Chakra Movie Review: This thriller has the effect of a comedy

Chakra is the unintendedly funny story of a vicious army man who apprehends a silly hacker through a combination of chance events and fortunate guesswork. Think of it as the Suppandi version of Irumbuthirai. Like the PS Mithran film, this too speaks of the dangers lurking in digital India; this too features Yuvan’s perpetual music that communicates a sense of urgency; this too attempts to be a cat and mouse game… However, the similarities end here. The writing in Chakra is pedestrian and lacks heart, the film is devoid of an emotional core, and as for the villain, the character is an amusing caricature at best. What about the hero, you ask? Allow me to introduce him to you through the remainder of this review.

You should know that Major Chandru (Vishal) is an incredibly fortunate man. Every time, he works himself into a corner, the universe—or maybe it is just the helpful writer of this film—conspires to hand him solutions on a platter. The film begins by showing us a couple of masked men who have struck their half-century of robberies, and Chandru, an army Major who’s, for some reason, solving the case on behalf of his girlfriend, Gayathri (Shraddha Srinath), finds himself in a futile discussion with police officers who are more clueless than he is. Good writing is when story developments feel organic, when the cause and effect of events stops them from feeling forced. However, in this scene, a constable randomly interrupts the meeting, mumbling something about faulty plumbing. Gayathri takes time out from the important criminal investigation to help him with a home services app, and voila, Chandru gets his answer. In another scene, Chandra is a frustrated figure who has met a dead end again, and who should come by but a random man complaining about a stolen bike, and voila! Towards the end, when he’s yet again helpless and lacking evidence, who should come by his secret CCTV camera but the very person he is so desperate to catch? 

Director: MS Anandan

Cast: Vishal, Shraddha Srinath, Regina Cassandra

You should also know that Major Chandru, for all his patriotism and social responsibility, is a murderous, lawless man. There are plenty of hints at the brutality he has a taste for. One of his earliest expressions of love for Gayathri is him saying, “Unakkaaga kolaye pannuven” Some scenes later, he smacks Gayathri’s rude uncle (Manobala) on the face, and tells Gayathri, “Uyiroda vidaren, unakaaga.” His grandmother adds: “Kola pannaama vittaane…” One of the first moves in his investigation is the arrest of dozens and dozens of hapless workers like delivery personnel and street vendors, who get assaulted for no rhyme or reason. Chandru is also the type to deliver self-righteous speeches about how such workers need to be treated with kindness. A couple of scenes later, his advice to Gayathri about conducting her interrogation: “Adichu visaarikaadha, adichuttu visaari.” Frankly, he need not even have bothered with Gayathtri, because she’s a piece of work herself. Her introduction scene is of her offing a couple of gangsters and saying something about “police power”.

For the remainder of this review (and there’s a lot more left, I assure you), visit Chakra Movie Review: This thriller has the effect of a comedy- Cinema express

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