When I first heard Prakash Jha was going to make a movie on Naxal movement with Arjun Rampal and Abhay Deol I was quite surprised. Simply because Jha is known to pick up more of actors than performers for his movie. Agreed Abhay Deol has given some brilliant performances in recent past but a Prakash Jha film is a different ball game altogether. Add to it the burden of the concept of the movie which itself is extremely debatable and then the expectations from the maker of hard-hitting movies like Damul, Mrityudand, Gangajal, Apaharan, Rajneeti and Aarakshan. Lets see what does Mr.Jha has in store for us this time.
Chakravyuh speaks about one of the most serious issues which India has been facing post Independence. It tries to get to the root of the problem by infusing a story of friendship, trust and betrayal. Though the friendship angle seems heavily borrowed from Namak Haram( Kakaji-Big B starrer) the setting is entirely different. Adil Khan(Arjun Rampal) is an upright no-nonsense cop who believes in bridging the gap between grief-struck helpless villagers and ignorant system is the way forward to trample the Naxal movement in Nandighat. But the issue is that he does not have any intelligence network infested in the Naxal gang. The government starts increasing pressure on the police just to accommodate the huge investment the billion-dollar mining company will bring in to set up the mining base in Nandighat. In comes Kabir(Abhay Deol), Adil’s free spirited friend who agrees to intrude the naxal group and become an informer. Rest of the story is how things take a turn when ideologies clash.
Arjun Rampal gives an honest performance as a cop. But I feel someone like Ajay Devgan would have dream-walked this role. Arjun tries hard but in some scenes he is not at all convincing. Abhay Deol is the man to watch out for. He simply steals every scene he is a part of. This role is sure to win him lot of praise. Specially his scenes with Rampal are riveting. Manoj Bajpayee gets stereotyped with this role but he is as usual superb with his act. Om Puri and Esha Gupta get limited screen space. Anjali Patil does a decent job as the Naxal leader.
On the whole the movie is a fairly decent watch because of 3 reasons- the way it tackles the issue at hand, the honest performances and more importantly the message conveyed at the end of the movie. The only flip side of the movie is its running length. Could have been trimmed by 20 minutes(sply the item number consisting of disastrous Sameera Reddy). Prakash Jha put his heart into this film which not-only delivers a solid punch but also makes of you aware of a subject(Naxal ideology) which is dissected minutely. A must watch for all the movie goers. #Bollywood-Changing&Shining!!