Chamku (2008) *MQ*

Vijayta Films Pvt Ltd celebrates its 25 years in the Indian Film Industry a Silver Jubilee by presenting ‘CHAMKU’. Directed by Kabeer Kaushik, who had earlier made ‘Sehar’, is a moving saga about a man trapped and hounded by the system, which is supposed to protect the rights of the individual.

Cast: Bobby Deol, Priyanka Chopra

Vendetta — one theme that’s beaten to death in Bollywood. CHAMKU tackles the age-old theme of revenge, although director Kabeer Kaushik throws a twist at the outset, when a Naxalite is picked up by RAW and IB to work for them. Otherwise, CHAMKU is old wine presented in a new bottle. The only saving grace is Bobby Deol, who delivers his career-best performance in CHAMKU.

The film, stars Bobby Deol in the role of leading protagonist Chamku. He is the son of a poor farmer, whose parents are gunned down by a ruthless Thakur. He manages to survive only because he is saved by a group of Naxalites, led by the benign Baba (Danny Denzongpa). He grows up with the Naxalites, learns to live in the forests and shoot to kill. But one day, this episode in Chamku’s life comes to an abrupt end when the Naxalites are busted by the cops. Baba loses his life while Chamku and his colleagues are captured, only to be killed in one of those staged encounters by the cops.

But Chamku survives yet again. But this time it is the cops who save him. They leave him with no choice but to work for them killing and disposing of terrorists, criminals and certain political figures, as when deemed necessary by the Home Ministry and the intelligence services like RAW. The man behind recruiting him for this job is a Police officer called Kapoor (Irrfan Khan) and his junior, played by Ninad Kamath.

There follows a series of killings and assassinations, all staged by the state. There is no road back. But despite this, life and love visit Chamku and something in him is awakened when he meets Shubhi (Priyanka Chopra), a Montessori school teacher. They fall in love but she is unaware of the secret life that he leads. Events take a turn when during one of assassination bids, Chamku misses his target as he spots the Thakur (Akhilendra Mishra), the man who gunned down his parents. In all these years, Thakur has become a force to reckon with. He is now a big bookie and quite untouchable. But Chamku is determined to exact his revenge. However, life takes another turn when the cops turn the tables on him and leave him at the Thakur’s mercy. But Chamku emerges unscathed and finally cuts the knot that binds him to the state.

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