Director: Rumi Jaffery
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Emraan Hashmi, Annu Kapoor, Raghubir Yadav, Rhea Chakraborty
“I am tired and bored of this game, just give the verdict already,” says Emraan Hashmi’s at the climax of the film. Unfortunately, the dialogue holds true for Chehre.
Director Rumi Jaffery takes his audience to the world of four friends (Amitabh Bachchan, Annu Kapoor, Raghubir Yadav, and Dhritiman Chatterjee) who are retired court officials comprising a public prosecutor, defense lawyer, judge, and an executioner who play a game which is like a mock trial with a mysterious visitor (Hashmi) who reaches the doorstep of their house due to some unforeseen circumstances. While Hashmi’s character is initially reluctant to participate, he later gives in and decides to play the game. It may sound like an interesting plot, but the film lacks both the smarts and the menace of being a good courtroom drama thriller.
To begin with, the screenplay is inert, especially in the first half. The second half, which is set almost entirely in a makeshift courtroom, has more vigour. There are some interesting points in the film including some heavy dialoguebaazi, but the problem lies in parts that are supposed to establish a connection between the audience and the characters – they are loosely written and over dramatically portrayed onscreen.
Given the absurd twists and turns, the film comes across as a convoluted and tedious mess. It almost feels like Jaffery has botched up his own script. At almost two and half hours, the film seems slow and boring. The cat and mouse game between Bachchan and Hashmi’s character never picks up pace
Of the performances, Bachchan is top-notch. His nuances and his ability to pull off the best lines with his elegant baritone make the performance as clinical as a veteran lawyer’s arguments in court. The makers have given him a stylish look which adds to his karizma. Kapoor like always is convincing and easily slips into his character. Both actors combine to create the right amount of tension and thrill. Cahterjee and Yadav with their experience lend in good support On the other hand, Hashmi as a corporate guy looks a little jaded. Siddhant Kapoor as the house help seems to wasted. The women- Rhea Chakraborty as the maid and Krystle D’Souza as a love interest are cardboard-ish and hardly have any meat to work with.
Chehre isn’t unwatchable, but it is an inconsistent film has very little to offer. I was reminded of Sunny Deol’s famous dialogue, “Tareekh pe tareekh, tareekh pe tareekh, tareekh pe tareekh milti gayi My Lord, par insaaf nahi mila” from the 1993 super hit film Damini. The audience surely won’t get any kind of insaaf after investing their time in Chehre.