Director Rumi Jafry sets out to make an ambitious thriller, but ends up making a potboiler with a story that doesn’t have a head and a tail
Big stars. Bankable actors. Promising look. But all goes in vain, when the content doesn’t live up to the promises made. Chehre took off last year with high hopes and expectations of being an intriguing thriller. The opening credits monologue by Amitabh Bachchan also piques your interest. But shortly after that, you lose interest. By the time you reach the climax, you are thoroughly pissed off by the direction that the film moves in.
Watch the trailer here:
Sameer (Emraan Hashmi) is driving off on a snow clad road in a rush to reach Delhi. Midway, he is stopped as a tree falls down and blocks his way. He meets Bhullar (Annu Kapoor), who offers him to accompany him to a friend’s house close by and wait till the road is cleared. In the house, we see Justice Jagdish Acharya (Dhritiman Chatterjee), Hariya (Raghubir Yadav), and Lateef Zaidi (Amitabh Bachchan), who play a law related game with the guest, to kill time.
Written by , the story at first is interesting and engaging. But, only at first. In this dialogue heavy narrative, you lose interest very shortly, because the notions are way too dramatic. The manner in which dialogues are spoken or how the scenes are projected to unfold the story are far from reality. You have too many questions, which you think you would have asked had you been in Emraan Hashmi’s shoes.
The film talks of crime and how law and order take their course. How investigation is done and what happens when investigation isn’t conducted properly. In all this, there is a crime mentioned. The story builds up on that crime. Midway, the story tries to bring in emotions by way of another crime that has happened with another character. But the closing act of the film very conveniently starts to talk about a third crime, which has no coherence with the other two crimes. Why would the writer do that, is a grave mystery. This also is served through a very long and tiring monologue by Amitabh Bachchan. Ofcourse, he is bang on as the actor, but the point at which it comes annoys you big time.
The good thing remains that it’s a visually suited venture that makes you connected with its visual richness. But that’s not what audience generally watch movies for. What they watch for is not right, in most parts of the film. The introductory monologue sets the tone high promising that this will be a tight film high on adrenaline loaded with thrill and suspense. It doesn’t even come close. It disappoints. To add to it, the climax act of how the accused is punished is shown in a way that was done away with even in 80s. It is so childish and archaic that you feel the cringe.
The character sketch is also too loud and loathsome. There is no layer and depth. It is all on a surface level. The plot works only because you have known and trustworthy faces. Remove them and take lesser known people, you won’t watch it past 10mins. In a respite that it’s released in theatres, you move through it for the charm of that dark auditorium. An OTT viewing would have shattered this completely.
Amitabh Bachchan aces it. In a role that doesn’t have tones or shades, he manages to blow life in it. You like him for what he is. His voice, his mannerisms, his persona and stature- it all works well for the film. The role lacks the punch, but not him as an actor.
Emraan Hashmi also performs ably. He has some layers to his role. But the half baked story doesn’t let him shine. You feel bad for his character for how the writers have written it. You feel bad for Hashmi for you know he must have had questions as an actor. The script never lets any actor flourish.
Annu Kapoor has his moments and he also tries to make the narrative believable. He does succeed to some extent. Dhritiman Chatterjee is okay, doesn’t have much to contribute as an actor here. Raghubir Yadav, although a brilliant actor is utterly wasted here. Remove his character completely, and the film will still be the same. What he does as an actor is fine though.
Rhea Chakraborty has acted beautifully. She brings in suspense for the major portion of the film. The writers haven’t been able to justify it, that’s a different matter. Sidhant Kapoor in a small role is juts okay, He has nothing much to do.
Krystal D’Souza has an exciting role and she does her job nicely. Not only does she look beautiful, she also has some fine moments as an actor, which she strongly shines in.
The songs are okayish, doesn’t have much to contribute to the narrative. One romantic number is definitely melodious. Background score is good, giving the film an edge, which the content has majorly missed.
Cinematography by Binod Pradhan is surprisingly not upto the mark. Two scenes where you clearly see the light glaring on actor’s faces. Otherwise, it’s a simple affair. The indoors have been lit up well and the visual appeal does seem right mostly. But given the fact it is Pradhan on the job, you don expect something more in terms of framing or angles or transitions. Atleast here, the film could have gained some strength. Production design is also fine, in most places. The house, where the story majorly takes place is exquisite and gives shades of warm and cool, at needed points.
Editing by is decent, given the weak links of the script. The editor couldn’t have done any better. It is still a decent watch when you see same point being played again and again from different perspectives. It brings in visual variety and some connect with the genre.
The film could be so much more. It remains a dull affair, with nothing to cherish. A chance wasted.