Chakravyuh Hindi Movie Review
Political controversies and social issues have always attracted filmmaker Prakash Jha. Right from corruption in Gangaajal to Politics in Raajneeti to reservations in educational system in Aarakshan, Prakash Jha has tackled various issues with massive impact. With Chakravyuh, the filmmaker presents a commentary on the increasing dire issue of Naxalism in India. Much against his fascination for A League superstars, Jha this time around opts for lesser popular stars including Arjun Rampal, Abhay Deol and Esha Gupta. Whether this manages to attract a beeline of cinegoers or not remains to be seen.
Chakravyuh is the story about two friends Adil Khan (Arjun Rampal) a righteous high ranking police officer and Kabir (Abhay Deol) a hotheaded drop out of cop training process. Adil is soon transferred to Nandighat, after a band of Naxalites led by Rajan (Manoj Bajpayee) massacres 84 policemen. Unable to crack the nexus led by comrade Rajan and comrade Juhi (Anjali Patil), Adil Khan decides to infiltrate a spy, that being his friend Kabir, in a bid to get the movements of the Naxalites and eventually nail them. However, tables turn as the hot headed Kabir ends up seeing the loopholes in the law system of our Nation and starts empathizing with the Naxals.
Filmmaker Prakash Jha takes a very potent plot of Maoists atrocities that has been eating up the nation and presents a political thriller on the same. He tries portraying the scenario where the lines between the right and the wrong blur and the morality gets at stake. However, cinematically, the filmmaker falters in holding still the audience attention.
The length of the film comes across as the biggest hindrance in Chakravyuh. With the attention span of cinegoers diminishing courtesy the 2hrs duration being preferred in Hindi cinema, a 2hrs 32mins film comes across as really long. It's not just the length but the execution of the run time that poses a problem. Jha takes up almost the entire first half to establish his characters and setting which ends up testing the patience of the audience. Most of the major conflict and drama comes about in the second half but by then you are already bored. Although, that doesn't take away the fact that the drama in the second half is quite interestingly portrayed.
On the acting front, Arjun Rampal looks the part perfectly. His chiseled body with a side parting hairdo and a moustache is apt for his role of a no nonsense cop. However, once again he falters in acting. There are scenes where his emotions appear too forced, methodic and practiced than natural. Abhay on the contrary easily plays his part. Esha Gupta doesn't have a strong role to play and doesn't even add much value to the film except for a needless kiss and some skin show. Manoj Bajpayee and Om Puri act their parts decently. Anjali Patil is impactful in her role.
Music by various composers is pretty much needless in the entire setting and plot and only increases the run time. Cinematography is crackling and the entire rural setting has been captured well.
To sum it up, Chakravyuh gets mired by the Bollywood commercial retrains. A little more in-depth portrayal could've worked better for the film.