'Chakra' has released in theatres today (February 19). Contrary to what many are thinking, it is not a sequel to 'Abhimanyudu'. The film is a cyber-crime thriller and is directed by debutant MS Anandan. Here is our review:
Chandru (Vishal) is a military many who air-dashes to Hyderabad when he learns that fifty houses have been burgled in the city. Two masked men have looted Rs 7 Cr on August 15. The police department is clueless. The team led by Gayathri (Shraddha Srinath) doesn't know what to do next. Chandru unlocks one clue after another and pinpoints the location of the villain, who is a tech-savvy cyber-criminal. The rest of the film is about nabbing the culprit and preventing another round of loot from taking place in the city.
It's Vishal's forte through and through. He marshals his action hero image and saves a number of illogical scenes from getting drowned. Regina Cassandra proves her mettle. She is an underrated actress who gets to play a strong role. Shraddha Srinath gets a full-fledged role. While she is good in the cop's avatar, she is found wanting in the romantic portions. Robo Shankar and others are forgettable.
Yuvan Shankar Raja doesn't give a song to remember. His background music is passable. There are moments where he resorts to old-fashioned loud music. The technical aspects of 'Chakra', by and large, are middling.
Large segments of 'Chakra' are plain annoying to watch because of how they are staged. The villain's childhood story, for example, is too dramatized. It's not like the flashback enriches the character.
The female characters are treated with disdain, especially Shraddha Srinath's Gayathri. She is a top police officer who is supposed to be sensible if not smarter than the hero. But she just doesn't know how to interrogate criminals. She bungles it up and she can't defend herself.
There is a place for father sentiment because the Ashok Chakra medal of the hero's father gets stolen. There is a grandma who gets way too mawkish about all this. The scenes just don't strike an emotional chord.
With 'Abhimanyudu', Vishal had scope for upstaging a well-equipped criminal. Even as a common man, he was believable. In 'Chakra', he is not an underdog but a military chap in whose presence even the City Commissioner is mute. Despite this, the heroism just doesn't engage.
The climax comes undone with an open-ended ending. The motif of chess doesn't raise the stakes.
'Chakra' is an unintelligent thriller that doesn't engage the audience. The second half goes haywire with illogical scenes.