Movie Review: Chamku
What do you do if any of Bobby Deol’s decade old dramas like Badal, Bichoo or Bardasht play on any of the satellite movie channels today? Majority would switch to another channel in search for a better source of entertainment. Chamku assumes the same aura, ambience and act of those archaic artifacts and you know how to act in response to such attempts.
The film starts as the account of an oppressed farmer, switches track to outlawed naxalite narrative, substitutes with the story of an intelligence officer and finally ends up being a regular revenge drama. Each subplot is given an outrageously obsolete treatment. Chamku (Bobby Deol) loses his father to a tyrannizing Thakur , is brought up by naxalites and trained by Indian intelligence for whom he engages in undercover operations.
Under instructions of the intelligence chief (Irrfan Khan), Chamku is on a relentless killing spree of anonymous individuals that pile up for the major pointless portions of the film. Abruptly you are informed that he also has a companion (Riteish Deshmukh, in his worst role ever) who adds no value to the film, as he is assassinated before you could acquaint yourselves with his character. Also there’s a Marathi-muddled motherly figure (Sulbha Arya) but you aren’t certain who she’s related to – Chamku or his chamcha.
Meanwhile a film without a female lead seems far-fetched in Bollywood, irrespective of her significance to the story. So a mandatory prop (read heroine) is squeezed in the screenplay in the form of a Montessori teacher (Priyanka Chopra) perpetually draped in chiffon saris. Luckily their love story is cut short but mercilessly you are supposed to sustain a superfluous song in the bargain. The heroine’s role starts on an ‘I love you’ note and ends with an ‘I am pregnant’ remark. Quite a multi-dimensional character!!!
Back at work, Chamku encounters the Thakur (Akhilendra Mishra) who had killed his father and wants to seek revenge. He traces the Thakur in a pub and opens fire in public though the populace there remains unperturbed and seems to be more interested in boogieing with babes.
Some time later Irrfan Khan pinches on your wounds, unashamedly announcing, “Every film needs a proper climax else the audience feels cheated”. This film not only lacks a proper climax but also original characterizations, conflicts, chemistry, compositions or chronicles. How one wishes Irrfan should have asked the director, “Kya aapko K.I.L.B. hai? – Kum Innovation Laane ki Bimari ?”. The music is painful and the recurring encounter and fake encounter sequences test your tolerance as you cringe in your seats with annoyance.
Bobby Deol carries the same jaded expression throughout the film. For Riteish Deshmukh, its clearly one of those films that you do as a favour for industry friends. Priyanka Chopra substantiates how worthless heroines are to male-centric cinema. Irrfan Khan shows more screen presence in his 20-second Vodafone commercials. Arya Babbar is relegated to the rank of a junior artist. Danny dies before you notice him.
Alas, Chamku fails to shine. Rather it bears the blemish of an outdated 70s revenge drama.