|Directed by: Meghna Gulzar
Produced by:Fox Star Studios, Deepika Padukone, Govind Singh Sandhu and Meghna Gulzar
Written by: Atika Chohan and Meghna Gulzar
Starring: Deepika Padukone and Vikrant Massey
Music by: Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy
Cinematography: Malay Prakash
Edited by: Nitin Baid
Production company: Fox Star Studios, KA Productions and Mriga Films
Distributed by: Fox Star Studios
Release date: 10 January 2020
Storyline: The film is based on the real-life story of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal. The film revolves around Malti (Deepika Padukone) who is attacked with acid on a street in New Delhi, in 2005. ‘Chhapaak’ then takes us on a journey about surviving an acid attack in India, the medico-legal-social state of affairs that transpires after the acid has been hurled and the face is irreparably burnt.
About Laxmi Agarwal: Laxmi was born on 1st June 1990, is an Indian campaigner with Stop Sale Acid and a TV host. She is an acid attack survivor and speaks for the rights of acid attack victims. She was attacked in 2005 at age 15, by a 32-year-old man named Nadeem Khan (Guddu) whose advances she had rejected. Her story, among others, was told in a series on acid attack victims by Hindustan Times. She has also advocated against acid attacks through gathering 27000 signatures for a petition to curb acid sales, and taking that cause to the Indian Supreme Court. She is the Founder of Stop Sale Acid, a campaign against acid violence and sale of acid. Laxmi started this campaign with #StopSaleAcid which garnered nationwide support. She recently received International Women Empowerment Award 2019 from IWES, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and Unicef for her campaign Stop Sale Acid. She is also the former director of Chhanv Foundation, a NGO dedicated to help the survivors of acid attacks in India. Laxmi received a 2014 International Women of Courage award by US First Lady Michelle Obama.
Know more about the captain of the Ship, the director:
Meghna began her writing career as a freelance writer for The Times of India and the NFDC publication Cinema in India. Her poetry was published in anthologies of the Poetry Society of India. After completing her graduation in Sociology, she worked with noted filmmaker Saeed Akhtar Mirza as an assistant director. In 1995, she completed a short course in filmmaking from the Tisch School of Arts, New York University, New York. Upon her return, she joined her father, writer-director Gulzar, as an assistant on his films Maachis and Hu Tu Tu. Meghna simultaneously began scripting her own film along with directing documentaries for Doordarshan and music videos for several music albums.
Meghna directed her first film, Filhaal, in 2002,starring former Miss Universe-turned-actress Sushmita Sen and Tabu. Her second directorial movie was Just Married in 2007. She also directed a short film Pooranmasi for Sanjay Gupta’s anthology Dus Kahaniyaan, starring Amrita Singh. In 2015, Meghna directed Talvar,written by Vishal Bharadwaj and based on the 2008 Noida double murder case. Meghna’s last directorial venture was 2018 thriller Raazi.
My Gut Feel (MGF) and comments:
“She’s the kind of queen that knows her crown isn’t on her head but in her soul.”—Adrian Michael.
Above quote hold true for Acid attach survivor Laxmi Agarwal who has been an inspiration. Her rousing life journey leads to conceptualization of upcoming movie Chhapaak. Chhapaak’s trailer is intelligently edited and movie looks promising with griping story line and impactful screenplay. Meghna Gulzar the director, is the X factor as she is extremely good film maker and capable of handling this kind of subject very well. I particularly cherished her last two directorial ventures Talvar and Raazi.
Deepika Padukone turned producer with this Chhapaak. She is looking stunning in the trailer and seems to have done full justice to the real life character with utmost sincerity. Ajay Devgn starrer movie Tanhaji is also releasing on 10th January 2020, the day Chhapaak is releasing. This will definely impact the box office business of Chhapaak however I am confident that Chhapaak will be appreciated by Critics and would do decent business at Box office.
Going by My Gut Feeling (MGF), I am giving this movie 3.5 stars out of 5 two weeks before the release. 3 stars for the story, screenplay and sincere performances and additional half a star for Meghna Gulzar’s impactful direction.