Chhapaak Review: Powerful and Positive

Rating: 4/5 | Cast: Deepika Padukone, Vikrant Massey and others | Director: Meghna Gulzar


In 2005, 32-year-old Naeem Khan attacked 15-year-old Laxmi Agarwal by throwing acid on her face. This incident shook the entire nation. However, Laxmi dealt with the incident with strength. She fought all the odds, faced the society and more importantly filed a PIL regarding the sale of acid in the commercial market. This inspiring journey is captured by Meghna Gulzar and her team in Chhapaak.

Malti Agarwal (Deepika Padukone) is an acid attack survivor, who is on the look out for a job. Years after the attacked, she aims to stand on her own feet again and so tries applying for jobs but gets rejected. Through a media interview, she finds out about the NGO run by Amol (Vikrant Massey) which also works for acid attack survivor and starts working with his team. During one of her visits to meet another survivor, her thoughts take her back in time to the incident she faced and that's where journey of Chhapaak starts. The rest of the film focuses on how she fights for the justice, files a PIL and a lot more.

Meghna Gulzar's work in the past has been appreciated and this time she does it again. Chhapaak strikes an emotional chord but does not make you weak. You will feel bad for Malti, but you won't burst out in tears. The team delivers what it intends to do - that is to be positive and become the strength for acid attack survivors. You will feel the sympathy, but the positive approach towards the film is aimed at making one understand that being an acid attack survivor is not a disability.

Deepika Padukone's as Malti does a wonderful job. She is vulnerable but also shows the required strength. There are scenes where you'll feel the pain, and kudos to her for delivering those emotional sequences well. Vikrant Massey as Amol is likable. He supports Deepika pretty well throughout the film and tries to make his own mark.

The strength of the film is in the writing, both the script and the songs. Some dialogues hit you hard and would stay with you. So will the title song of the film. Sung by Arijit Singh and written by Gulzar, the song will connect with remain with you throughout the film. 

Overall, Chhapaak may be slow here and there, especially in the first half, but hang on. It is powerful and positive and delivers a strong message.

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