Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Meghna Gulzar|
|Produced by||Fox Star Studios|
Govind Singh Sandhu
|Written by||Atika Chohan|
|Edited by||Nitin Baid|
Fox Star Studios
|Distributed by||Fox Star Studios|
|Box office||est. ₹41.09 crore|
Chhapaak (transl. Splash) is a 2020 Indian Hindi-language drama film directed by Meghna Gulzar and produced by her as well as Deepika Padukone in collaboration with Fox Star Studios. Based on the life of Laxmi Agarwal, it stars Padukone as an acid attack survivor, alongside Vikrant Massey.
The film was announced on 24 December 2018 by Padukone on her Twitter account; it marks her first production venture. Filming took place from March to June 2019 in New Delhi and Mumbai. Days before the film's release, Padukone visited students who were brutalised during the 2020 JNU Attack, which led to a divided response on Twitter. A few right-wing magazines later wrongly reported that the religion of the acid thrower in the film was changed from a Muslim into a Hindu character. The film was theatrically released on 10 January 2020. It received positive reviews from critics.
- Deepika Padukone as Malti
- Vikrant Massey as Amol
- Madhurjeet Sarghi as Archana Bajaj
- Anand Tiwari as Bajaj's husband
- Vaibhavi Upadhyaya as Minakshi
- Payal Nair as Shiraz
- Vishal Dahiya as Basheer Shaikh, the acid attacker
- Ankit Bisht as Rajesh
- Geeta Agarwal
- Manohar Teli
- Sharvari Deshpande
- Delzad Hivale
On 7 January 2020, Padukone joined a protest-gathering at Jawaharlal Nehru University against the 2020 JNU Attack against left wing students and passage of CAA 2019. Bharatiya Janata Party’s student wing, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad is blamed for the attack. The visit angered BJP leaders who expressed it in social media. Soon enough, the hashtags BoycottChhapaak and BlockDeepika began trending in Indian Twitter with members of the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party contributing in its proliferation. In response, ISupportDeepika was floated which gained greater traction and by the end of the day, her follower count had increased significantly. Actor Varun Dhawan talked about similar calls for boycott of his film Dilwale, and stated that the boycott may hurt the business, so it is used as a scare tactics meant to prevent people from expressing their opinion in public. He supported Deepika in condemning the attacks stating it is wrong to not do it.
On 8 January, social media users criticized the filmmaker Meghna Gulzar alleging that she changed the name and religion of the characters in the film. Several right-wing magazines, Swarajya and Opindia wrongly reported that the name of the attacker who was a Muslim in real life, was changed into a Hindu name "Rajesh", in the film. BJP MP and Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Babul Supriyo called the change deliberate and "absolute hypocrisy". BJP MP from South Delhi, Ramesh Bidhuri made calls to public for a boycott of the movie.  BJP MP Subramanian Swamy called it a defamation and informed legal action against the makers for this.Mumbai Mirror reported that in past the filmmakers making films based on real life incidents had the liberty to change the names as well as the storyline in their films. The visit to JNU by Deepika was seen by Mumbai Mirror as the reason for an aggressive stand was taken against the film. These claims were debunked by the co founder of Newslaundry Abhinandan Sekhri, who had watched a special screening of the film Chhapaak in Delhi. He stated that the claims of the attacker belonging to the Hindu religion were false, since the movie showed him as a Muslim. Journalist Radhika Sharma from PTI reported that Rajesh was the name of Malti’s boyfriend. The acid attacker was called Bashir Khan urf Babboo in the film.
Advocate Aparna Bhat, who represented Agarwal in the case fought at Patiala House Courts, pursued legal action against the makers for not mentioning her in the film, "to protect her identity and preserve her integrity".
On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 82% based on 11 reviews. Teo Bugbee of The New York Times reviewed that Chhapaak "succeeds in balancing extremes. It is at once a pleasing and buoyant inspirational story, and a realistic depiction of the brutal aftermath of acid attacks." Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express credited the film for portraying "drama without dreaded melodrama" and highlighted Padukone's "solid, realised performance" to be its prime asset. Anna M.M.Vetticad of first post in a mixed review wrote"The blend Massey achieves is what Chhapaak needed as a whole. Without that, what we are left with are good intentions, a heart in the right place, a major star taking a huge risk with an unorthodox role and a bunch of pluses that somehow do not come together to deliver an immersive experience."  Writing for The Hindu, Namrata Joshi summarised that "Padukone’s performance and Meghna Gulzar’s direction ensure that Chhapaak is like a splash that leaves you misty with emotions, if not entirely drenched". Ankur Pathak of HuffPost labelled it "a quietly powerful social commentary, a film that never allows you to be comfortable" and considered Padukone's performance to be a career best.
Uday Bhatia of Mint wrote that it "earnestly highlights a depressingly common horror", adding that it "deals squarely with its subject without quite transcending it". In a mixed review, Anupama Chopra praised Padukone's performance but added that the film "hovers dangerously close to becoming a public service announcement. The messaging becomes bigger than the movie, which reduces the impact". Conversely, Sukanya Verma of Rediff.com commended Gulzar for documenting "Chhapaak's grim reality barefacedly without losing sight of its character's quiet determination to fight the reasons that make such heinous crimes possible in the first place".
Chhapaak earned ₹4.77 crore at the domestic box office on its opening day. On the second day, the film collected ₹6.90 crore. On the third day, the film collected ₹7.35 crore,taking total opening weekend collection to ₹19.02 crore.
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||14 January 2020|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Label||Zee Music Company|
|1.||"Nok Jhok"||Siddharth Mahadevan||3:58|
|2.||"Chhapaak - Title Track"||Arijit Singh||4:39|
|3.||"Khulne Do"||Arijit Singh||2:40|
|4.||"Sab Jhulas Gaya"||Arijit Singh||1:24|
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- Pathak, Ankur (9 January 2020). "'Chhapaak' Movie Review: Deepika Padukone Delivers Her Career Best In This Quietly Powerful Drama". HuffPost. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
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