Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Emraan Hashmi, Annu Kapoor, Rhea Chakraborty, Siddhanth Kapoor, Raghubir Yadav, Dhritiman Chatterjee, Krystle D’Souza
Director: Rumy Jafry
We enter a beautiful manor-like property with Sameer Mehra somewhere in North India, walking through a pretty make-believe snowfall (Emraan Hashmi). Due to the unusually cold weather, Sameer is forced to stay in the house alongside a pair of senior lawyers, a retired judge, a mysterious caretaker, and someone who looks like a serial murderer.
Sameer was approached to take part in a trial based on his real life by Lateef Zaidi (Amitabh Bachchan). In the absence of Justice Jagdish Acharya, Sameer rushes in with Paramjeet Singh Bhuller (Annu Kapoor) representing him against Lateef (Dhritiman Chatterjee). The narrative is around how this pretend trial grows serious and what Sameer is truly hiding.
Chehre’s first half is actually rather enjoyable, with engrossing storey arcs and snappy, underhanded dialogues that hold your attention. And when the screenplay and direction start to fall apart, Emraan Hashmi, Amitabh Bachchan, and Annu Kapoor (in that order) use their talent to keep us interested in the proceedings, with Dhritiman Chatterjee, Raghubir Yadav (both expected), Rhea Chakraborty, and Siddhanth Kapoor providing adequate support.
In the second half, both Rumy Jafry’s script (co-written with Ranjit Kapoor) and direction falter badly, with the last half-hour almost appearing cartoonish, aided in no way by the poor VFX and Binod Pradhan’s amateurish camerawork, which, taken together, obliterate any chance of creating a moody atmosphere of the forbidding location.
Chehre’s biggest flaw is how its main point, once revealed, appears frivolous and stretched for no reason, and how the plot then appears coerced to make us believe the retired protagonists are holy-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.
Emraan Hashmi, Amitabh Bachchan, Annu Kapoor, and even Rhea Chakraborty deserve credit for portraying such poorly conceived characters so well. Furthermore, Amitabh’s so-called “long monologue” has no influence on the plot.
Chehre would not have had anything going for it if not for the performances during the first half.