I usually enjoy watching movies on real life issues. So Chakrayuh was on my To- Watch Movie list for a long time.
This movie by Prakash Jha is based on the problem of the Naxalite movement in India something that we read in newspapers almost every day.
The story is about two friends Adil Khan (Arjun Rampal ) and Kabeer (Abhay Deol) separated by caste, creed and ideologies ,who get further torn apart by irreconcilable socio-political differences. Adil Khan is a police officer who accepts posting in a dreaded area under Naxalite scanner where no other police office is willing to go. His old friend Kabeer initially warns him about going to such sensitive area but soon after seeing Adil’s frustration and anger towards the Naxals offers to help him.Kabeer offers to be planted as a mole in the enemy camp. The unexpected happens when Kabeer starts struggling with two entirely different ideologies and starts supporting the movement by becoming one of its leading comrade.
The backdrop of this movie is business and politics. Mahanta, a corporate giant wants to put up a plant and some villages need to be uprooted for that. Something that the politicians support whole heartedly… (The same old story).
Arjun Rampal somehow seems too well groomed to play such a hard core cop. But this is definitely one of his better performances. Esha Gupta who plays his wife surely a misfit. She seems fake in her role as a police officer. She looks more comfortable wearing her spaghetti tops and hot pants and pouting than interrogating a Naxalite leader.
Abhay Deol breezes in the role.He gets into the role with such ease and plays the character of a hot headed idealist comfortably. Anjali Patil who plays the role of Juhi an ideology driven Naxalite is a surprise package. She puts up an authentic performance. She is both vulnerable and a maniac. Her eyes speak volumes.
Manoj Bajpai completely fits in the role of Naxal Commander but doesn’t have much to do in the second half. Kabir Bedi as a business tycoon and Om Puri as Govind Suryavanshi have small but meaningful roles which they portray well.
Prakash Jha’s handling of Naxals is praise worthy. He clearly knows and shows the difference between a Naxal and a Naxal who is also a human. The Naxals are shown to be both kind and greedy; both aggressive and vulnerable.
What I liked about the movie was that it doesn’t take any sides. It’s left up to the audience to decide what is right, who is right. It raises questions. It makes you think. Nothing is portrayed as black or white. It’s all in the shades of gray. That’s what makes it real.
Overall I recommend this movie as a onetime watch for people who like seeing movies about real life issues.