Cast: Manoj Bajpai, Arjun
Rampal, Abhay Deol, Esha
Gupta, Anjali Patil, Om Puri
Direction: Prakash Jha
Duration: 2 hours 20 minutes
STORY: 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?
Chakravyuh’s prologue tells you how the Naxalite movement is fast eating into our social fabric. Like most wars fought between the haves and the have-nots; this one being fought with the Police (read administration) on the one hand and the Naxalites on the other and it has 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-withouta- 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 and offers to infiltrate the opposition to help Adil in his mission. He is told by Adil, that his actions will get him the title of a true patriot. Kabir joins the `enemy’ and finds himself confronting several truths that were hitherto hidden from him. He realizes that the enemy is not black but grey and has been meted out shabby treatment.
It is the administration that has blood on its hands! Kabir’s sense of justice is so strong that he goes through a change of ideology and emotions. The friends (Adil-Kabir) find themselves on opposite sides of the firing line. And their personal and professional equations make for a compelling film with some 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 happening in our backyard. Jha must also be complimented for the scale and the 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.