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FeaturesCinema & TVReview: No face value for 'Chehre'

Review: No face value for ‘Chehre’

Published: 9th Oct 2021 3:29 pm

Hyderabad: In contradistinction is Gulzar who said :Naam gum jayega, chehra badal jayega ,mere awaaz hi pehchaan hai, gar yaad rahe

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The film starts with an awfully over the top Bachchan rendering/reciting the theme song and from then for over two hours, you, like the main character Sameer (Imran Hashmi) are entrapped in a mansion in a snow-clad mountain in the midst of thunders, lightening, snow storm. The characters try so hard that your heart goes out to their claustrophobic whining. While the introduction of the characters takes 30 minutes of the script, another 15 goes in laying the premise. It is indeed unfortunate that one needs to declare the premise.

The Premise: a retired judge, Jagdish Acharya (Vridhiman Chatterjee) lives in this isolated mansion. His regular friends include lawyer Paramjit Bhuller (Anu Kapoor), a flautist executioner Hariya Jadav (Raghuveer Yadav), a rape victim Ana (Rhea Chakroborthy), her brother Joe (Siddhanth Kapoor) and a retired public prosecutor Lateef Zaidi (Amitabh Bachchan). These beyond shelf-life characters part take in this ‘dangerous game’ where a traveler enters the mansion and is enticed to be part of the ‘judicial game’ where everyone is out to bring on board their professional skillsets to suffocate the new inmate traveler.

Sameer, a budding businessman, takes up the challenge without a clue of what he is bargaining. He perhaps is engrossed in the beauty of the mountains that he cannot see the meaningful stares that the other gamers exchange from time to time. What is Sameer hiding and what happens in the game is what the rest of the film is handled and handled badly by director.

The murder mystery-thriller is a complete non-starter, devoid of credibility and needlessly hemmed. It snarls and stares. Add to this a script (Ranjith Kapoor and Rumi Jaffrey) has multiple loopholes with loose ends that rob the film of its essential cognates.

The graphics notwithstanding, Binod Pradhan offers some worth-mentioning. However, this scripted ‘moot court’ is otherwise not anywhere near a sophomore law school attempt.

The performances are another setback. Bachchan in a Albus Dumbledore avatar fails to deliver the magical moments. Even the signature barytone is conspicuously absent. As a defense counsel, Anu Kapoor is a non-starter. This further dampens the balance in the story. The extremely talented Raghubeer Yadav is wasted. Rhea Chakraborthy looks dazed and clueless about the script, the story or emoting, for that matter. She has just about as many emotions as the door through which the characters walk into the mansion. It is Vridhriman Chatterjee who makes a sincere effort. The under estimated Imran Hashmi gives another credible performance which lies buried in a meandering script.

The eye-for-an-eye philosophy and the accompanying logic is full throated but weak in reasoning. The advocacy of punitive therapeutic is half baked lecture. The tirade that courts deliver judgement, not justice is hollow.One of the characters shouts: It must stop – honestly echoing what the audience want to say. For all the shouting this Chehre is rather tired and boring.


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