Chehre Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Emraan Hashmi, Annu Kapoor, Rhea Chakraborty, Siddhanth Kapoor, Raghubir Yadav, Dhritiman Chatterjee, Krystle D'Souza
Chehre Director: Rumy Jafry
Where to Watch: Theatres (not released in Maharashtra)
Constricted thrillers (read thrillers where most of the plot unfolds in a confined space) have an idiosyncratic charm to them. While many such films have appeared in Hollywood as also European and Asian cinema, Bollywood hasn't really been able to fully tap into the sub-genre. The only ones of note that come to mind are 1969's
Ittefaq, 1999's Kaun and 2016's Neerja. Now, with theatres across the country and especially across Maharashtra and the South yet to operate at full capacity, and the industry facing some of its biggest hurdles ever (and I'm not solely referring to the COVID-19 pandemic, but would rather not deviate from the review), Amitabh Bachchan and Emraan Hashmi's Chehre arrives to make its mark as a thriller in this mould. So, are you excited about what to watch this weekend or what to watch this week and wondering whether Chehre is worth your time? Scroll down for my full Chehre review...
What's it about
After advertising hotshot Sameer Mehra (Emraan Hashmi)'s car crashes at a remote location en route to Delhi in a snowstorm, he's invited to seek refuge at a palatial home, housing four retired men – ex-chief prosecutor Lateef Zaidi (Amitabh Bachchan), ex-chief defence counsel Paramjeet Singh Bhuller (Annu Kapoor), ex-judge Jagdish Acharya (Dhritiman Chatterjee) and ex-hangman Hariya Jatav (Raghubir Yadav) – along with their caretakers Aana (Rhea Chakraborty) and Joe (Siddhanth Kapoor), who collectively draw him into a sinister game.
Watch the Chehre trailer below: VIDEO
The first half of Chehre is actually quite engaging, with absorbing narrative arcs and crisp, underhand dialogues that grasp your attention. And when the screenplay and direction badly dip there onward,
Emraan Hashmi, Amitabh Bachchan and Annu Kapoor (in that order) lens their experience to keep us remotely interested in the proceedings, with decent support from Dhritiman Chatterjee, Raghubir Yadav (both expected), Rhea Chakraborty and Siddhanth Kapoor (both unexpected).
Both Rumy Jafry's script (co-written with Ranjit Kapoor)and direction falters badly in the second half, with the last half hour almost appearing cartoonish, helped in no way by the poor VFX and Binod Pradhan's amateurish camerawork, which, together, annihilate any chance of creating a moody atmosphere of the forbiding location. Bodhaditya Banerjee's unimaginative, interminable editing skills are no better as is Krystle D'Souza's atrocious acting skills, which her gorgeous looks can hardly make up for. The biggest drawback of Chehre is how it's main point, when revealed, appears frivolous and stretched for no reason, and how the plot then looks coerced to make us believe the retired protagonists are holier-than-thou do-gooders, when all they appear to be after that point are senile hounds of justice, unable to let go of their once glorious past. Also, credit to Emraan Hashmi, Amitabh Bachchan, Annu Kapoor and even Rhea Chakraborty for essaying such poorly written roles so well. Plus, Amitabh's so-called big monologue has zero bearing on the actual plot.
If not for the performances and first half, Chehre would have had hardly anything going for it. I'm going with 2.5 out of 5 stars.
2.5 out of 5
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