CHAKRAVYUH movie review: Arjun Rampal tries too hard, Abhay Deol doesn’t try hard enough

CHAKRAVYUH movie review: Arjun Rampal tries too hard, Abhay Deol doesn’t try hard enough

Prakash Jha’s political thriller is unintentionally funny and much worse than his previous film Aarakshan

Noble intentions cannot make up for a bad film, and director Prakash Jha’s Arjun Rampal-Abhay Deol-Esha Gupta-Anjali Patil starrer Chakravyuh is one such attempt. While the subject of Naxals is relevant, important and should be talked about by the public at large, Jha’s film is an embarrassment in the garb of an issue-based film. The biggest letdown of this film is the lazy writing credited to Jha, Anjum Rajabali and Sagar Pandya. The holes in the plot are huge and we wonder how three writers couldn’t see them at the scripting stage itself.

The film is about three friends – Adil Khan (Arjun Rampal), Kabir (Abhay Deol) and Rhea Menon (Esha Gupta) – who meet after about seven years. The director tries to establish Kabir as a loony guy, but when the film begins you can’t imagine how loony he will get towards the end. Adil and Rhea are cops married to each other and Kabir is their BFF. Adil is a brave heart cop who agrees to be transferred to a Naxal-infested area and win the trust of the tribal people who are more scared of the cops than the terror mongers. Adil walks up to the one of the villagers, applies an ointment on his wounds and follows that up with a speech. This is the scene when you first giggle at the unintended comedy.

Kabir is one of the most poorly and bizarrely written characters in recent times. No doubt he wasn’t seen promoting the film wholeheartedly. Kabir has no agenda in life; he is projected as a drifter. For reasons best known to the makers, Kabir gives up whatever he has been doing, breaks into the house of a Assistant Commissioner of Police (Adil) and volunteers to help him nab the commander in chief of the Naxal group, Rajan (played very convincingly by Manoj Bajpayee). There is nothing in it for him and he could be shot down by the dangerous Naxals. Now the giggles start increasing at the sheer silliness of the writers.

As you must have guessed from the trailer, Kabir joins the Naxals to become Adil’s informer, but ends up becoming one of them. Despite his changed stance, he keeps diligently informing Adil about Rajan’s activities till he almost destroys the very people he has been feeling sympathetic for. This is when the giggles turn into guffaws. The climax is so hilarious that you might be rolling in the isles laughing so hard that you might cry.

Bajpayee as the naxal chief and Anjali Patil as Juhi – the second-in-command to him – shine. Anjali is the best discovery, and due credit to Jha for giving the newbie such a meaty role. Thic actor could go on to become the Seema Biswas of the newer generation. But these are probably the only two things we can rave about.

You might wonder why Esha Gupta hasn’t been mentioned in the review so far; the reason is that she is barely there in the film. But when she does appear, especially in the climax scene, you can’t help but laugh. A lot of money and hard work has gone into this well-intentioned film, but wish the writers had come up with a story that merits all the effort. Shooting Chakravyuh might have been a logistical nightmare for the makers, but watching it is a much bigger nightmare for the audience. Watch it only for Anjali Patil’s shenanigans and the unintentional comedy.

Rating: 1/5

* Poor – Avoid!

** Average – Give it a shot if you are desperate!

*** Good – One time watch!

**** Very good – Must watch!

***** Excellent – Don’t miss!Subscribe to me on YouTube


  • sandeep

    just saw the movie in the morning …i thought director handled the issue well…..i think this writer should stop writing reviews..does nt seem to have any understanding of the subject and movie

    • Harry

      VERY TRUE…no understanding at all.
      Humble Request-pls stop reviewing.

