Mon, 31 Mar 2008 15:01:18 GMT

Chamku: So-So!

Kabeer Kausik's first film was the underrated 'Sehar' that looked at the workings of the police force in UP. His 'Chamku', also starts with a well-executed action sequence in a train, and then to a flashback in a village. 

Chamku: So-So!

Movie Review

by Deepa Gahlot

At least the director looks at life beyond Mumbai, but the high does not remain for long.  Chandrama Singh's family is killed by the village zamindar (Akhilendra Mishra) he is rescued by a Naxalite group and nicknamed Chamku by his mentor (Danny Denzongpa). 

Chamku (Bobby Deol) joins the Naxals and with them wages war against their feudal oppressors.  A police raid wipes all of them out, except Chamku who is offered the chance to become part of a secret mission by a RAW officer (Irrfan Khan).

They train killers to carry out planned assassinations of criminals and anti-social leaders—this part inspired by La Femme Nikita.   Once he is in, he realizes that he cannot leave, the authorities on the side of the law are equally ruthless.  One by one, all the other covert agents like him are killed.  When he falls in love with a teacher (Priyanka Chopra), he has to find a way out. He also runs into the killer of his childhood, and wants his own revenge, which the boss does not approve of. 

There is a sense of disbelief – if the government really endorsed such rogue operations,  crime in the country would have been controlled long ago.  Still, up to a point Kaushik keeps up the interest—the action sequences are excitingly shot. But the film does not really go beyond that one idea or even get into the ethics of officially-sanctioned murder—not quite the same as police encounters.

Bobby Deol is supposed to wear a deadpan expression, which he manages, but this film is not likely to give him an image makeover. Irrfan Khan, usually polished has strange, fidgety performance style here, as if he were instructed to keep busy, so he is either fiddling with a cap or sharpening a pencil. Priyanka Chopra has very little to do (she invites giggles with the pregnancy announcement!); in small guest appearances, Danny Denzongpa and Ritesh Deshmukh are impressive. 

What goes against the film—which is not unwatchable-- is its misleading title. Chamku makes it sound like a comedy and there's not a shred of humour in it.

Source: India Syndicate

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