Chakra (2021 film)
Chakra (transl. Wheel) is a 2021 Indian Tamil-language action thriller film written and directed by MS Anandan in his directorial debut. The film stars Vishal Reddy, Shraddha Srinath and Regina Cassandra. The film is based on cybercrimes and e-commerce scams. The film plot is made revolving around the robbery by a gang of hackers and cyber criminals on the Independence Day of India. The film is a spin-off to Reddy’s 2018 film Irumbu Thirai. The film was released on 19 February 2021 and opened to mixed reviews from critics and from the audiences. The screenplay of the film was criticised.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||MS Anandan|
|Written by||MS Anandan|
|Music by||Yuvan Shankar Raja|
|Distributed by||PVR Pictures|
B4U Motion Pictures (Hindi version)
|Box office||₹36 crore (1st week collection)|
49 robberies occurred on August 15th - Independence Day, with two masked robbers looting houses. The entire police force is clueless without the slightest lead or evidence. Gayathri, who is an Assistant Commissioner, kills a local thug before being given this case. She realizes that 50 houses were looted in total, with the 50th being the house of Chandru, her former love interest. Chandru's grandmother gets injured in the theft in an attempt to safeguard the Ashoka Chakra medal which was bestowed to Chandru's late father. However, the thieves knocked her down and stole the medal. Now, it is Chandru's personal mission to avenge them, retrieve the medal, and solve the case.
Chandru looks back at the case details and information from the victims to realize that the robbers had known the exact location of money and jewels in every house. He deduces that the robbers had visited every house beforehand and planned the theft to perfection. Hence, he writes down a list of people who can get access to people's houses and realizes that a company known as Dial For Help, which provides household services like technician, plumber, etc, may be involved in the case. Hence, he heads to the headquarters and realizes that all 50 houses had been serviced by the company under a common number belonging to a dead man.
Chandru visits the dead man's house where the dead man's widow explains that her husband was a good man who had died 2 years ago. Chandru with no other clue, returns back. Meanwhile, an unknown person calls the Police Commissioner and informs that he was responsible for all the thefts thus far. He also challenges the entire force that no one would be able to track him down.
Accepting this as a challenge, Chandru tries to provoke the unknown person which appears to be successful as he gives a clue to his location - 00100. The police realize that it refers to a place and they rush to the place only to find destroyed computers. Chandru reveals that he knew the person would have left but he only rushed to find any clue that he may have left. After some time, Chandru heads back to share his findings.
He reveals that the number 00100 was written on the walls in that place and that it was drawn in such a way that refers to the Queen and that the hacker had left a thumbprint on the mouse used to destroy all data. He further reveals that theft would occur in 58 more houses in August 23rd due to the CM's Arrival. Lastly, he reveals that the hacker that they were searching for thus far was not a man, but a woman.
The unknown hacker is revealed to be Leela who works as a Chess Teacher.A flashback shows that a young Leela had loved her mother tremendously and wanted to study well to make her proud. Her alcoholic and abusive father tortures her mother everyday. The next day, Leela wakes up to find her mother dead while in her sleep.Her father who finds out about this, later marries another women with her two young sons. Later Leela's father reveals to that him and his new wife had suffocated and killed Leela's mother.A enraged Leela kills both her father and her stepmother using electricity.She uses her stepmother's two sons as baits for her thefts. Next cat and mouse chase begins between Leela and Chandru in which, Chandru wins and movie ends with an open end for a sequel where Leela challenges Chandru by uttering the words "THE GAME BEGINS".
- Vishal Reddy as Chandru
- Shraddha Srinath as Gayathri
- Regina Cassandra as Leela
- Srushti Dange as Dial For Help CEO
- Robo Shankar as Kumar
- Nassar as Chandru's late father
- Manobala as Gayathri's Uncle
- K. R. Vijaya as Chandru's Grandma
- Ravikanth as Dial For Help Board member
- Baby Krithika as Young Leela
- Aruldoss as Leela's Father
- Neelima Rani as Leela's Mother
- Vijay Babu as Police Commissioner
- Amit Bhargav as Ganesh
- Maha Delhi Ganesh
- Rail Ravi as Dial For Help Board member
- Pradeep K. Vijayan as Dial For Help Board member
The film was initially touted to be the sequel of Vishal's previous action thriller hacker film Irumbu Thirai which became a success at the box office in 2018. The film was rumoured to be titled as Irumbu Thirai 2 as the film genre was quite similar to the former. However the film was later titled as Chakra by the filmmakers as the film story revolves around Ashoka Chakra which is the highest peacetime military decoration in India. Veteran actress K. R. Vijaya made a comeback through this film after a sabbatical of three years.
The film was initially supposed to have its theatrical release on 1 May 2020 coinciding with the May Day but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in India. The film is was simultaneously released on 19 February 2021 along with its dubbed versions in Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi as Chakra Ka Rakshak (English: The Protector of Chakra).
