Chengiz movie review (2023)
Jeet’s latest crime caper offers an engaging watch, albeit with some overused mafia clichés. However, its excessive runtime of two and a half hours could benefit from trimming. Streamlining the narrative by reducing the number of antagonists, minimizing gunplay, and eliminating unnecessary songs could potentially cut down the length by an hour. To enhance the viewing experience, the film could focus on delving deeper into Shataf Figar’s imposing crime lord character, Omar, incorporating sharper one-liners, or providing a more immersive exploration of the historical backdrop it’s set in.
“Chengiz” follows the journey of drug lord Chengiz through the 1970s to the 1990s, yet it falls short in establishing a tangible connection to these decades. While vintage cars, a nostalgic racecourse, and flamboyant costumes attempt to evoke the era, they fail to create a strong temporal atmosphere.
The protagonist, Jaidev (played by Jeet), witnesses his father’s murder at the hands of a mobster, leading him to seek refuge with his uncle, Samir (Rohit Roy). However, by age 16, Jaidev finds himself drawn into the criminal world, working for the powerful gangster Omar (Shataf). Becoming Omar’s right-hand man, he eventually diverges to establish his own criminal empire, centered around gambling and drugs.
Jaidev’s vendetta against Omar climaxes with his assassination just before the intermission, followed by his earlier retribution against his father’s killer, Rashid Khan, at age 16. However, these revenge-driven plot points lack a deeper emotional resonance and fail to significantly impact the story’s resolution.
The second part introduces new antagonists, weakening the connection viewers might have with Jaidev’s struggles. As the story develops, the lack of clarity regarding Chengiz’s core principles further distances the audience from his character.
Despite these shortcomings, “Chengiz” exhibits its strengths as a pan-India release. With high production values and meticulous treatment, the film showcases polished action sequences choreographed by Stunt Silva. Jeet’s proficiency in mano-a-mano combat scenes stands out, drawing applause from the audience. However, an extended gunfight sequence in the climax becomes convoluted, paralleling the film’s overall complexity due to its numerous characters and conflicting interests.
Jeet’s performance stays within his comfort zone, emphasizing his signature swashbuckling entrances and slow-motion walks that resonate with the audience. Shataf Figar’s portrayal of the ruthless Omar is exceptional, displaying a wide emotional range. Unfortunately, Susmita’s character remains underutilized, while Rohit Roy’s role as the narrator and uncle lacks depth in terms of his emotions towards Jaidev as both a cop and a relative.
Despite its flaws, “Chengiz” is poised to perform well at the box office as the heatwave wanes during a less crowded release period. The film delivers the expected spectacle, entertainment, and value for the audience’s money. Moreover, considering the scarcity of Bengali gangster films, “Chengiz” stands as a notable addition to the genre.
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