Kahani kabhi khatam nahin hoti... That's the catchline of CHAMKU. True, certain stories are timeless and ageless, they keep getting repeated year after year, with new faces obviously.
Vendetta -- one theme that's beaten to death in Bollywood. CHAMKU tackles the age-old theme of revenge, although director Kabeer Kaushik throws a twist at the outset, when a Naxalite is picked up by RAW and IB to work for them. Otherwise, CHAMKU is old wine presented in a new bottle. The only saving grace is Bobby Deol, who delivers his career-best performance in CHAMKU. But the sad part is that the script succumbs to predictability all through.
Besides, what's with a title like CHAMKU? Sure, the story is about a guy called Chandrama Singh aka Chamku, but in these fast changing times, when the multiplex audience holds the key, a title like CHAMKU will only dissuade them from buying the ticket. Also, a title like CHAMKU sends out signals that it's a comedy. It's not!
Another factor that goes against it is the violence/brutality depicted in this 2-hour film. Blood, gore, crudity and brutality is out, but Kabeer Kaushik still believes in the cinema of 1970s and seems to have given action director Tinu Verma a free hand to recreate the violence-laden atmosphere of 1970s. Pistols, guns, knives, swords, blood-soaked bodies, spare us the gore please.
To cut a long story short, there's hardly any chamak in CHAMKU.
CHAMKU depicts the journey of a male Naxalite from the interiors of Bihar, tutored under a covert government program to eliminate the anti-social elements. Chandrama Singh aka Chamku has no alternative. Kill them or we'll kill you, he's told by Kapoor [Irrfan Khan].
His life undergoes a dramatic change when he falls in love with Priyanka Chopra. He wants to lead a normal life, but is it so easy? Also, he comes face to face with his nightmarish past [Akhilendra Mishra].
A pertinent question that crosses your mind is, what did the Deols see in a script like this? The execution is fluid at places, but the written material is so predictable after a point that you lose interest as incident after incident unravels.
The first half does boast of a few interesting sequences. The transformation from a ruthless killer to a romantic is depicted beautifully. Also, a number of sequences are filmed with flourish. But the film goes downhill in the second hour, courtesy a screenplay of convenience.
Monty Sharma's music is below par. 'Aaja Milke' is the sole decent track. The item song [Rosa] looks like a hurried job. Gopal Shah's cinematography captures the various moods of the film well. Tinu Verma's action is too realistic. The blood and gore could've been tapered.
Bobby gets it right. He conveys a lot even when silent. This performance deserves all the praise. Priyanka is wasted. There's no scope for her actually. Ditto for Riteish Deshmukh and Danny Denzongpa. In fact, the two actors are hardly there in the movie. Irrfan Khan, as always, is competent. Rajpal Yadav does well as the informer. Akhilendra Mishra is supposed to act loud, which he does well. Arya Babbar gets no scope, not even a line to deliver. Ditto for Deepal Shaw.
On the whole, CHAMKU rests on an outdated plot and given the blood-gore-brutality in the film, will face an uphill task. Businesswise, it has some chances in the U.P.-Bihar region.