Chambal Review: This Sathish Ninasam-starrer is an honest thriller
This sincere film is a good watch, and director Jacob Verghese's brilliance lies in the way he slowly builds the character of the protagonist, based on late IAS officer DK Ravi
Jacob Varghese is a rare breed of a filmmaker in that he does not make films just to appease his audience or producers. From all his four previous films, it is evident that he likes realistic subjects. Like Prithvi, starring Puneeth Rajkumar as an IAS officer, Chambal too revolves around an honest civil servant. While much of the film looks like it is inspired from the life of DK Ravi, an upright IAS officer who was found dead at his residence in 2015, Chambal is clearly a work of fiction that involves some cinematic liberty.
Cast: Sathish Ninasam, Sonu Gowda, Achyuth Kumar, Roger Narayan, Sardar Sathya
Director: Jacob Varghese
The story is about Subhash (Sathish Ninasam), deputy commissioner of Kolar district, who cracks down on illegal encroachment and sand mining. Pressure from politicians gets him transferred to Bengaluru, where he is deputed as the commercial tax officer. Here, he exposes tax evasions by certain real estate firms close to various politicians and bureaucrats. He is later found dead and it is declared a suicide. The twist comes when the film gains pace with a murder angle, which eventually makes for an edge-of-the-seat thriller.
Jacob Verghese got a ready-made script based on DK Ravi, but his brilliance lies in the way he slowly builds the character, only to give it a new dimension with incredible swiftness. Without adding any colour to the story, he keeps the audience hooked with his content. If taken seriously by those who matter, then this IAS officer’s death will be a topic of discussion once again. That said, the film would have been more relevant had it been released earlier.
Sathish Ninasam steals the show by perfectly getting into the skin of a truthful civil servant. Sonu Gowda, as the IAS officer’s wife, has a small, but significant role to play. Achyuth Kumar, Roger Narayan, Sardar Sathya, Pawan Kumar and Mahantesh, all have key roles, and each delivers an impressive performance. More than the songs composed by Poornachandra Tejaswi, it is the background score by Sam and team that impresses, and really holds the film together. Cameraman Shashikumar, however, seems to have had little scope for creativity.
A sincere and honest film, Chambal is a good watch given that it brings out a fact that we all seem to know but are afraid to believe.