This section contains too many or overly lengthy quotations for an encyclopedic entry. (February 2021)
Chakra received positive reviews from audiences and mixed reviews from critics. M Suganth of The Times of India gave the film 3.5/5 and wrote “Chakra is more focused on momentary thrills. Like the cat-and-mouse stretch in the second half when the hero has to save the incapacitated heroine from the antagonist despite being miles away and battling a hundred goons. Or the well-choreographed stunt sequence (choreographed by Anbariv) in a prison cell when two criminals let loose and attack a cavalry of cops. Beyond such a handful of moments, the film feels rather tame.”
Sify Movies gave the film 3.5/5, writing “Technically, the background score of Yuvan Shankar Raja and visuals of Balasubramaniam are average. MS Anandan's dialogues on Digital India and how the current generation losing their privacy through mobile phones and online shopping are done and dusted in Irumbuthirai so, nothing is exciting here. Robo Shankar is another needless torture in the film, his one-liners neither evoke laughter nor interest us.”
Behindwoods also gave the film 3.5/5 and wrote “The film has an open ending that's very similar to Irumbuthirai. However it's hard to understand the need for it. It looks like it's been added just for the sake of it. With some above par technical work and good actors as a part of the cast, Chakra should have been a great film, but then great films also require solid writing and that reduces Chakra to a strict one-time watch.”
Telugu cinema gave the film 3.25 out of 5 stars and wrote “Regina’s role is lifted from the female protagonist of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. So much hype builds up in the first half, but everything goes down in the second half, turning it a silly and mediocre thriller. After a point, the film completely loses steam.”
Indiaglitz gave the film 3.5 out of 5 stars and wrote “ Debutant MS Anandan has set his Chakra in the same universe as that of Vishal's hit cyber thriller Irumbu Thirai, and succeeds in fairly engaging the audience, especially with the racy second half. While the plain narrative in the initial half of the movie sans thrills might hamper the excitement, the next part makes up for it with many interesting sequences, such as the chess episode, and the fights between Regina and Vishal. The screenplay by MS Anandan is well complemented by action choreography and cinematography that makes fight scenes look real. The flashback part explaining the motive behind the culprit's crimes could have been innovative, as it gives a sense of deja vu. Despite the shortcomings in the initial part of the movie, Chakra turns out to be a thrilling entertainer with gripping sequences. All said, MS Anandan engaging screenplay powered by macho hero Vishal and surprise package Regina Cassandra's performance makes Chakra a winner."
The Hindu wrote “Chakra positions itself as a cyber crime thriller. The absence of a major romantic track and songs is a huge relief, as is the character arc of the villain, but certain key emotional elements get in the way a tad too many times. Vishal looks fit enough to play an Army man, but ought to loosen up a little more and avoid the one too many ‘socially-conscious’ dialogues that have no connection with the story (the ATM sequence, released as part of the sneak peek, being one). Regina Cassandra picks a solid role, but could have pushed the bar higher in terms of performance.”
Madras High Court issued a temporary stay order preventing the release of the film over copyright claims. Trident Artists studio which was initially offered to produce the film filed complaint at the High Court stating that the story of the film was initially narrated to them by the film director. It was revealed that producer of Trident Artists Ravi entered a contract with the director Anandan to produce the film. However, the production was later handed over to Vishal Film Factory without the consent of Trident Artists. In addition, Madras HC urged actor Vishal to pay compensation for the losses incurred by the producer of his previous film Action. The dispute between Trident Artistes and Vishal Film Factory was solved just days before the film release.
- "'Chakra' trailer: Vishal, Shraddha Srinath star in hacker drama". The Hindu. 27 June 2020. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
- "Chakra will deal with e-commerce scam". The Times of India. 6 March 2020. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
- "'Chakra' First Look: Vishal is back with yet another action-thriller – Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
- "Vishal's Chakra to hit screens on February 19". Times of India. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
- "Chakra movie review: Vishal, Shraddha Srinath's thriller is a predictable hodgepodge - Entertainment News , Firstpost". Firstpost. 19 February 2021. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
- Chakra Movie Review: Weak writing lets down Chakra, retrieved 19 February 2021
- "Shraddha Srinath roped in for Vishal's Irumbuthirai sequel". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
- "Regina Cassandra in a negative role?". Deccan Chronicle. 2 July 2020. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
- "Vishal's Irumbuthirai sequel titled Chakra?". Cinema Express. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
- "Shoot at Site: Vishal is in search of the Chakra". The Times of India. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
- "Anand Shankar confirms project with Vishal and Arya". Times of India. 13 October 2020. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
- "Vishal's 'Chakra' to release as planned on February 19". The News Minute. 18 February 2021. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
- "Vishal's Chakra gets interim stay". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
- "Stay against Vishal's Chakra vacated; film to be released tomorrow as initially planned". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
- "Vishal finds a solution for the smooth release of 'Chakra' - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 February 2021.