Star Cast: Arjun Rampal, Abhay Deol, Manoj Bajpayee, Kabir Bedi, Om Puri, Esha Gupta
Direction: Prakash Jha
Duration: 2 Hrs 36 Mins
Censor Rating: U/A
Rating: ** 1/2
Since its evolution, Indian cinema has witnessed a diverse brigade of cine sorcerers who have always succeeded in leaving their impact by painting celluloid in diverse shades of romance, action, humour and many more. But besides these evergreen shades of Bollywood, there is another genre of cine-tales which never lost its lustre, and that is of near to life cinema.
And the director who is known for his utmost dexterity in showcasing the home-truths of real life is Prakash Jha. The latest cine cantata, which has come out of the creative lab of Prakash Jha, is Arjun Rampal, Abhay Deol and Esha Gupta starrer, Chakravyuh.
This cine tale with its roots embedded in the `Red Corridor` of India, opened with occupancy of around 60% at the multiplexes.
Chakravyuh is a cine tale showcasing the causal factors responsible for the onset of Naxalism in the red corridor of India, but at the same time it also showcases the evolution of crevice among two friends Aadil (an IPS) Kabir (Abhay Deol a free spirited man), who despite having a common objective in the beginning, part their ways because of their varying perceptions about the wherefore of Naxalite movements.
Chakravyuh opens with a sequence showing the arrest of a Naxalite mentor Govind Suryavanshi (Om Puri) by Superintendent of Police Adil Khan (Arjun Rampal) followed by a massive massacre in Nandighat, a Naxalism ridden district in which 84 cops loose their lives, after which Aadil Khan is posted to Nandighat to curb the prevailing problem.
But, despite his best efforts Adil fails in uprooting the problem. Subsequently he is joined by his friend Kabir (Abhay Deol) who comes up with an idea to bore into the fortress of naxalite movement.
After a bleak remonstrance, Adil agrees to go with the plan and manages to get Kabir planted in the herd of naxalites, lead by comrade Rajan (Manoj Bajpai) and Juhi (Anjali Patil). Initially everything goes fine, but soon after being the part of Naxalite herd, Kabir has a rendezvous with the latent realities of Naxalite movement which are normally brushed aside by the politico-capitalist nexus in order to tailor a comfortable scenario for their self-centred objectives.
After witnessing this conspicuous gimmick of abuse of power by the elites and Police, when Kabir tries to apprise Adil about the truth the situation, it just makes them bitter rivals.
Later on Rajan gets arrested, in an attempt of getting Govind Suryavanshi released after which group turns to Kabir, for direction and assigns him with comrade name Azad.
It is not for the first time that any of the cine biggie has tried to expose the realities of Red Corridor. Some of the cine biggies tried to exploit the genre in the past also. But the excellence with which Prakash Jha, Anjum Rajabali and Sagar Pandya have knitted the tale with a blend of friends parting their ways because of their ideological differences, is an innovative touch to the story.
With parallels being drawn between real life Maoist leader, Kobad Ghandy and Om Puri's character Govind Suryavanshi, script of Chakravyuh is a tale up till a great extent inspired from real life incidents pertaining to Maoist activities in the Red Corridor of India in past five years.
But one thing that can't be denied about the script is that, it somewhere falls short of being an outstanding tale because of the constant prevalence of predictability.
Though script of the Chakravyuh constantly tries to exhibit the politico-corporate aspirations and atrocities as the root cause of Naxalite movement, but it somewhat fails in showcasing the same with a powerful impact, which is Prakash Jha's signature style of serving onscreen substance.
On the whole, Prakash deserves to be patted for taking up an issue like Naxalism with utmost dexterity, on the big screen and that too without much of the unwanted ado.
There are no doubts about the fact that, whatever subject Prakash Jha picks up to weave a cine cantata, he succeeds in doing an absolute justice to the same. Even in Chakravyuh, the ace director has thoroughly succeeded in offering a concrete ground to the plot of the story.
But in the first half the repeated showcasing of similar Naxalite-cop encounter and that too at a relatively slower than the optimum required pace, somewhere allows monotony to poke in.
In fact it won't be wrong to say that, a slightly better preening of the first half could have supplemented the flow of the narration miraculously and would have left a better impact on the audience.
As far as second half is concerned then, it is thoroughly impressive and completely captivates your attention till the climax. The only thing that seems to be completely obtruded is item songs of Sameera Reddy which may leave you scratching your head with a thought that, "Was it really required?"
Unlike previous cine cantatas of Prakash Jha, Chakravyuh lacks in literary richness in dialogues department. But one thing that is surely going to impress you is the impeccable mouthing of the regional dialect by the cast, which thoroughly authenticates the validity of the onscreen proceedings.
Music and Background Score:
In the music section, Chakravyuh hardly has anything to offer, even the tracks which are incorporated in this cine cantata are completely forgettable. Whereas the background score is somewhat ok and gels well with the onscreen substance.
Coming to the performance score card, Arjun's new cop cape avatar gives you an opportunity to have a glimpse of all new Arjun, but as far as performance is concerned then this otherwise talented actor could not succeed in delivering a sinewy performance this time.
After watching the memorable performances of star like Ajay Devgn, while posing as a cop you may find Arjun to be falling short of that benchmark.
Esha seems to be more of a mobile mannequin draped in uniform, who completely fails in delivering what is expected out of her.
The actor who succeeds in leaving an impact is, Abhay Deol. Abhay manages to hold up much of the film with his dynamic acts. Anjali Patil, is somewhat impressive and besides this, despite having nothing much to do, supporting cast comprising of Manoj Bajpai, Om Puri does a complete justice to their share of performances.
With ongoing festive season and an extended weekend ahead, Chakravyuh may succeed in pulling the masses because of the repute of Prakash Jha, where as on the commercial front the movie may perform slightly above average on BO.
Despite being a mild entertainer, Chakravyuh is a good depiction of a burning issue on the celluloid which will be liked by the serious movie goers. In nut shell it somewhat succeeds in sending across the message among the die hard Prakash Jha fans.