CHEHRE is a well-made film that is based on a unique plot and bravado performances.

Chehre Review {3.0 / 5} and Review Rating

CHEHRE is the story of a man who faces a difficult time when confronting retired legal professionals. Sameer Mehra (Emraan Hashmi) is the head of an advertising agency called Paradoy. He goes to a hill station somewhere in the north for a publicity shoot. But due to a work commitment in Delhi, he leaves the hill town despite heavy snowfall. On the way, he takes a shortcut to Delhi, but due to a fallen tree, he gets stuck. Also, your car breaks down suddenly. He then meets Paramjeet Singh Bhullar (Annu Kapoor), who advises him to accompany him to a friend’s house until it is safe to go. Paramjeet takes him to the house of Jagdish Acharya (Dhritiman Chatterjee) where Hariya Jatav (Raghubir Yadav) is already present. Soon, Lateef Zaidi (Amitabh Bachchan) is also joining them. The quartet then informs Sameer that they meet every day and play a unique game. As part of this game, they conduct a mock trial, as they are all retired legal professionals. While Jagdish Acharya was a retired judge in a nearby court, Paramjeet was a defense attorney and Lateef was a chief prosecutor. They invite Sameer to play this game. Sameer agrees. The quartet tells him that he will be the defendant in his court of law. Paramjeet would defend him while Lateef would try to prove him guilty. Meanwhile, Jagdish would be the judge. Lateef gives Sameer a chance to confess if he’s ever committed a crime and gotten away with it. Then you will be tried on that charge. Sameer, however, says with certainty that he has never committed any crime. Lateef then has a chance to try him for any crime he wants. In the course of their conversation, Sameer blurts out that he used to loathe his former boss, GS Oswal (Samir Soni) because he was a tyrant. Sameer also reveals that Oswal recently died and that he took office. Faced with this, Lateef decides to try him in his court for the ‘murder’ of Oswal. Sameer is horrified and makes it clear that he has not killed him. But Lateef tells the court that he is willing to put his legal reputation on the line and that he will never play this game again if he cannot prove that Sameer was not part of Oswal’s “murder.” Sameer is a bit worried, but then realizes that he doesn’t have to worry as it’s just a game. But her concerns are instantly dispelled when she discovers that Hariya Jatav was neither a lawyer nor a judge. In reality, he was an executioner and has kept the noose ready, in case the defendant is proven guilty in his court. What happens next forms the rest of the movie.

Chehre movie review

Ranjit Kapoor’s story is inspired by the acclaimed novel ‘A Dangerous Game’ by Swiss writer Friedrich Dürrenmatt and is very interesting and unique. Ranjit Kapoor and Rumy Jafry’s script is effective for most parts, especially the first half. But the writing loses its grip in the second half, more towards the preclimax. Ranjit Kapoor and Rumy Jafry’s dialogues are sharp in several places. The 13 minute long monologue, however, does not achieve the desired impact and should have been shorter and should have had the required impact.

Rumy Jafry’s address is impressive. It is commendable for a director who in the past has made entertaining animators direct a thriller so well. This is a challenging movie as it is primarily set in a house. But it presents the characters and their traits very well. The way they trust Sameer is very compelling. In fact, there are no complaints in the first half as the way the tension builds makes for an exciting experience. The problem arises in the second half as it seems to creep. Also, the climax should have been better and exciting. The monologue also spoils the narrative. In the past, Amitabh Bachchan had rocked the show with ‘No Means No’ dialogue on PINK. [2016]. It was shorter and much more shocking. Here something was required along those lines, but sadly the monologue turns out to be endless and even drifts off. The other problem with the movie is that it has a lot of dialogue. The creators have gone to great lengths to instill drama and tension whenever possible. But even then, the audience is not used to such a narrative and setting. So a topic like this is experimental and will appeal primarily to urban and niche audiences.

CHEHRE begins on a great note. Amitabh Bachchan’s entrance is worthy of applause. The dialogue exchange here is very fluid and compelling. The way Lateef manages to conclude that Sameer is a culprit through the power of his observation and the experience of asking the right questions keeps it interesting. The middle point is shocking. The second half begins on an interesting note. The flashback of Sameer and Natasha (Krystle Dsouza) is refreshing as it gives the audience a break from the four walls of the mansion where the film is set. Initially, it’s captivating, but towards the end of the flashback, the movie becomes predictable. The twist in the final scene of the film is quite impressive and helps the film end on a good note.

Speaking of acting, Amitabh Bachchan, as always, is excellent and adapts to the role. His expression of dialogue is obviously commendable, but he’s very impressive in scenes where he just watches and plans his next wise move. Emraan Hashmi is the surprise of the movie. He’s always been a great performer, but here, he steals the show and stands in front of veteran actors. Plus, he looks pretty dapper. Annu Kapoor is trustworthy as always and it’s funny how she pronounces certain words and terms. Dhritiman Chatterjee has limited dialogue but leaves a mark. Raghubir Yadav has a unique look and adds to the craziness, especially in the middle. Krystle Dsouza is another surprise from the movie. Rhea Chakraborty (Anna) plays an important role and initially seems a bit cartoonish. But then it becomes clear that his character is a bit unstable mentally. He is memorable in two scenes: one, where he nearly stabs Emraan, and two, when Emraan asks for the keys. Siddhant Kapoor (Joe) has no dialogue but speaks through his eyes. Samir Soni looks bored, while Alexx O’Nell (Richard) has no reach.

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There are only 2 songs in the movie. The main track is unimpressive while ‘Rang Dariya’ it is forgettable. Clinton Cerejo’s background score is subtle but intriguing. Binod Pradhan’s cinematography is excellent. A theme like this could lead people to think that they are watching a play on stage. But thanks to the lens and the way you’ve captured the shots, it doesn’t feel like that. Priya Suhas’ production design also deserves brownie points for giving the film a cinematic feel. Shivam Vikram Kapoor’s costumes are realistic yet attractive. Redefine’s VFX is good on multiple scenes but weak on climax. Bodhaditya Banerjee’s editing should have been tighter in the second half.

In the archive, CHEHRE is a well-made film that relies on unique plot and bravado performances. However, due to the long second half and the experimental nature of the subject, the film will primarily appeal to multiple audiences.

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