The story of Laxmi Agarwal – the acid attack survivor, and campaigner of the rights of acid attack victims – comes to the big screen with Meghna Gulzar and Deepika Padukone’s ‘Chhapaak’.
Just like Arushi Talwar case, Jessica Lal case or many other real-life incidents which have come in the limelight in recent years, Chhapaak captures one such long battle of Laxmi.
If you don’t remember, Laxmi Agarwal was 15 years old who declined the love interest of a 32-year-old man named Naeem Khan. Anxious with the denial, Khan threw acid on Laxmi’s face for refusing him, destroying her face, but not her will.
Post the incident, instead of sitting quietly, Laxmi stood up to fight for the rights of the victims and file a PIL in the apex court to ban over-the-counter sale of acid.
Whereas, in the fictional depiction of the film, a 19-year-old girl named as Malti (Deepika Padukone), a young aspiring singer, gets attacked by Bashir Khan with acid. Bashir is a family friend and fondly called as Bashir ‘bhaiya’ by Malti. Despite undergoing multiple surgeries, she does not give up and struggles to find a job to support her family and is constantly reminded that a face is necessary to make the society face you. Post the traumatic turns of events, Malti decides that just being a survivor isn’t enough. She gets support and love from Amol (Vikrant Massey) who runs an NGO for acid attack survivors.
Meghna has done a commendable job with the direction and writing, whereas Deepika leaves no scope for any flaw in the representation of her character. And even Vikrant looks really fresh on the screen.