Chakra Movie Review: A cyber-crime thriller that lacks a tight screenplay

Chakra, which was wrongly suspected to be a sequel to Irumbu Thirai (2018), is about a military officer’s battle to outsmart a supposedly intelligent cyber-criminal. Debutant director MS Anandan’s competence lies in making the audience believe that his film is well thought-through just because there is a tech-savvy antagonist and the protagonist flaunts his incurable contempt for Digital India. The cyber-crime thriller doesn’t take much time to brandish its laughable loose ends.

A cyber-crime thriller that lacks a tight screenplay

Movie: Chakra
Chakra Cast: Vishal, Shraddha Srinath, Regina Cassandra and others
Chakra Director: MS Anandan
Movie Rating: 2/5

As the film takes off, scores of houses in Hyderabad (the place is Chennai in the Tamil version) are burgled by two masked men, who come armed with guns. The police department is frozen by the swiftness of their crime. Shraddha Srinath plays a top cop who is taken aback by it all. Before you know, Chandru (Chakra) gallops to the city from his army post to nab the criminals. Somehow, only he discovers that the robbers are up for another day of loot.

Our filmmakers interpret/pick the IPC sections as per their convenience. In one film, cops say they need evidence before they can arrest a suspect. In another film, like in the week”s major Telugu release Naandhi, cops just round up an innocent guy, frame him and lock him up for five years (and an IPC section is then invoked by the victim to make the criminal justice system work at the rate of Usain Bolt). It’s a no-brainer that when the prime suspect in a high-profile case is around, the first thing a policeman would do is nab him, put him in jail and ensure that he doesn’t get bail. In Chakra, the cops look for evidence and keep bungling forever. It’s scary when the good side is shown to be an embodiment of dumbness 

Much as the film wants the audience to believe in a digital dystopia, it just fails spectacularly. No dialogue about the rampant data leakage in the era of tech hits home. The hero breaks into a forced diatribe against “corporate criminals” in the middle of a busy chase (from the control room). 

Perhaps, the writer-director didn’t conceive Chakra as a racy thriller. Perhaps, it was supposed to be a masala entertainer where Vishal is a larger-than-life military man. But is that an alibi to throw logic out of the window? For the hero, clues are just a random conversation away. Give him ‘00100’ and he will see a symbol in it. But the antagonist is foolish enough to casually visit a chess centre at the most dangerous time possible. One too many elements are old-school. The villain, whose backstory is spoonfed to the audience, is looking at humiliating rather than eliminating the opponent. The hero intends to provoke his enemy’s ego. Conveniently, the supposedly inventive villain commits a blunder. 

The love track between Vishal and Shraddha is listless, complete with a comedian uncle. Regina Cassandra’s character needed a lot of heft when the intention was to make it look Orwellian. Srushti Dange is seen in a forgettable role. Yuvan Shankar Raja’s background music is loud at times. 

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