Chakravarthi – The Lost Emperor

Chakravarthi – The Lost Emperor

It's the film of superstar! So you will have to discount your expectation of a credible story line or even a cinematic plot. The discussions will largely be the budget of the film which invariably will be pumped by 30% to make it look large. Subsequently, the conversations will hover around, "How many crores the film has generated the incredible no of theatres it's found a release? This is a very similar to all the films across all the superstars' at least in South India.

Like commercial cinema even film review are driven by a formulate. There has to be a brief description of the story line, even if the film has no story in it.
Shankar aka Chakravathi played by Darshan is a big don and the law catches up with him finally in Malaysia. What drove Shankar a young chap who has a flair for hunting man eating tigers and loves his wife and child into the international underworld?

The story plots his growth from a helpless father wanting to help the society to a person who becomes an underworld don. Does he manage to get out of the underworld and lead a life of a common man?
The film is also spread across the late 80's to current days and liberally borrows from the real life incidents from both the past and the present day. If you are salivating at the prospect of Darshan playing various shades of Shankar maturing as a character and a person over a span of 30 years. Congratulations! You are an eternal optimist!
In the name of creative liberty the director jumps from the 80's to the 2010's by just skipping 20 years. Apart from a weird hair color there is a no progress in Darshan's age or his mannerisms. The heroine however has aged more gracefully at least in the makeup. Of course the makeup seems to be inspired from amateur theatre!
While the story line has used the real life incidents generously, the script seems to be a cut and paste of job all the stale dialogues used in commercial cinemas. Perhaps it's the director way and method to pay homage to all the stale dialogues that are over used by film makers.

If you are reminded of the film OM while watching the film it is because Chakravarthi has not only borrowed characters of the film but a lot of scenes too. Even the way Shankar plots the murder of a gangster has similar camera angles and editing style of the movie OM.

Examine any commercial film that has grossed the box office despite a very predictable story line. It is only because film making is different with either a twist in the tale or the characterization of various roles are crafted differently. Or the film has a few memorable dialogues. Unfortunately, the film has any of the qualities that will endear a fan of commercial films.
All departments of the cinema struggle to bring a sense to the title and the theme " Chakravarthy"!

The cinematographer seems to have only two modes of operation either an extreme close up or a long shot for a short duration. The grandeur in operations of an international don are only told and not cinematographed.

There seems to be no sense of lighting either, even intimate scenes of the hero and heroine are shot in bright light. This lacuna of lighting infact, highlights the extremely fake set design in the film.
Darshan has performed his role effortlessly and I mean to say that he has not put any effort in emoting for this film. Either he sits or stands to deliver the dialogue! Dialogues addressed to his wife or the don have the same style and mannerisms. As ususal, woman play no role in Darshan's film and the character of Deepa Sannidhi is as developed as the artificially placed mole on her cheek.
Resources of the producer have been used to get a lot of good supporting actors, but no effort has been made to use them effectively. Sharath Lohitasva, Aditya Singh have acted well, but their roles are caricatured and underveloped to make even scenes of violence comical!
Few mandatory songs and dance add no meaning and are itchy as dried up boil during summer.

Overall, Chakravarthy reminds you of a frozen dinasour egg there could have been a monster in it, but you know that it is dead and lifeless.
During the interval a fan boy assured me that the second half of any Darshan's film picks up incredibly! I am glad I did not meet him again. Because there is nothing more disappointing than sad eyes of a fan!
I often wonder why superstars, don't demand a challenging script and step into territories that are different, while adhering to the commercial formats that make business sense. I guess, there is no easy answer! The film is more a failure of Darshan's team than the director, because the superstar could have demanded more!