'Chhapaak' First Look: Why Deepika Padukone and Meghna Gulzar's 'Chhapaak' makes us hopeful
'Chhapaak' First Look: Deepika Padukone as Malti looks every bit like Laxmi Agarwal, an acid attack survivor whose story of trauma and triumph 'Chhapaak' tries to chart.
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Monday morning begins with the first look of Chhapaak — and it is for things like these that Hindi cinema buffs still flock to the theatres.
This is a story that needs to be told — Chhapaak is reportedly an inspired story of Laxmi Agarwal, an acid attack survivor, imagined on celluloid by Meghna Gulzar, and essayed by Deepika Padukone (her character is named Malti in the film). It has been reiterated enough as to why this story — and others like it — need to be retold. Yet, a part of us was sceptical — would the director-actor duo Meghna Gulzar and Deepika Padukone be able to do justice to this extremely difficult theme?
Indian cinema has no dearth of biopics — especially in the last few years. We've had politicians, sportspersons, even social activists whose inspiring stories have rendered themselves on the silver screen. While some have been dealt with wearing kid gloves, others have found themselves at the receiving end of severe criticism, often owing to a cartoonish portrayal of the character they were meant to bring alive. Case in point: Anupam Kher's portrayal of Dr Manmohan Singh in The Accidental Prime Minister last year. Or, Vivek Oberoi's recently released looks from the upcoming PM Narendra Modi.
Which is precisely why it is so reassuring to see Deepika's first look as Laxmi in Chhapaak.
Not only does she look the part — thanks to an army of make-up artists — she's even got the nuance of the character. That calm in her eyes that looks like it is holding a storm inside.
Deepika vouches that this is a story that will stay with her as she tweets the first-look, "A character that will stay with me forever... Malti. Shoot begins today! Chhapaak!" Meghna, on the other hand, draws your attention to the immense courage and hope this protagonist stands for, and says, "She is courage. She is hope. She is Deepika Padukone as Malti in Chhapaak. Shoot begins today."
Of course, it is too early to rejoice. The shooting of the Vikrant Massey and Deepika starrer has only just begun, and we know far too well not to count our chickens before they hatch. Yet, it does raise our hopes. And the standard we expect now.
Chhapaak is scheduled for a January 10, 2020 release — right now, we're just eagerly waiting for the trailer to drop.