Chakravyuh is not a Cinema of Choice but an Option we choose!

Chakravyuh is not a Cinema of Choice but an Option we choose!

Film: Chakravyuh – Film Review


Director: Prakash Jha

Cast: Arjun Rampal, Abhay Deol, Manoj Bajpai, Esha Gupta, Anjali Patil,

Om Puri, Kabir Bedi, Murli Sharma, Sameera Reddy.




Let’s be realistic for some time. Chakravyuh is not a cinema of choice but an option one must choose. I know for some or quite a few or for many this may not be big news as you get to hear about and read about the Naxal infested belts and the police and Jawans of CRPF fighting a never ending battle on and off. This film is not just about to be seen, viewed and reviewed and praised or criticized. It’s a document quite adequately dramatized to bring across a point very strongly about the grim reality of the world we are living in and the time we are living in and the time we are heading towards.

You have to give in to the courage and gut of this man Prakash Jha for taking on and attempting such burning and topical Issues and subjects and trying to create an awareness of the situation we are facing. It’s a very genuine concern for Sure!! Making this film is certainly not just a cakewalk, because Jha has handled the subject so deftly and delicately without creating any bad blood among the subjects he is playing with.

There is no story and you don’t need one in this case. What is being depicted is nothing but you can say hard core facts, but unfortunately so lightly taken and forgotten in our day to day life by everyone per say. When you say you are living in a civilized developed world, it’s nothing but a myth, because it’s relegated to only Metros, cities and urban landscapes. Now the same development which is being done in the rural is maybe too soon and too fast. That is what the story is unfolding towards. The multinational Mahanta (Kabir Bedi) tries to encroach on the lands of peasants and farmers and poor adivasi’s to set up a 15000 crores project. In retaliation a force is developed to rebel against the system. That is an antiestablishment against an existing establishment. It’s the same story as we see Leopards on the road and entering certain homes in the cities… Why? Because their habitat i.e. jungle is encroached upon, so where will they go. Same theory applies to those poor Adivasi’s and farmers whose land is being grabbed from them. So what will happen, the animal in this people takes over and a rebel force takes birth. So in the end its Jungle Raj, we get back too. It’s a very grim situation where it’s a lose and lose situation for both the victims and the tormentors and in this case it’s equally balanced, whosoever thinks ahead of others is able to take toll of his rivals in plenty. So it’s killing and more killing either way. People of the same land thirsting for each other’s blood.

Adil Khan (Arjun Rampal) an upright Police Officer gets himself posted in Naxal belt “Nandighat”, an imaginary town, somewhere in Jharkhand, which is a virtual Hara-kiri in the eyes of his wife Rhea (Esha Gupta), and his very close friend Kabir (Abhay Deol). But he decides otherwise. Than there is Manoj Bajpai as Rajan heading the Naxal force with a code slogan “Lal Salaam”. Anjana Patil plays one of the Comrades along with Murli Sharma. Now one of the most illogical and unconvincing aspect of the film is Kabir’s getting into the Naxal core group, as an informer for the State Police, which is difficult to digest, because it’s not as easy as it is shown in real life situation. But none the less as a cinematic liberty, it helps further the story and bring across the excesses of both the Police and the Naxals without any bias. All the Principal characters have performed extraordinarily well! Arjun and Abhay Deol have excelled, and given superlative performances. Especially Arjun Rampal who looks every inch an officer of SP cadre with his new trim and able body agility! His worry, concern and helplessness in certain sequences are really praiseworthy. Same goes for Abhay Deol who has delivered equally commendable performance. Whereas Manoj Bajpai has consolidated his brand of anti hero characterization. Esha Gupta does not have much leverage but Anjali Patil has delivered true to a Comrade persona. Her angst, her rebellious outpour and ultimately her soft attitude developing towards Kabir are beautifully evident from her array of expressions. Om Puri as Govind Suryavanshi an idealist Marxist (inspired some what from Kobad Ghandy) is very convincing in a most significant role. Item number picturised on Sameera Reddy as has been Jha’s practice to incorporate in the scenario to add spice to the whole drama somehow falls flat in this film. Even the lyrics Tambai Rang Tera is not able to create that Zing Bang Effect, despite it being raunchily choreographed by Ganesh Acharya. Sound effects are quite up to the mark and the music by Salim Suleiman, Aadsesh Shrivastava, Shantanu Moitra and Shandesh Shandilya have contributed to whatever extent they were given the rope.

But for me Prakash Jha is a winner all the way! He has been pretty successful in narrating the story without being biased to anyone. You see! There can’t be smoke without fire. The fight against injustice, against tyranny, exploitation, war like situation perpetrated by insiders, power politics, anger, deep social unrest all has to be tackled on war footing. The problem is there right in front of us. There has to be some solution and it has to be worked on both the sides, else we will be back to the Jungle Raj and all this ho-hum about development and the developed society will crumble right in front of our eyes!!!

A Must Watch For Everyone! Come What May!!!