Chakravyuh‘s prologue tells you how the Naxalite movement is fast eating into our social fabric. Like most wars fought between the haves and have-nots, this one is being fought with the police (read administration) on the one hand and the Naxalites on the other – and it’s gained gargantuan proportions. Today, this movement is so wide-spread, India and her rulers should no longer adopt an escapist attitude.
Enter the educated and enlightened Jha, who, as is his wont, picks up socially relevant subjects for his cinema. In Chakravyuh, he tackles the Naxalite issue head-on.
The plot revolves around three close friends – Adil ( Arjun Rampal), Kabir ( Abhay Deol) and Rhea ( Esha Gupta) – who get into the police academy together. Hot-headed, rebel-without-a-pause Kabir drops out. His friends Adil and Rhea, also romantically involved, become high-ranking police officials. Kabir re-enters their lives at a college reunion.
The action shifts to Nandighat. Adil is sent here to bring the Naxalites to task – his mission is to capture their charismatic chief, Rajan ( Manoj Bajpai).
After several failed attempts, Kabir comes in with an interesting twist to the plot.
Kabir joins the ‘enemy’ and finds himself confronting several truths that were hitherto hidden from him. He realises that the enemy is not black but grey.
Does the administration have blood on its hands or are the Naxalites being unreasonable? Will Kabir’s new-found emotions change his ideology? And will the friends find themselves on opposite sides of the firing line? The personal and professional equations of the two men make for a compelling film with some rock-solid emotions.
Chakravyuh is a hard film to make and marks must be given to Jha for sticking his neck out. Staying true to the subject, he gives us an insight into uncomfortable truths unfolding in our backyard. He is one of the few filmmakers with such audacious work to his credit.
Jha must also be complimented for the scale and performances he has extracted from his lead cast. The men – Manoj, Arjun and Abhay – are compelling; of the girls, Esha starts on a shrill note but improves later. Newbie Anjali Patil shines.
Kabir goes undercover to help his cop-friend Adil destroy a Naxalite group. Will Kabir stay true to his mission or will he become a traitor?
You may not like this movie if socio-political entertainers are not your cup of tea.