impressive performance as Malti. Her dedication to the role is visible in the perfection she has put into her character which at so many points is so moving that you might even cry especially the moment when she is attacked will leave you speechless. Deepika has lived Malti's character and her never-dying spirit is the highlight of her inspiring character.
Vikrant Massey as Amol and Madhurjeet Sarghi as Malti's lawyer Archana have done a clap worthy job and their characters look real and convincing. The screenplay is a little slow but effective in conveying the message the director intends to through this film. Although the editing department could have helped here a bit as the second half seems stretched.
The music of the film is so touching it follows you outside the theatres and plays on your mind. From the title track 'Chhapaak' to 'Nok Jhonk' Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's music and Gulzar Saab's lyrics make you relate with Malti and her journey.
Overall, 'Chhapaak' is a tenderly handled film that stays with you, disturbs you, and makes you think. It is a film that delivers a powerful message and tells a story that was long due to be told.