Whenever political genre films are thought of, the first name which fleets into any cineaste's mind is Prakash Jha. His brand of film making are for the thinking audience giving them a slice of reality which remains shrouded from public view. His films may not have exactly set the box office on fire but the blunt reality showcased interspersed with cinematic liberties are undeniable be it "Gangaajal", "Rajneeti" or Aarakshan". This time around he has touched upon the ever prevalent issue of Naxalism through "Chakravyuh". So can he reap box office rewards with critical acclaim???
Nandighat has been in the news for quite some time as it was the stronghold of the Naxals led by their charismatic leader Rajan (Manoj Bajpai). Seeking to eradicate the Naxal influence, SP Adil Khan (Arjun Rampal) takes up the challenge but his plans fails to materialise thanks to the lack of support among the villagers owing to the atrocities meted out to them on a regular basis by the Government & police force. Seeing Adil's plight, his close buddy Kabir (Abhay Deol) comes up with the idea of infiltrating into the Naxal camp & being an informer. In due time, their combined efforts starts to bear fruit but Kabir starts to realise that the principles of Naxalism does make sense. So will Kabir have a change of heart & if so, does it change his equation with Adil???
Once again Prakash Jha has come up with an interesting subject as there are a lot of mixed opinions as to what the Naxals does is justifiable or not. Well I wont delve into that aspect, but Jha has definitely given us a brief insight into the ground reality. However, the treatment of the story wasn't impressive as it takes up a predictable route & fails to strike any kind of emotional chord with the audience barring a few sequences. If it wasnt for the riveting performances by quite a few, it would have been a lack lustre experience over all.
Though not one of the protagonists, the first person whom I would like to mention is Anjali Patil as the fiery Naxal Juhi. She was a revelation & breathed fire into her character with utmost naturality. Abhay Deol is always known to select off beat films & emerges a winner. Arjun Rampal is fine while Manoj Bajpai & Om Puri comes up with intense impressive performances.
Verdict: The rustic packaging of the film wont attract the masala lovers & the lack of a interesting plot wont have the critics singing praises. At the most it might break-even if its lucky though I doubt it. In short, check it out for the performances but that also do so when it comes on TV!!!