Meghna Gulzar”s “Chhapaak” is a hard film to watch. It is brutal in impact, horrifying in its depiction of pain and trauma, and seems a tad too long despite a runtime of just around two hours given the heavy subject at hand.
At the end of it you feel “Chhapaak” could only have been this way.
For all its bleak packaging, “Chhapaak” isn”t a story of despair. Narrating the story of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal (rechristened here as Malti), this can ultimately be seen as a story of hope. The film is about the victim”s constant battle to overcome seemingly insurmountable depths of hopelessness, and it underlines the fact that the most important thing in life is life itself.
The story traces about 13 years in the life of Malti, played by Deepika Padukone, from the time she was a class XII student when the bestial attack happened on her, right through the years when she waged a legal battle for justice.