Director : Arun Prasad P A
Producer : Natti Kumar, Rama Satyanarayana
Starring : Jagapathi Babu, Vimala Raman, Madalasa Sharma, Srilekha, Brahmanandam and others...
Music: MM Sreelekha
Tollywood Rating :4.5/10
Directed by Arun Prasad, Chattam has Jagapathi Babu, Vimala Raman, Rao Ramesh, Jeeva in lead roles. The film’s sensitive theme, which has terrorism and how the Indian judicial system has failed to indict the criminals at the epicenter, has been quite controversial since the beginning. The film is about how man takes law into own hands and punishes the culprits.
What’s it about : Jagapathi Babu plays the role of a corrupt police officer who takes bribes without any regret. One day, an acid attack on couple of college girls turns into a political issue when the accused are found dead under strange circumstances. A CBCID enquiry is commissioned and before the culprit is caught, murder of a school-going kid, quite similar to Vaishnavi’s case, rocks the state. As the CBCID officer probes the issue, he makes a startling discovery about who the murderer is. Before he can be caught, he manages to escape to Mumbai. Who’s the murderer? What’s the motive behind all his actions forms the rest of the story.
What is Good : The film, which is more of a social commentary on the current judicial system, has been made with a good intent. The so called realism is directly inspired from some of the most sensational cases and issues which rocked the state in the last few years. No wonder, most the scenes which hit the bullseye evoke a strong sense of hatred against the culprits who were let loose by the law. Jagapathi Babu gives an honest performance as a police officer. Although his characterization wobbles a bit initially, he makes a good comeback when there’s a sudden twist in the tale. The rest of the actors, although hardly make an impact, are alright in their roles and thankfully, don’t hamper the flow.
What is bad: For a film which tries hard to evoke the anger about the passive laws in India, Chattam is utterly naïve and predictable. The debate about why the courts take so much time has been going on for a long time and almost every possibility has been carefully discussed and debated. Although the narration in the second half of the film is good, there’s hardly anything which would catch us by surprise. After an interesting twist, the rest of the film is all about how the murderer killed the accused and the reason why he’s doing that. If you look at the film in the reverse way, wonder what happens to all the anger, which the lead character has in his heart, in the first half of the film when he’s extremely jovial. The dialogues are obsolete and that’s one reason why they don’t really make an impact.
Technical Departments : There are hardly any songs in the film and director Arun Prasad chooses to concentrate entirely on the story, which is a good thing. Cinematography is alright and editing is good. The narration is well-paced and despite the predictable storyline, it manages to be quite gripping. Arun Prasad’s intentions are honourable but the film’s predictability kills almost every possibility of Chattam being a hard hitting film.
Final Point : Films based on terrorism have become the order of the day to showcase one’s anger. However, Chattam ends up being a 2 hours drama about beating the dead meat. The theme has been done to death and there’s hardly anything which offer a fresh perspective on the issue. Maybe the film should have released back in 2009 or in 2001 when the horror of the terrorist attacks were yet to sink in. For now, the film tries hard to appeal to our emotional perception of reality with a fictional end. And there lies the problem. Watch a documentary or news reports instead to get the actual sense of anger boiling in people’s hearts.
Review by P.S.RAM