      • hari singh meena

        such a great direction from prakash jha ,, i dont know who choose the person for review, instead of movie review he himself should be reviewd, and also director should review the person for his post… ha ha ha
        again would say great movie…

        • Amitabh

          definately…it is a great movie…and credit goes to each and every cast directly or indirectly attached to this movie.
          It is time for all of us to think on such issues also,,,,only watching rmantic movies are not going to help you and this country.
          Think about those families which still survive whole day in less than 100rupees.
          Being dude and commenting and saying movie is not good is very easy,,,,
          .If we can not do for this country then atleast we should not discourage others like the movie director.Salute you sir for this great movie.

  • Nadja

    And you try too hard to be a “intellectual” journalist, by the way bad performance by you. Please come down from your throne and ask people who watched really the movie without such cliches like you. In twitter you can read the real opinion by the viewers. They liked it and paid for it and I think that´s more important than your ehm pseudo review. Ask for another job!

  • Sayyid Mohd

    How come can have such a reviewer who dont know the basics and cannot differentiate good and bad movies.

  • teginder

    please stop writing review, know thyself, be a man. then your father must be proud of you. we hope ……

  • rahul

    what a terribe review!!! i giuess u are one those reviwers who think they are too smart for cxertain films i wonder if u liked crap like SOTY considering u belong to same “wannabe” generation as those 3 characters from SOTY SHAME ON U

  • dixit

    Movie is a masterpiece from the Director. This type of films should be seen by maximum people to spread awareness about the issue. And this is how the Bollywood can contribute to the nation. The review above is absolute trash. Reviewer should be banned for negative-marketing of the film.

  • Utkarsh

    Lost all respect for Bollywwodlife after reading this rubbish review. It is definitely an excellent movie where the issue of naxals is treated very fairly, almost all actors did justice to their roles. Arjun was his best in the league.
    I dont take a single word of the above review!

  • sharpdetectives

    Keka Movie……Good Work Done By director…..

  • Katy

    I feel sorry for all this hater comments below. I mean you are not to blame to get the wrong movie to write about. I´m sure inteligent, substantial movies with a strong message like Student of the year or Bol Bachchan would suits you more. In the case you don´t understand the cynism like the movie you reviewed, that´s it!

  • Deepika

    what a review? who paid you ? which political party?
    you gave great review for glossy and stupid movie like SOTY and you do not want people to watch this movie which raises real social issue which can destroy Indian so called democracy if things keep on happening the way they are today. Every Indian should understand the seriousness of it. Everyone who can watch this movie in theater must watch this movie and you guys are discouraging it? such a pity…

  • nitesh

    This is an awesome movie…i dont understand u watched the movie or you were sleeping while watching the movie.
    This is an issue which should have been raised before but now it has been done and that to in a wonderful way by prakash jha………………………..
    Hats offf to you!!!

  • rajesh

    it is awesome movie,a must watch for youth.I sincerely believe u have made the review without watching the movie or u were too busy on yr call

  • Shajahan

    This review is hilarious. This fool, whoever is written this review, talks about the movie being hilarious but nothing in the review illustrates what makes him laugh. Probably, case of sitting in the wrong hall and watching the wrong movie.

    Whatever I wrote above may not make sense to people, but then so does the review. It makes no sense. Just some nincompoop using social media to write rubbish.

    Chakravyuh is a different movie from the one described above.

    Only the name of the actors is what is right in the review above. So, I guess its about attacking personally. Single point agenda.

  • Sharma

    What Rubbish in the name of a movie review.

    Who pays such idiots to write utter nonsense. I hope this guy is thrown out of his job. If this is a free-lance writer, arrest him immediately and throw him out of the internet. Ban this idiot.

  • Asha

    What a great movie Prakash Jha has made – while most of us are deeply engrossed in our life – far from the harsh realities- director has done a great show to bring approciation in front of us witht he reality . This is true India – deeply infected and affected.

    Least we can do is to appreciate work of those who are trying to bring such issues in front of us ! Hats off to Prakash Jha ONCE AGAIN !

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  • Muga Mainali

    F###ing critics..I loved this movie!