Chehre movie review: Shantata! Monologue Chalu Aahe
What: Rumy Jafry’s thriller starring Amitabh Bachchan, Emraan Hashmi and Krystle D’Souza in key roles is the unofficial adaptation of Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s German novel Die Panne aka A Dangerous Game aka The breakdown where Amitabh Bachchan’s tedious monologue mercilessly kills the mystery.
A happening head honcho of a Delhi based ad agency Sameer Mehra (Emraan Hashmi) is speeding amidst a snowy hill station 210 odd miles before Delhi. His car breaks down and he luckily meets Paramjeet Singh Bhuller (Annu Kapoor) former criminal defense lawyer who is passing by to meet his three friends Lateef Zaidi (Amitabh Bachchan) a former criminal prosecution lawyer, former hangman Hariya Jatav (Raghubir Yadav) at former Justice Jagdish Acharya (Dhritiman Chatterjee) mansion. The four gentlemen share a passion for the game of mock trials which they play at weekends. Having no other option due to the bad weather Sameer agrees to spend the night at the mansion and after a couple of drinks gets allured to join the game. The mansion also has Rhea Chakraborty the mysterious care taker and his mute brother Joe (Siddhanth Kapoor) with a past.
The writer director Rumy Jafry and his co writer Ranjit Kapoor are guilty for not giving any credit to the inspiration behind Chehre – Swiss writer Friedrich Durrenmatt’s German novel Die Panne (also known as A Dangerous Game, Trap, Breakdown).
Vijay Tendulkar’s iconic cult Marathi stage production Shantata! Court Chalu Ahe was inspired by Die Panne which motivated director Satyadev Dubey to helm the 1971 cult classic Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe the movie spearheaded the new wave in Marathi cinema.
There is a line in the movie Chehre which says “Everyone’s a sinner but only those who get caught are termed criminals”. Am not going into the morality debate with the makers after finding this Chehre actually a borrowed identity which tries to salvage itself by restoring to old school thriller mystery techniques.
The first half spends most of the time in establishing the characters and it’s a job done decently which succeeds in maintaining the interest level as Lateef Zaidi (Amitabh Bachchan) starts peeping into the life of Sameer Mehra (Emraan Hashmi) and his relationship with Natasha Oswal (Krystle D’Souza) – wife of his boss G. S. Oswal (Samir Soni).
Though it maintains the interest level amongst the diehard fans of Amitabh Bachchan, Emraan Hashmi and routine admirers of mystery suspense thrillers, it’s still guilty of being predictable for those who watch movies of this genre a bit seriously.
The second half is tediously boring showcase of people giving unwanted gyan on the judiciary system and when the dots surrounding Sameer Mehra starts getting connected, we are forced to go through a tedious monologue by none other than Mr. Bachchan. We start wondering what is happening and where is all this going, the monologue travels everywhere but fails to land anywhere.
Why did Mr. Bachchan dragged himself into this competition with Kartik Aaryan?!!. Kyu Aakhir Kyu…
After the monologue horror here comes the shock for a true Amitabh Bachchan fan, its Emraan Hashmi who steals the show in Chehre in spite of Mr. Bachchan’s much publicized ‘no fees’ special appearance and known heroics.
Emraan Hashmi sways comfortably and very naturally into the character of Sameer Mehra with remarkable ease.
Dhritiman Chatterjee is fantastic.
Rhea Chakraborty has a brief but interesting role.
Krystle D'Souza makes her mark in her debut.
Annu Kapoor sometimes goes overboard, Raghubir Yadav had nothing much to do, ditto for Siddhanth Kapoor and Samir Soni is so routine. After a decent first half, second half is a tedious pain.
Cinematographer Binod Pradhan’s camerawork is atmospheric. Music by Clinton Cerejo and is apt.
Amitabh Bachchan’s monologue
Amitabh Bachchan’s entry
I rest my case, you are free to make your judgment.