Deepika Padukone-starrer Chhapaak has been grabbing headlines ever since the actor paid a visit to the JNU students post the attack in JNU on January 5th. However, instead of focussing on this important movie which tells a heart-wrenching story of an acid attack survivor, everyone was busy boycotting the film as they blamed Deepika for supporting alleged traitors of the nation.
I am not concerned whether Deepika supports the right or the left-wing, what I am worried about is that because of such social media trends, a brilliant movie like Chhapaak has merely earned Rs 30 crore at the box office which means not many people chose to watch this story which was very important to be told.
Cinema is one of the best mediums to put across social messages and make this world a better place to live in. With over 1,500 acid attacks taking place in India in almost 5 years, a movie like Chhapaak was needed for us to realize how important it has become for us to be aware, to stop such criminal minds from spoiling someone’s life and above all, to realize that only regulating the circulation of acid is not enough and that it should be completely banned in order to prevent such incidents from taking place.
But did we do? We did not watch the movie. Not only because we are so-called nationalists who thought that boycotting Chhapaak is the sole motive of our lives but also because we thought that why go and watch a movie which does not have item numbers, comedy, and masala entertainment.
The irony here is, that the people who chose to ignore Chhapaak for whatsoever reasons are the same people who criticize Bollywood for making the same old films with no scripts and hence, they do not deserve gems like Chhapaak.
Deepika Padukone’s exceptional performance, Meghna Gulzar’s brilliant storytelling, and a heart-wrenching and inspiring tale, Chhapaak is one Bollywood movie that will always be remembered for its powerful impact on those who have seen the film. For the rest, it is best they go watch the ultimate masala movies without a storyline.
Each moment, frame, emotion, and dialogue in the movie will touch your heart, but we, the Indian audience, do not deserve it.
Chhapaak is based on the inspiring life of acid-attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal who was attacked when she was 16 years old and later did not only fought back like a warrior but also started a campaign to stop the sale of acid in the country. Chhapaak has been helmed by Meghna Gulzar who has previously directed critically-acclaimed movies like Talvar and Raazi. The film also stars Vikrant Massey in a pivotal role and has been produced under the banner of Fox Star Studios and Deepika Padukone.