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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Chhapaak Trailer Emphasises Triumph Over Trauma

Deepika Padukone (Padmaavat, XXX: Return of Xander Cage) is back on our screens, but in a never-seen-before role.

The much-awaited trailer of Meghna Gulzar’s Chhapaak is out now and it will leave you definitely give you goosebumps.

Padukone plays the role of an acid attack survivor in the film, which “makes an attempt to understand the on-ground consequences of surviving an acid attack in India.”

The trailer released on the same day as UN Human Right’s Day (10th Dec) and gives a short insight into the emotion-wrenching story.

Lasting little over two minutes long, the trailer provides glimpses of the harrowing images and scenes to be expected in this emotional rollercoaster.

The trailer shows Malti’s (played by Deepika) broad daylight attack, her dramatic facial reconstruction, a battle to come to terms with her lasting injuries and her truly inspirational journey to put an end to acid attacks in India.

There are between 250 and 300 acid attacks reported in India every year, despite laws restricting the sale of acid or other deadly chemicals, according to Stop Acid Attacks.

The trailer follows her journey from a girl next door to a feisty acid-attack survivor and shows how she won her battle against the heinous crime.

Announcing the trailer release on Twitter, the actor explained why Chhapaak is special for her:

“Rarely do you come across a story where you do not need an entire narration to decide if you want to be a part of a film or not.

What is even rarer is to not be able to articulate and put into words what you feel for the film and its journey… Chhapaak is all of that and more for me…”

Chhapaak is a film that looks at Acid violence through the lens of Acid survivor Laxmi Agarwal’s story. As Malti in the film, she comes from a humble, unprivileged background.

She was attacked with acid on a street in New Delhi, in 2005. Her assailant was a man twice her age, whose advances she clearly declined.

The film makes an attempt to understand the on-ground consequences of surviving an acid attack in India, the medico-legal-social state of affairs that transpire after the acid has been hurled and the face is irreparably burnt.

As such, the movie closely follows her life over the years from her attack.

Viewers journey with her through her rehabilitation, her facial surgeries, her legal battle against her attacker and her constant struggle to become economically independent.

In this time, she also joins a campaign against Acid violence and comes across other victims of Acid attacks as well.

Here she also meets Amol (Vikrant Massey), the founder of the campaign. An emotional attachment forms between the two – an inexplicable bond, free from conforms of the society.

But it is Malti’s game-changing PIL in the Supreme Court of India, with her lawyer Archana Bajaj that inspires the Judiciary to amend to the laws on acid violence in 2013.

Acid attack is granted its own legal section in the Indian Penal Code (Section 326 A, IPC) and the sale of acid is also regulated in the country, as a result of Malti’s PIL.

All these narratives intertwined, make Chhapaak a gritty investigative piece – interspersed with a compelling courtroom drama and woven together around a deeply emotional core.

Overall, the film is a story of the triumph of the unwavering human spirit.

Watch Chhapaak trailer here:


Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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