As the trailer of Chhapaak suggests, the story revolves around the life of Malti (Deepika Padukone) who is an acid-attack survivor. The narration pans through 13 years of Malti’s life. It starts when she’s just 19 and gets the shock of her life when one of his own attacks her with acid. Cut to present, we see a facially deformed yet mentally strong Malti looking for a job.
She meets Amol (Vikrant Massey), a social activist running an NGO named Chaaya who helps in spreading awareness about acid violence. When Amol gets Malti working for the NGO, they fuel the 7-year old PIL (Public Interest Litigation) of the demand for banning the open sale of acid. What happens next is what the rest of the story is all about.
Meghna Gulzar with the help of Atika Chohan pens this sensitive story. With all the minute details of keeping the narration sensitive, never for a second, they cross any line to make it look like artificial. The script is full of pain but Meghna makes sure to cover everything by showing a silver lining around it. How Malti’s happiness helps her to recover the most unjustified phase of her life is portrayed very beautifully.
Deepika Padukone is astounding as Malti! She gets into the character, feels what she felt and portrays all the emotions without accurate sensitivity. She gets Malti & the efforts are truly visible through her performance. Vikrant Massey delivers a subtle performance. He shines in his small screen-time and offers valuable support to Deepika’s character. From the supporting cast, Madhurjeet Sarghi (lawyer) and Ipshita Chakraborty (Parvin) have done a wonderful job. New face Devas makes an impression after his debut in ‘Raid’
Meghna Gulzar manages to create an aura from the initiative frame to keep you glued to your seats. She throws in thrills at regular intervals and that surely disturbs you. The story is stretched & was predictable in the second half. A little more attention to detail would’ve been helpful.
Title song sung by Arijit Singh is the soul of the film. There’s just one more song apart from this and that didn’t click. Background score is superb & that usually is one of the most important aspects of a film like this.
Malay Prakash’s cinematography is routine & that’s why it’s impactful. There was nothing fancy required here & that’s been followed. Nitin Baid’s editing is crisp thought softens the impact because of the lazy execution.
Overall, Chhapaak is a disturbing-yet-a-must-watch! Deepika Padukone’s performance takes the story to another level.