Critic’s Rating : / 5
Chakki Movie Review : Has the intent but doesn’t quite electrify
Review: Vijay Parashar (Rahul Bhat), an ordinary man from Bhopal, has compromised on his dreams to support his family financially. He runs a humble flour mill and wants to marry his girlfriend, Reema (Priya Bapat). One day, an inflated electricity bill of ₹1,60,000 for a month jolts him, and he rushes to the board to rectify it. What ensues is de rigueur — everyone from top to bottom unabashedly asks for a bribe as Vijay runs from pillar to post to solve the problem. As the electricity board sends his faulty meter to a lab, he’s left with no electricity, and the work at his flour mill comes to a grinding halt for more than two months. Out of money, he opts for a temporary but illegal fix as a last-ditch effort. Things turn for the worse, and Vijay struggles to stay afloat, with the stress taking a toll on his relationship with Reema.
Chakki is a metaphor for the grind middle-class people go through when they must deal with governmental authorities. The backdrop, characters, and events are relatable. Although the film has the right intent to portray an ordinary citizen’s run-in with the corrupt babus, director and co-writer Satish Munda falters in executing it well. The first half spends too much time showing Vijay chasing the authorities, making the narrative drag. The fallout of his experience comes in much later. So, while you understand Vijay’s frustration, it becomes slightly challenging to empathise with him. The flick picks up pace in the second half and becomes more engaging.
Rahul Bhat delivers a power-packed and nuanced performance. From his frustrations to disappointments and determination toward the end, he owns the scene in every frame. He’s outstanding in a scene where he has an outburst when things don’t move forward just because he doesn’t bribe one of the staffers. Priya Bapat holds her ground as his fiance, and the duo has great on-screen chemistry. The film’s background score, by music producer Meghdeep Bose, Indian Ocean’s soundtrack and Varun Grover and Piyush Mishra’s lyrics make the film more impactful.
The simplistic conflict resolution is a slight let-down and seems far-fetched. But if you can take it with a pinch of salt, it’s enjoyable. The film doesn’t go overboard in portraying the quirks of a small town, which works in its favour.
If you don’t set your expectations too high, the movie is worth a watch for its theme and Rahul Bhat’s performance.