Chamku is the Bobby Deol-Priyanka Chopra starrer that has garnered quite some buzz around its strange name and genre. Hardcore subjects have been experimented with by a lot of talented directors such as Mani Rantnam and Ram Gopal Varma, but Chamku will test how Kabeer Kaushik fairs when canning this particular story.
Chandrama Singh AKA Chamku is a Naxalite fighter from Bihar who is sent from this clandestine company – a government in themselves – to get rid of rebellious rudiments. He has no other choice other than to complete the mission, but wait… there is a twist. While on his mission, Chamku falls for a beautiful teacher ala Priyanka Chopra. Feeling this strange first love, Chamku wants to be a normal person and lead a normal life. But how can he when his life is a cluttered mess of what do to do and what really should be done? Excerpts from his past are in the film’s progression and Chamku himself is faced with a dilemma when his past – an abhorring, unforgettable time – reemerges into his life.
What I like about this film is that Kaushik has managed to extract one of the best performances from all actors. The viewer forgets that the actors are actually performing and begins to see them as characters on a screen. Not being such an experienced director, Kaushik has surely showed a great load of talent. His cinema has a personal yet massive touch to it. Each scene is depicted with an ugly reality that looks just right. Nothing seems over the top in this film. It’s all balanced and the film shows you true, hardcore and intense drama.
Bobby Deol has given his best performance thus far with Chamku. He knows his role and plays it effortlessly. Each scene with him captivates your attention, and all you want to know is what happens next. Priyanka Chopra looks effervescent and beautiful in the simple-yet-stunning attire. One image that remains with you until the end is the yellow sari look in the song ‘Aaja Milke’. Irfan Khan is, as usual, phenomenal. Rajpal Yadav and Akhilendra Mishra both excel at their given roles. All other actors make do wildly with what little or loads they have.
The music, by the fantastical Saawariya Man, Monty Sharma, is so-so. Of course, ‘Aaja Milke’ is one helluva beautiful song, but it still holds nothing against Sharma’s previous soundtrack. I don’t want to be too hard on it as it does have some immense potential. There is just something about the haunting feel to it.
The first half of this film progresses with each phase described beautifully, and the transgression of characters is also depicted nicely. Director Kabeer Kaushik has a way for showing change and with Chamku he definitely tells us so. The cinematography of this first hour is wonderful, as it is with art direction and background score.
Although the second half slows a bit and at times is muddled, there is still that tug of a good filmmaker. Something about it holds you in place and gives you an angst to see how the characters are going to end up. Also, what’s interesting is how the narration changes with past and present, especially in the style it’s shown. Everything, as I said earlier, has a balance to it. The balance alone makes it a complete motion picture to view and digest.
In a world of nonsensical comedies, Chamku comes as a breath of fresh air. So what if the genre is hard-hitting? So what if some scenes really aren’t family oriented? The film is good. Period. It showcases great talent and from the stretch of the first minute to the end credits, it keeps pace with today’s generation as well as the worldly seniors.
Chamku is actually best in the second half. Whereas the first half has an ease to it, the second half is packed with immense intensity. Now this may not work out too well with other films, but for this one it actually does.
Agreeably, Chamku is a smart film made by a talented director who has the potential to go to great heights if he keeps experimenting. All performances are brilliant, and technically speaking the film is nothing short of a Filmfare. Everything has a natural freeness to it, and the characters and scenes flow beautifully. What’s important is that Chamku keeps your attention so that you stay glued to your seat. The thrill is unending. That is a ton of pleasure for me to say because lately I’ve only had the fortune of reviewing movies I didn’t like. But I can honestly say, Chamku is very… very good.