Coke and Popcorn Review Chhapaak: Prepare to drown in your tears
Chhapaak. One of the most anticipated films of 2020, and also one of the most controversial. Either way, it’s finally upon us. This morning, the day of the release, Dibyaudh and Tambe decided they had to attend the first day first show of the movie. Here’s their account of their experience.
When we had booked tickets for the first day first show of Meghna Gulzar's Chhapaak, we had no idea what was in store for us. We were in fact, more excited to explore the audience perception around the controversy and politics the film and its lead have been courting.
So there we were - first thing in the morning, sleep forgotten, ready to fill the seats that the Chappaak Boycotters had all cancelled together - A8, A9, and A10.
Chappaak is based on the story of Laxmi Agarwal, an acid attack survivor from Delhi. The movie stays true to the facts of her story. Small details are changed, like character names, but it succeeds in mapping her journey from a teenager in love, to being attacked by a family friend who was obsessed with her, to becoming an activist seeking a ban on the sale of acid in India. Her story is masterfully portrayed by Deepika Padukone, as Malti.
This movie holds back no punches. But the strong narrative aside, we had a bunch of burning questions - like did Deepika’s JNU visit change anything about how viewers felt about the movie? Are they worried about being declared anti-national? What motivated them to sacrifice sleep for Malti’s story?
Halfway into the film, and a few shocks later, we had completely forgotten about the politics outside. Instead each splash of the corrosive acid felt like liquid assault on our ignorance.
Here’s our walk-through of the FDFS experience:
To watch the entire video of our interview with Premlata, scroll down.
Throughout the movie, she had tears coming out of her eye-slits. Eyeslits. Because the surface of her face had desecrated in an acid attack by her then husband, when she was at the tender age of 16.
His reason? She refused to let him coerce her into sex work.
Here is a voice that matters, telling you why movies like Chhapaak are so important in India.