Chhapaak: Reviews and Controversies.

Chhapaak: Reviews and Controversies.

Chhapaak is based on the life of Laxmi Agarwal, it stars Deepika Padukone as an acid attack survivor, alongside Vikrant Massey. It is a 2020 Indian Hindi- drama film directed by Meghna Gulzar and produced by her as well as Deepika Padukone in collaboration with Fox Star Studios. 

The movie plot.

The film is based on the real-life story of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal. The life of a nineteen-year-old girl takes a turn when she is subjected to a horrific acid attack. But she resolves to fight for justice and reclaim her life.

Controversies surrounding Chhapaak.

Two days before its release, Chhapaak was caught in political controversy after Deepika showed her solidarity with JNU students who were attacked by a mob on January 5. Subsequently, the actor received both praise and flak from different political parties and groups of people.

The members of BJP and its several supporters condemned Deepika’s visit. A section of people even called for a boycott of Padukone’s film. On the other hand, the opposition parties stood by the actor and declared the film tax-free in their states. Chhapaak has been tax-free mainly in Congress-ruling states, like Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Rajasthan.

Reviews: An emotional force.

The win for Chhapaak lies in its crisp narrative, backed by some solid performances by each one of the cast. Leading this talented pack is Deepika Padukone, the Pretty-Face Padukone, who let go of that face for this film. Deepika bites hard into Malti and makes you sit up and squirm with her. 

Director Meghna Gulzar, who had earlier helmed Talvar and Raazi, once again treats her story with maturity and doesn’t get carried away. She understands the nuances of the subject and instead of evoking sympathy, she sends out a stronger message of standing tall and celebrating life even after you’ve faced adversity at its worst.

Chhapaak has several moments where you feel the pain of an acid attack survivor. The scene where Deepika screams looking at her face in the mirror for the first time after the attack, or when she is trying to put an earring but can’t are heart-wrenching. Her agony and helplessness touch your heart; more so because at no point Meghna makes her protagonist beg for sympathy or let her succumb to self-pity.

Deepika-Vikrant’s remarkable performance.

A female lead who sheds her Bajirao Mastaani and “Padmavat” finery and gets into the skin of a lower-middle-class woman scarred for life by an acid attack make Chhapaak a Hindi cinema milestone. Deepika Padukone gets into the skin of Malti’s character without any difficulty. She eschews all vanity to play an acid attack victim and does full justice to it.

Vikrant Massey as a former journalist, Amol Dixit, who now runs an NGO, is a great casting call for a role that needed to be loud yet subtle. He not only looks convincing in his role but also supports Deepika in their scenes together.

Director Meghna Gulzar brings Laxmi Agarwal’s story to film with stunning clarity. Chhapaak stays brutally honest and close to the story of Laxmi. The dialogues of the film are simple. They do their job of telling a story without coming down heavy on your ears. Meghna Gulzar lets Deepika’s face do the rest.

Box office report.

According to the latest Box Office report, Deepika’s film has managed to mint another Rs 7 crore at the ticket counters on Sunday which has helped the film reach a total of Rs 18 crore from its first weekend. It’s Tanhaji vs Chhapaak on the Box Office. Ajay Devgn’s period drama has collected around Rs 75 crore in four days of release. Whereas Deepika Padukone’s film has made Rs 18 crore.

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