Vishal's much awaited movie Chakra, produced under his home banner Vishal Film Factory, has hit the screens today. This movie stars Vishal, Shraddha Srinath, and Regina Cassandra in the lead, with Robo Shankar, Srushti Dange, Manobala, and veteran KR Vijaya in supporting roles! Directed by MS Anandan, Chakra has music by Yuvan Shankar Raja, cinematography by KT Balasubraniyam, and editing by Thiyagu!
On August 15th, all the Police in Chennai city is on high alert, giving security to political leaders while they attend various Independence Day events. Suddenly, the Police Control Room is flooded with calls of multiple robberies from various areas. All the robberies seem to have been committed by 2 people wearing masks, one doing the robbing while the other holds the house inmates under gunpoint! With no time to even react, the Police are rushing to the robbed houses one after the other. A total of 49 houses have reported robberies and the Commissioner brings in tough cop Gayathri (Shraddha Srinath) onto the case, asking her to solve it immediately.
The Police have no clue as to who the criminals are. Gayathri comes to know that her ex-boyfriend Chandru's (Vishal) house has also been robbed and his grandmother (KR Vijaya) has been injured, making it the 50th house to be robbed in the spree. Chandru is a military man, who returns to Chennai and actively gets involved in the robbery investigation as his father's prestigious Ashoka Chakra medal has also been stolen. The criminal mastermind who planned these robberies is very smart and arrogant and openly challenges the Police to catch him, while also cleverly deleting all possible avenues to be tracked down, using cyber technology. Chandru keeps unearthing clues but they still lead him and Gayathri nowhere. However, Chandru seems to understand the criminal's mind and how it works and plans ahead to catch the robbers. Will he? Who is the criminal mastermind? How will the cat and mouse chase go? What has the criminal mastermind planned next? Watch Chakra for the answers...
Vishal fits the role of a military man perfectly and this role as Chandru seems tailormade for him. Shraddha Srinath has taken the action route and shown that like everything else, she can pull this off too with ease. Regina Cassandra is a revelation and has brought out her A-game! The director has taken up a strong story but weak screenplay and utter misses in logic, play spoilsport! None of the characters other than Vishal and Regina have much to do, including Shraddha. After the initial buildup, Shraddha's character takes a backseat, which is another letdown.
Under what basis the Chennai Police allow a military man to lead an investigation and blindly follow his orders, are a big question mark! The establishment of the antagonist's childhood is ok but what lead them down the criminal path has not been told, except for one dialogue that money is needed for everything. Robo Shankar's supposed comic oneliners do not evoke any laughter. However, the concept of the City Commissioner taking orders from a military man in an ongoing investigation is laughable.
One of the biggest advantages to Chakra is the lack of many songs. Yuvan's BGM is functional and cinematography doesn't add much to the movie. Editing could have been more crisp in the second half but the fast cuts throughout, add some pace to the screenplay. The highly predictable screenplay is not saved despite the fast cuts. Some dialogues targetting data privacy and hacking and Digital India, though thought provoking, are concepts which have been told in a number of movies repeatedly, including Vishal's own Irumbuthirai. Some convenient scenes lead us to think that not much thought had gone into them.
Verdict: A highly predictable action thriller that can probably be a one-time watch!