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Chocolate Review

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Cast:Anil Kapoor, Suniel Shetty, Arshad Warsi, Irrfan Khan, Emran Hashmi, Tanushree Dutta, Sushma Reddy
Direction:Vivek Agnihotri
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Chocolate Review - A tale of true lies

IndiaGlitz  [Saturday, September 17, 2005]

There are some movies that are so fast paced that they do not let you think for a moment. There are others that have so much of drama and suspense built in the proceedings that they continue to make the viewers think every passing minute.

Chocolate belongs to the latter category.

A movie that challenges the mind of an individual and is a genuinely intelligent movie, it lives up to the promise by all means. Hats off to debutant writer/director Vivek Agnihotri for putting together a complex drama that would have resulted in numerous versions of the script before finally arriving at a baseline, notwithstanding some good dose of Bryan Singer's The Usual Suspects [Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Spacey] thrown in. But all credit to Vivek Agnihotri who brings a surprise twist in the end just when one thought that the culmination was a frame to frame copy of the original Hollywood movie!

Chocolate intrigues from the very first shot. It's 25th December and two bizarre incidents have happened in the city of London. There has been a daylight robbery in a truck while a boat has been engulfed in flames resulting in loss of multiple lives. Evidence points that there is involvement of Pipi [Irrfan Khan] and Sim [Tanushree Dutta]. The news is first reported by Monsoon [Sushma Reddy], an upcoming reporter who appoints her lawyer friend Krish [Anil Kapoor] to defend the case. Krish is meanwhile a debonair egoistic lawyer who is numero uno in his profession and delights himself by being in spotlight all the time, be it quotable quotes for the press, Page 3 parties or magazine covers.

As Krish starts interrogating Pipi and Sim, his instincts tell him there are holes that need to be plugged. The movie moves forward in two ways. While the narrative is multidimensional with numerous plots and subplots, the peel is removed layer after layer. In fact for the entire first half of this 2.5 hours long movie, there are number of characters with varying shades introduced in the narrative. Also the suspense is completely overwhelming with the viewer completely engrossed in the proceedings. All the while one keeps thinking who is right and who is wrong? Is it the truth in front of you or a disguised lie?

Meanwhile 3 more characters are introduced, namely Rocker [Suniel Shetty], Tubby [Arshad Warsi] and Devaa [Emraan Hashmi]. Five of them gang up to realize their dreams of being musicians. Each of the 5 characters has some typical traits. Pipi is an artist who paints but also knows how to forge. Sim is a dancer in club but also a hooker at night. Rocker has a criminal record but is madly in love with Sim. Tubby is happy go lucky and is the most tolerant of all. Devaa is an ex-army man who loves sex and music. A series of incidents leads to the gang entering the world of crime that includes drugs, arms dealing, heist, killings and everything else that is associated with crime. There is a mysterious character of Murtaza Arzai too thrown in who sends the gang on OPERATOIN CHOCOLATE. But in the end only two members from the gang survive......

Krish continues to investigate the case with utmost sincerity and vigor and is finally able to crack the case. But was it really so simple? Has he really got the final truth?

A subject like this deserves an extremely well knit execution. One loose end and the house comes down like a pack of cards. But not so with Vivek Agnihotri who keeps the viewer guessing, thinking and introspecting with every scene. Events join each other frame by frame as per the character of Irrfan Khan saying - "It's a missing link that matters in the end". This is exactly what a viewer experiences as soon as the missing link is revealed because like a regular suspense movie, the missing link is not an individual. It is an object that is so close to you in the entire movie, and still appears so far away. There are multiple references to this link in the narrative but never once does a viewer

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