It is the story of two friends, one whos fighting for the Naxalites and the other fighting against them. Arjun Rampal plays the prototypical righteous, patriotic and good-intentioned police officer, SP Adil Khan, who finds himself in a critical dilemma in the city of Bhopal, overwrought with Naxalite rioters and seedy underwo...more
It is the story of two friends, one whos fighting for the Naxalites and the other fighting against them. Arjun Rampal plays the prototypical righteous, patriotic and good-intentioned police officer, SP Adil Khan, who finds himself in a critical dilemma in the city of Bhopal, overwrought with Naxalite rioters and seedy underworld terrorists. less
“Despite having a formulaic story, Chakravyuh is an involving film with equally compelling bouts of drama and action. Go for it!”
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There is a dialogue near the beginning of the film: 'Mat le yeh transfer Adil, mujhe isme kuch bhi acha nahi dikh raha'. (Don't take the transfer Adil, I can't see any good in this) It seems this statement would foreshadow the film's fate but it is only after this scene that the film picks up steam and never runs out of it. Chakravyuh doesn't wish to present a didactic document on the Naxal movement but decides to tell a story as well.
Chakravyuh is about two friends: Adil (Arjun Rampal) and Kabir (Abhay Deol) who were both training to join the police. Adil becomes the good cop, Kabir, well, he doesn't really become the bad cop since he dropped out of the academy owing to his temperamental attitude. He was fit for some other job and that job turns out to be going undercover and infiltrating the Naxals of Nandighat district. To keep the ploy undercover, nobody, not even the police must know about it. Soon, Kabir gets 400 odd blows from the police and lands straight into the Naxal territory.
Prakash Jha makes good use of the sun-dried rural terrain. After scanning through various parts of our motherland, telling pertinent stories, he now zooms in on Naxalites. In the age of cop masala movies, which indulge in fantastical violence, here's a film that is probably more violent, more gripping but also definitely more socially responsible. It doesn't become as offbeat as a turd like Shanghai, which bores you while telling a sterile story. Chakravyuh has a story that may seem run-of-the mill and formulaic at first but the skillful writing creates an involving film. The deft drama is fused with compelling action sequences, which add to the tension. Salim-Sulaiman's fervid score agitates the intrigue.
Arjun Rampal is the best-looking non-actor we have. I'm not calling him a bad actor, for that he has to be an actor. No, I'm not insulting him either because I've seen some good actors ruin a good story with their need to â€œperformâ€. Manoj Bajpayee does not get enough meat to chew on but whatever meat he does get, he devours it. I wish we got more of Om Puri's character too.
Esha Gupta could be mistaken for a zombie with a cake on her face each time she appears on screen. She looks oddly miscast, a sleepwalking doll wearing only one expression throughout. Anjali Patil, who plays Juhi the passionate Naxal, is a true find. She owns each scene she is in, not to mention, better looking than the cake.
Abhay Deol is another winner in the film as he makes us root for his character with his proficient turn. Juhi and Kabir's sub-plot is brilliantly restrained. I'm sure if they were two big stars they would have had to fall in love and reduced the film to petty entertainment.
On the flip side, the film is a tad too long and there is one song which is just plain horrendous. The tawdry voice over narration at the end does bring the film down a bit by spelling everything out but at least it doesn't drill the point into our heads by having a character make a speech. They don't claim to solve our lives and admit not having the answers yet. Not picking sides blatantly, Chakravyuh is an important film worth watching.