Naxalites in Nandighat: Prakash Jha's Chakravyuh (2012) - WBRi Hindi Movie Review

Prakash Jha's Desi Indian Bollywood Political Thriller Chakravyuh (2012) Poster 4

Kolkata, October 27, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations) Prakash Jha is at the helm again, this time with a mainstream film that focuses on the highly controversial issue of Naxalism in India. With an ultra-serious cinematic tone and an array of beautiful action sequences, ‘Chakravyuh’ is one of Prakash Jha’s best films till date and strives to absorb the essence of the Naxalite movement in the country to the best possible extent. The major risk that filmmakers often run into while establishing mainstream films on socio-political issues is to run the fine line between entertainment and realism. In ‘Chakravyuh’, Prakash Jha does not fall into this trap and steadies the ship really well with a plot that does not cry out for errors. With a cast that has the likes of actors like Arjun Rampal, Abhay Deol, Manoj Bajpai and Om Puri, the film strives to reflect a balanced view of the entire issue and provides wholesome infotainment for the viewers.

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The film is set in the naxal affected region of Nandighat which has been reporting numerous conflicts between the police forces of the Indian state and the naxalite forces. It opens with the transfer of Adil Khan (Arjun Rampal), a devout police officer to Nandighat where he has been given the responsibility of crushing the naxal forces. Kabir (Abhay Deol), is Adil’s close friend who decides to help him out by pitching the idea of becoming a confidant of the Naxal forces and thus pass on vital information about the movement to the police forces. On the outset of this cop story is a business cum political motive as well. Mahanta (Kabir Bedi) is a successful industrialist who takes the help of the government to acquire land in Nandighat for a business project, but soon finds hurdles in front of him when it comes to uprooting the villagers and facing protection from the naxal forces. On the other side of the story stands Rajan (Manoj Bajpai) who is the leader of the Naxal forces and is a staunch opponent of the idea of business interests being replicated in the area of Nandighat. Through the second half, the film progresses at a smooth pace to show as to how Kabir is caught between two conflicting ideologies and how he is used as a clever pawn in the fight between Adil Khan and Rajan.

Through clever and thought provoking baritones of both Arjun Rampal and Manoj Bajpai, Prakash Jha in the very first minutes of the movie establishes the ideologies of both the sides and maintains clearly that his film is in no way biased. Credit must be showered upon actors like Abhay Deol and Manoj Bajpai who prove their finesse when it comes to playing the all important roles. Although Esha Gupta as Arjun Rampal’s wife was completely unnecessary, the other characters in the film show solid and staunch support. As seen in most of Jha’s films, some of the sequences can be seen to be too gory and filled with blood, they work in sync with the plot. Overall, ‘Chakravyuh’ is Prakash Jha’s best rendering of the naxal movement in India and once again demonstrates the film maker’s dedication to working on socio-political issues.

Prakash Jha's Desi Indian Bollywood Political Thriller Chakravyuh (2012) Poster 1

Prakash Jha's Desi Indian Bollywood Political Thriller Chakravyuh (2012) Poster 2

Prakash Jha's Desi Indian Bollywood Political Thriller Chakravyuh (2012) Poster 3