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CHEHRE is a futile and cumbersome sermon, all for a simple message!

A verbose and dim-witted plot constructed merely to preach about practicality of law and justice, CHEHRE is an exhausting thriller, marked by a senseless narrative, loud acting and poor production values. Totally avoidable!

The Plot: An 80-year-old criminal lawyer along with his friends has a penchant for real-life games. They conduct a mock trial and decide if justice has been served, if not they make sure justice has been served.

CHEHRE is an uncredited adaptation of the 1956 German novel “A Dangerous Game” by Friedrich Dürrenmatt. The movie has been in the making for over two years and its datedness is evident on- screen. The treatment is also akin to a B-movie – be it in its narration of the love story, the conflict or the melodramatic dialogues. Writer/director Rumi Jaffrey treats his audience like children, spoon- feeding every emotion with a verbal description, and ending it all with a nearly 15-minute long discourse, from the assertive Mr. Bachchan, on how our legal system does not deliver ‘Justice’, it merely delivers ‘Verdicts’.

In hindsight, I do believe that the plot did have the potential to deliver a gripping thriller. Perhaps a crisper and subtler screenplay could’ve provided the much needed heft to the proceedings. Instead, the makers choose vainglorious bluster from its hammy cast, preaching ho-hum notions about crime and justice. Consequently, all you get is a tiring drama marked by tedious moralization. There are flaws galore in the writing, and practically impossible to list down here. For a film with such limited content to display, the duration of CHEHRE is just too long.

Amitabh Bachchan, who’s supposedly in a guest appearance, hogs the limelight here. As I mentioned before, his assertiveness is magnetic. However, here, he’s been made to blurt-out sweeping statements against crime, injustice, and basically the legal system as a whole. The stupidity of the premise eclipses everything. Emraan Hashmi is also unable to deliver his full potential, owing to the vacuous and outlandish drama on display. Annu Kapoor, Dhritiman Chatterjee and Raghubir Yadav act merely as props in this 140 minute long movie. The film’s insensitiveness is evident from the fact that it showcases the ladies as either miserable victims, or cruel vixens – nothing in between. The ladies here are Rhea Chakraborty and Krystle D’Souza, who display only marginal acting prowess.

To sum up, CHEHRE is a film that fails on every count. Stay away from this one!


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