“It was her; it could be you”. The trailer starts with protesters shouting, “we want justice… we want justice”, and they are lathi-charged in pursuit of dissent.
Chhapaak is based on the life of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal. But the name of the character has been fictionalised to Malti and is played by Deepika Padukone.
The trailer pits her first appearance as a girl lying in hapless agony as people surround her is seen gazing at the spectacle without rendering any help. Deepika is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful actors to have played Malti, especially with the conviction it requires. Her scream from seeing her burnt face for the first time will send a chill down your spine, and the horror of her predicament will become evident to the audience.
The trailer shows a glimpse of her transition from being a victim to someone who is gaining courage and what is even more awe-inspiring is the journey of not only being courageous but becoming someone who gives courage. It shows her struggle; in a nutshell, her fight against her culprits, and learning to smile seeing as is reflected how beautiful her world is merely by her infectious positivity. One of the scenes will melt your heart when she takes out her earrings again to dress up still.
One must laud not only the performance but Deepika’s decision to play such a heart-wrenching role. It requires a lot of courage and believes in the art form for a successful commercial actor like her to play a character such as Malti.
The film also has Vikrant Massey portraying the character of Amol, a social activist and Malti’s partner.
The trailer gives a small window to understand that the story seems to act in sequence, moving between personal tragedy and the courtroom drama – intertwined in raising pertinent and pivotal questions such as human rights and finding love for herself.
There are a lot of moments in the trailer which triggers some realisation and awareness such as “kitna accha hota agar acid bikta hi nahin. Milta hi nahin, toh phikta bhi nahin”.
In 2013, the Supreme Court instructed governments to issue a license to selected retailers who sell such volatile liquid. Also, SC identified acid throwing as a criminal offence with ten years of imprisonment. However, every year, 250–300 acid attacks are reported, and some are not even reported for the stigma attached to it.
Acid attack or vitriolage is a result of extreme patriarchy, one in which being a woman has no existence or denied of any respect or dignity. It also knows no gender, as in one of Laxmi’s statements she confirmed, her attacker had a woman sitting behind his bike holding the bottle of Acid.
The trailer has raised a lot of excitement, and in terms of how much of reality gets to be shown on the silver screen, it will be seen when the film releases on 10 January 2020.
Directed by Meghna Gulzar, behold, Chhapaak’s trailer.