Director: V.K. Prakash
People above 16 should not be allowed," declared Freaky Chakra's producer Sunil Mutreja, before the film's screening in Delhi last week. What he meant was that you needed to be equipped with a loopy sense of humour, typical of a youngster, to appreciate the movie's spirit. Mutreja should have been more guarded. What you see on screen certainly doesn't measure up to his assertion. In fact, Freaky Chakra is so asinine that any fun-loving youngster would run miles away from it. The film is also sure to strike a huge blow to the "small, one-crore, independent" film movement that has lately been gaining ground in the industry. Because everything that can possibly go wrong goes wrong here, making even a crore seem too huge an amount to waste.
Talk to the makers and they'll sing hallelujahs about its novel narrative strategy. The film is set inside a writer's (a horribly irritating Ranvir) mind. He imagines an apartment complex in Bangalore with varied characters, one of whom is an eccentric, cantankerous widow (Deepti) who was once a doctor but now makes a living out of decorating dead bodies. She lives alone, seems to hate people, but enjoys her moments of titillation, courtesy the crank caller (Sachin) who talks dirty with her. The writer then introduces a bouncy youngster (Sunil) who gatecrashes into her flat as a PG and the two end up falling in love with each other. So, what should the writer do now that these two have gone out of his control and decided to chart their own destiny together?
Director Prakash's experiment with story-telling might sound promising on paper but fails to deliver on celluloid. Primarily because the key character of the writer turns into an annoying obstruction, intruding ever so often to hamper the action. Also, in this obsession with the narrative, the script is given a short shrift. Characters don't get a life beyond their sentence-long descriptions. Even Deepti's is a unformed role and the seasoned actress can do little to give it any meaning. No relationship or individual is allowed to grow through the 90 minutes. For instance, what makes Deepti fall in love with the young Sunil? Is it because he cutely asks her for a cup of tea? Their attraction is never convincingly grounded, nor is their falling apart. A character like that of Sachin's is shown ad infinitum in the same situation with the same mannerisms and almost the same dialogues. In fact, each of the characters is looked down upon with an undue arrogance and condescension. The idea is to replicate the style and attitude of advertisements and music channels, but Freaky Chakra is brash without any real sense of irreverence. It's meant to be fun, but doesn't even manage to elicit a smile. A joke of a film, and a bad joke at that.