• Genre:
  • Cast:
    Bobby Deol, Priyanka Chopra
  • Director:
    Kabeer Kaushik
Chamku begins with scenes of bucolic bliss in Bihar. A farmer and his family are scampering in the swaying fields. It's so pretty that you know it's doomed. Sure enough, before you know it, the father is shot dead and the son gravely wounded. He is rescued by a Naxalite leader, who reads Pushkin and plans operation with equal dexterity. The leader christens the little boy Chamku and rears him to be a killer, played by Bobby Deol. When the leader is killed, an intelligent agency officer makes a deal with Chamku: he now becomes a state sponsored assassin. Until this point, Chamku is ferociously effective. Director Kabir Kaushik who earlier made the gritty eastern UP-police drama Seher, orchestrates the tragedy with an unflinching eye. He has a feel for the rhythms and textures of the badlands. But the film starts faltering when the action moves to Mumbai. Suddenly we see Chamku staring moodily at the sea wearing designer goggles, leather pants and a spiffy jacket. He also falls in love with a school teacher who channeling Sushmita Sen from Main Hoon Na, dresses exclusively in chiffon saris and sexy blouses. Of course Chamku now wants to quit the killing fields but the only exit available is death. Like in Seher, Kaushik is trying to create a damning portrait of the system. Everyone, from the minister to Chamku, is a pawn in this vast network of money and power. Bobby Deol as a Naxalite requires serious suspension of disbelief but with impassive eyes and grim mouth, he strives hard to make it convincing. But both Kaushik and Deol are hobbled by the screenplay. The plot movement is jerky, the characters are half-baked and the pace is slowed down by unnecessary songs, including an inexplicable item number. Beyond a point, the incessant violence becomes predictable and tiresome. Chamku had the potential to be an insightful movie about a brutal system but the film manages to be only intermittently engaging. This is strictly average fare.
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