Chhapaak Reviews (Top Critics)
By Anupama Chopra

What does Chhapaak mean? It's the phonetic sound of a splash. It's what you hear when acid hits skin. The recipient is routinely a woman and the attacker is almost always a man who seeks revenge by scarring. The acid, he hopes, will disfigure his victim's face and consequently her life. It's a crime calculated to shatter a woman physically and mentally. Society decrees that beauty is a superpower - especially for women.

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By Bollywood Hungama (2.5/5)

CHHAPAAK is the story of an acid attack survivor. The year is 2005. Malti (Deepika Padukone) is a 19 year old girl who gets attacked by acid on a street in Delhi. A good Samaritan takes her to the hospital. Her face is irreparably burnt, with no chance of it getting back to its original form. Malti however is determined to get the perpetrator behind the bars. Despite difficulty in speaking at the time of the tragedy, she manages to tell the cops that the attacker is Basheer Shaikh aka Babbu (Vishal Dahiya) and her sister Parveen.

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By Devesh Sharma (3.5/5)

Laxmi Agarwal is a real-life acid attack survivor. She was brutally attacked by a man while in her teens who threw acid on her when she refused to marry him. From being a helpless victim, she turned into a gritty survivor over the years and later became a crusader for the upliftment of acid attack victims.

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By Vinamra Mathur (3/5)

Any other filmmaker who would have made a film on the acid-attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal would have titled his/her film on her moniker, or would have called it Malti, the name of the protagonist in the film. But Meghna Gulzar and her father, Gulzar, the legend he is, title the film Chhapaak, which signifies the sound of splash.

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By Umesh Punwani (3/5)

Revolving around the life of an acid-attack survivor Malti (Deepika Padukone), the story covers 13 years of her life. From the 12th grade when the incident happened to the hearing of her court case, we see the ups & downs of her life. It starts with Malti lookout for a job and bumping into Amol (Vikrant Massey). Amol runs an NGO named Chaaya who helps the acid-attack survivors.

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By Anna M.M. Vetticad (2.5/5)

Despite the standard disclaimer that appears at the start of pretty much every film these days ("any resemblance to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental" etc), Chhapaak - as is evident from its promotions - is based on the true story of acid-attack survivor and activist Laxmi Agarwal. In the film she becomes Malti (played by Deepika Padukone) whose life changes forever one day when acid is thrown on her face.

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By Sukanya Verma (4/5)

More than half a decade ago, a monster threw chemical on my friend's face because he wanted to punish her for breaking up with him. The episode injured her eye, altered her appearance, smashed her confidence and changed the entire course of her life. It was front page news in the national newspapers and the subject of speculation as some came out in support while others loose talked.

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By Nandini Ramnath (3/5)

An uplifting movie about the lifelong repercussions of an acid attack, one that celebrates the survivor's will to survive and overcome without undermining the gravity of the crime? It was always going to be a difficult task. The 2019 Malayalam movie Uyare, about a commercial pilot whose boyfriend disfigures her, succeeded only partially in maintaining the balance between reality and wish fulfilment.

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By Saibal Chatterjee (3/5)

An urgent theme and a female lead who sheds her Bajirao Mastaani and "Padmaavat" finery and gets into the skin of a lower middle-class woman scarred for life by an acid attack make Chhapaak a Hindi cinema milestone. Director Meghna Gulzar and actor Deepika Padukone notch up a few points in this commendable effort to bring a horrific true story to the big screen, but they fall significantly shy of turning an undeniably honest, well-crafted cinematic work into a memorably moving portrait of anguish, tenacity and a fight for justice.

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By Ananya Bhattacharya (4/5)

It is 2005. Har Ghadi Badal Rahi Hai Roop Zindagi is the latest chartbuster on the radio. Abhijeet Sawant, Amit Sana and Rahul Vaidya are fighting it out to be the first Indian Idol. Inside a two-room servant quarter in one of the bungalows in Delhi's posh Golf Lawns, a 17-year-old dances to Sonu Nigam crooning har pal yahaan, jee bhar jiyo, jo hai samaa, kal ho na ho.

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By Priyanka Sinha Jha (3.5/5)

Chhapaak's first scene is that of a swelling crowd of students protesting against a brutal incident of rape (obviously referencing the protests that broke out in support of Nirbhaya) as the police try to contain them. That scene although a brief one cleverly establishes the preamble for what's to follow--a background to the legal and systemic problems that come in the way of women's safety in India.

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By Vishal Verma (4/5)

Inspired by the life of Laxmi Agarwal, CHHAPAAK is the story of rare triumph and hope. 19-year-old Malti (Deepika Padukone) is leading a happy peaceful life, but she becomes a victim of a devastatingly brutal acid attack. The movie takes us through the journey of Malti, how she copes with all the hurdles, prejudices, discriminations, surgeries, etc.

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Hindustan Times
By Monika Rawal Kukreja

The opening shot of the film recreates the protests that followed the Delhi gang-rape case in 2012, setting the tone for Chhapaak. Based on a real life incident of acid attack violence and a survivor's (Laxmi Aggarwal) story, the film starring Deepika Padukone as the protagonist leaves an impact though it lacks the shock value that one would expect from watching a film about such a heinous hate crime.

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The Times Of India
By Sreeparna Sengupta (3.5/5)

Meghna Gulzar's 'Chhapaak' is inspired by the story of real life acid attack survivor, Laxmi Agarwal, who has become a symbol of strength and inspiration for many women. The film is a fictionalized account with Deepika Padukone playing the central character Malti, who is attacked in broad daylight on the streets of Delhi by a friend of the family, Bashir Khan aka Babbu and his aide.

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The Hindu
By Namrata Joshi

It's unfair to begin the review of a Meghna Gulzar film with a reference to her father. However, it's also difficult not to, because Chhapaak's title track, written by him, has been playing on loop in my head, even a day after having watched the film.

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The Indian Express
By Shubhra Gupta (3.5/5)

Chhapaak is a happy-making word, associated with splashy puddles, burbling rain songs: it is so very Gulzar. In using it for her film on an acid attack survivor, Meghna imparts it with a decided sting: I will never be able to hear it in the same way again.

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Taran Adarsh
By Taran Adarsh (3.5/5)

One Word Review... Chhapaak: POWERFUL. Some stories should be told. Some issues must be addressed... Gut-wrenching, yet empowering... Aces: Sensitive writing. Skilled direction. Masterful performances... Take a bow, #Deepika and #MeghnaGulzar.

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