wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)

quick review:

Long, convoluted, over-performed. Pushes you to laugh at it. (Available on Amazon Prime Video)

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Director: Rumy Jaffery
Running time: 140 minutes
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Chehre’s script is most likely a compelling read, at least until it reaches the climax. It must have started with an enigmatic aura about itself. It must then have moved on to become a suspense thriller with clashing philosophies being thrashed out. Right vs Wrong. Practical and street-smart vs Ideal. Sure, even in the script, the climax ought to have sounded haywire, if not ridiculous. But until then, it might have seemed held well together. However, in its execution on screen, the film just spreads out, stretches, and overdoes each bit, making it a cumbersome watch. You can imagine how the ending that didn’t sound good in the first place loses the plot in the film.

Social issues are forced into the spiel as if the writers knew that Amitabh Bachchan’s voice would not be enough to make it persuasive.

When I was done watching the film, my only takeaway was the beautiful snow-capped scenery of the first few scenes. That, too, must be because I am missing the mountains so much, not having been able to visit the Himalayas for over two years.

Indeed, it is a shame that Amitabh Bachchan’s baritone is milked to overwhelm you. I can look at it no other way because the film is bookmarked with his voice at both ends. Chehre begins with him reciting a poem forcefully and dramatically alongside the opening credits, punctuating every word. Same goes for his almost 13-minute monologue that makes for his closing argument as a lawyer. Growing up, I never thought I could have had enough of ‘main aur meri tanhayii…,’. And here we are, feeling it is all too much. Of course, I am glad between the set-up and the climax, we see a glimpse of the actor that we know exists.

I was thankful for that and the presence of poor-joke sprouting Annu Kapoor, weird and uncomfortable Raghuvir Yadav, and Dhritiman Chatterjee, who is appropriately sure of himself. Rhea Chakraborty tries to pull off her character’s eccentricity. Emraan Hashmi’s character doesn’t give him too much to experiment with but has an amicable presence. But most of all, they play their part in giving us a break from the ageing baritone.

This is despite them spouting inanities under the guise of dialogue. It doesn’t help that the story that sounded good on reading is weird when you see it play out on screen. Four old men living in the mountains, all supposedly retired from the judicial system, are clearly looking for a candidate they can try. It is made to look like it is just for kicks. But they are vigilantes who are trying any passerby for whatever wrong the latter might have committed. Yes, absurd.

I have an inkling that the makers knew how bizarre, undigestible and lacking in meaning the plot was. The closing argument I mentioned above goes off on such tangents in terms of content. Social issues are forced into the spiel as if the writers knew that Amitabh Bachchan’s voice would not be enough to make it persuasive.

What you have is a dialogue-heavy film that takes 40-45 minutes to set the story up and stretches each scene out. The predictable twists are made even worse because it takes way too long to get to the revelation. And of course, in the end, there are a few gaping loopholes that want you to dismiss the film as soon as you can.

- meeta, a part of the audience

19 reviewers(?) - 3 yays 10 so-so 6 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by R.M. VIJAYAKAR, India West : ...The songs are created by two entities, come in as noisy interruptions, and, as almost always nowadays, are disastrous. Not so the performances, though. Amitabh Bachchan’s measured and cool performance is enhanced by his eyes, which alone do an amazing job. Emraan Hashmi is in form, though at times his character seems to be written over-the-top to accentuate his character... full review

Thumbs up, by JOGINDER TUTEJA, Rediff : ...The Anand Pandit production plays out well though the climax seems to be a little hasty and not quite conclusive. Better written scenes here could have done the trick. By and large, Chehre turns out to be a cerebral film that would be picked by those who loved Badla. Yes, the constant dialoguebaazi, especially at a single stage setting, may make a few people restless. But those who like to be mentally involved right through, Chehre makes for an engrossing watch.... full review

Thumbs up, by Ritika Handoo, Zee News : ...Is it enjoyable? When is administering a strong dose of justice to slippery characters not enjoyable? Rumi Jafry, the director, keeps the pace going, with the screen characters knocking back drinks as easily as they unravel the case. Is it worth a visit to the theatre? Yes, just to remind ourselves that there is more to Bachchan than the KBC Uncle or Alexa's voice.... full review

So-So, by Russel D'Silva, Bollywood Life : ...The biggest drawback of Chehre is how it's main point, when revealed, appears frivolous and stretched for no reason, and how the plot then looks coerced to make us believe the retired protagonists are holier-than-thou do-gooders, when all they appear to be after that point are senile hounds of justice, unable to let go of their once glorious past. Also, credit to Emraan Hashmi, Amitabh Bachchan, Annu Kapoor and even Rhea Chakraborty for essaying such poorly written roles so well. Plus, Amitabh's so-called big monologue has zero bearing on the actual plot.nces and first half, Chehre would have had hardly anything going for it. I'm going with 2.5 out of 5 stars.... full review

So-So, by Monika Rawal Kukreja, Hindustan Times : ...Chehre can't be called a thrilling courtroom drama. So let's just say that Rumi Jafry has attempted something out of his comfort zone, but his film is merely watchable.... full review

So-So, by Nairita Mukherjee, india today : ...In the penultimate scenes of Chehre, Amitabh Bachchan is given a freakishly long monologue, which may have been Rumi Jafry's proclamation of love for that deep baritone - and we love it too - but it is the film's final undoing.... full review

So-So, by Vaishali Jain, India TV : ...Chehre has noble intentions with a visible motive of making a social commentary on lawlessness, judiciary proceedings and life in general, but it exhausts itself early on. Even a better-than-average cast isn’t sufficient to hold Chehre from tumbling over its faulty storyline. With a stellar star cast and some anticipation with Rhea's appearance in the film, it had the brevity to pull the audience, but what it doesn’t have is a tangible structure to last an hour, let alone a runtime of over 120 minutes. Chehre Trailer... full review

