Movie: Chakravyuh

Cast: Arjun Rampal, Abhay Deol, Anjali Patil, Esha Gupta, Om Puri, and Manoj Bajpayee

Director: Prakash Jha

Rating: Good  

Story Line: This is Jha's most resolutely etched and firmly grounded drama since "Mrityudand", and a work way superior to his last two films -Raajneeti and "Aarakshan- both of which suffered to some extent by being scattered in intent and pulled in too many directions. Story of the film is revolve around two friends,  separated by caste, creed and ideology, who are torn apart by their irreconcilable socio-political differences, is given a seriously spunky spin by Prakash Jha in "Chakravyuh".

Adil Khan (Arjun Rampal) and Kabir (Abhay Deol) are separated by their differing attitude to socio-political injustice, but united in their combat against corruption, the path chosen by the friends diverge, unify and then split apart in ways that keep us riveted to the devastatingly tragic finale.There's also a girl between them, a colleague from the college days (Esha Gupta, miscast). Mercifully there's no love triangle happening here. If anything, the film should have been longer. There should have been more space for the Adil-Kabir friendship to be nurtured. The same goes for the delicately but rather hastily-drawn relationship that grows between the loyalty-challenged Kabir and the spirited Maoist girl Juhi (newcomer Anjali Patil). But then Jha has always been shy of dwelling on feelings. He only slows us glimpses into his characters' hearts before pulling back ruthlessly to allow them to go about their jobs as professionals who have to travel far beyond their call of duty.

Thumbs Up: Abhay once again after "Shanghai" displays remarkable understanding in playing a hard-to-pin-down character, it's Arjun as a cop doing a job that could not just kill him but put a whole community of people's lives into danger once again surprises us with his deep understanding of his character's socio-political context. The time-tested Manoj Bajpayee and Om Puri have smaller but significant parts as Maoist leaders. They add that much-needed touch of gravitas to a film.

Debutante Anjali Patil leaves the best impression among the supporting cast. The well-researched material is culled into a condensed but brightly illuminated screenplay by Jha, Anjum Rajabali and Sagar Pandya that brings out the basic theme of monstrously growing socio-economic inequality in our society through the characters of two friends.

Thumbs Down: The editing by Santosh Mandal could have been more austere. But the loose moments never overpower the film's strong convictions and powerful story structure.

Must watch film, book your ticket now, it will surely change your mind set.


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