You don't expect much when you saunter in to see CHHAL, but when you come out of the theatre, you're pleasantly surprised by the outcome.
Ishan Films P. Ltd.'s CHHAL, produced by Nitin Patil, Uday Shah and Umesh Bagul and directed by Hansal Mehta, is the story of an undercover cop who infiltrates the underworld and is caught up in a web of deceit.
Inspector Karan Menon (K.K.) is appointed on a clandestine mission by the police force to reach into the inner recesses of the mafia and pass on the information to them, which will be used to arrest criminals and prosecute them. His only contact will be Inspector Ramesh Dave (Naved Aslam), who heads the task force.
Once inside the underworld, Karan manages to reach the upper levels and meets Girish (Prashant Narayanan) and befriends him after he saves his sister Padmini (Jaya Seal) from kidnapping. Girish works for Shastri (Vallabh Vyas), who heads the gang.
Shastri plans to leave for Malaysia and lets Girish handle the operation from India, but unknown to Girish, Shastri is playing a bigger game.
Will Karan be able to get out of the web? Will Karan's identity be discovered by the underworld?
PARINDA, SATYA, VAASTAV, COMPANYï¿½ The past decade has witnessed a number of films that have dared to expose the stark reality of our society. Though CHHAL falls in the same genre, it succeeds in making a statement that crime doesn't pay.
Stylishly shot CHHAL has several spellbinding moments. And it is these moments that make you think. Deviating from the clich?formula, CHHAL is strong in content that leaves a hammer-strong impact.
Director Hansal Mehta, whose last effort was the woeful DIL PE MAT LE YAAR, takes giant strides as a technician and story-teller. If the film is technically a cut above the rest, Hansal's story-telling is captivating, with several engrossing moments.
Never mind some loose ends in the script (instance: the last scene was just not required!), Hansal succeeds in presenting the harsh realities of life without glamorising it. The screenplay moves swiftly and the dialogues (both Suparn Verma) have razor-edge sharpness.
The first half is engrossing, but the pace slackens towards the second half, but gathers momentum again towards a brilliantly executed climax when Prashant Narayanan confronts K.K. Yet, the film can do with at least 10 minutes of trimming for a stronger impact.
Neelabh Kaul's cinematography deserves distinction marks. The lighting and the constant movement of the camera bowls you completely. Apurva Asrani's editing is fantastic. Besides SATYA, this is yet another effort he can be proud of. Viju Shah's background music heightens the overall impact. Action scenes (Sham Kaushal) are alright.
K.K. and Prashant Narayanan are the scene-stealers. K.K. is superb at several places, especially in portions where he expresses helplessness. Prashant Narayanan is another gifted actor to watch out for. The ease with which he handles the complex scenes proves that here's an actor with an infinite range. Vallabh Vyas and Naved Aslam are effective. Jaya Seal makes her presence felt.
On the whole, CHHAL is a well-made product that will have to rely on word of mouth publicity to make an impact at the box-office. Business in Mumbai should prove to be the best.