So-So, by Umesh Punwani, koimoi : ...All said and done, Chehre could’ve easily been recognised as a film coming from the school of movies like Aamir, Table No 21, Pink, Badla and even Article 15 (to some extent, but its structure lacks two major things all of the above films had – ‘a good second & third act’. A good yet misdirected attempt!... full review

So-So, by Sonal Dedhia, : ...Chehre is not unwatchable but it is an inconsistent film has very little to offer. I was reminded sunny deol,s famous dialogue, "Tarikh pe Tareekh, Tareekh pe Tareekh Tareekh pe Yarieekh milti gay My Lord, per insaaf nahi mila" from the 1993 super hit film Damini. The audience surly not get any kind of insaaf alert investing their time in Chehre.... full review

So-So, by Shreya Mukkerjee, NewsBytes : ...Although almost all characters are one-dimensional, all lead actors give good performances. But the script demands them to be melodramatic, animated at times which is irritating. Bachchan's ending monologue on the inefficiency of judiciary using real-life cases would have hit us harder if it was better written and a bit concise. It's not bad for a one-time watch though.... full review

So-So, by Vaibhavi V Risbood, Pinkvilla : ...Overall, if you are a big Amitabh Bachchan fan and okay to watch a mediocre thriller just to see him on-screen, then you can make your choice.... full review

So-So, by Nandini Ramnath, : ...The rest of the actors, who include Siddhanth Kapoor as a mute character who stands around looking scary, are never allowed to steal Bachchan’s one-note thunder. Annu Kapoor’s overly emotive Paramjeet, as Sameer’s mock defence lawyer, is actually serving the needs of the prosecution, like the rest of the movie. Cornered but defiant, Emraan Hashmi mounts a sparky and memorable defence for himself – and wins.... full review

So-So, by Renuka Vyavahare, Times Now : ...Chehre aims to make a social commentary on the state of criminal justice in India. The idea at the outset is interesting, but it stops at just that. The film turns out to be a preposterous courtroom drama that feels longer than any longest-running lawsuit.... full review

Thumbs down, by Deepa Gahlot, Deepa Gahlot : ...There is nothing much for Emraan Hashmi to do, but he still strives to move from smart aleck to desperate convincingly. Chehre has been released in the theatres, wherever they have reopened, but this one would have fared better direct to OTT.... full review

Thumbs down, by Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri, Free Press Journal : ...Which brings me to the film’s three self-aware dialogues. One, Bhullar objecting to Zaidi’s fanciful assumptions in building his case against Sameer: ‘Preposterous, obnoxious, outrageous.’ You said it, sir. Describes the second half to a T. Zaidi himself in the middle of his filibustering, speaking of our propensity to use the law as a plaything: ‘It must stop.’ Yes, sir, and why didn’t you? And finally, Sameer, exhausted from the whole thing: ‘Main thak gaya hoon, pak gaya hoon.’ Yes, buddy, I hear you. I felt the same way. The filmmakers could have done well to reflect on these percipient observations. Title: Chehre... full review

Thumbs down, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...Hashmi, togged out in fancy fur coats and Louis Vuitton bags, is given a backstory which gets the film into Delhi’s nightclubs, farmhouses and golf-course, in which his ‘crime’ is laid out, involving an overbearing boss (Soni), his attractive wife (Krystle D’Souza), and a murder disguised as a natural death. His is the case of lots of screen time for a talented actor, with nothing new in the way he comes at his... full review

Thumbs down, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...A large chunk of Chehre, supposedly set in the hills of north India, has been filmed in Poland. The mansion in which the action - or, to be precise, the lack thereof - takes place is cavernous enough to conceal many secrets. It is littered with telltale signs to suggest that Sameer Mehra isn't the first man that the four have toyed with, nor will he be the last.... full review

Thumbs down, by ARNAB BANERJEE, Outlook India : ...With brilliant camerawork by Binod Pradhan, the majority of the 138 minute film is peppered with deliberate attempts at creating shadowy moments devoted to arguments between the various characters. Once it becomes a routine, it quickly becomes awfully tedious. Jafry’s refusal to give us a reason to care about any of these characters ultimately sinks the film and, worse, makes it an uncommonly interminable experience!... full review

Thumbs down, by Stutee Ghosh, The Quint : ...It’s absurd and dangerous given the times we are in. Amitabh Bachchan gets an almost 10min long monologue where he makes an impassioned appeal in favour of this kind of unlicensed practice. From Nirbhaya to acid attack victims and surgical strike, everything is called upon to justify it. It still remains such a waste of Big B’s talent and our time. Chehre makes no attempt to save face.... full review

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

2 readers - 0 yays 1 so-so 1 nays

So-So, by Raj : Poor adaptation of a classic

Nay! Thumbs Down, by moviefan

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Gun shots, mention of domestic violence
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A making out scene
  • Concept: Four old men who are vigilantes
  • General Look and Feel: Sombre.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:

Chehre - Cast, crew, links

Costume Designer:
Art Direction:
Running time:
140 minutes

Comments (2)

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Dear Meetu, This was a poor adaptation of the German radio drama, then written as a novel The Dangerous Game and adapted in many international languages- including Marathi (1971). Shame that after 50 years this new movie with stellar star-cast can not hold one's attention the way many other adaptation do..!


The previous commenter mentions the original source. I am only aware of the George Segel movie, The Deadly Game. Except that movie was shot as a play without any flashbacks. Chehre is very amateurish. Your review is right about it being over-performed. Amitabh's monologue at the end is completely useless and doesn't fit in the story.

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