It's never fun to see good people die at the end of a movie. Especially if they are in the audience. Chakram is an experiment by Krishna Vamsi to see if Kal Ho Naa Ho
actually required actors of the caliber of Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta. Turns out that it did. And a lot more people are going to find this out the hard way.
Chakram (Prabhas) is a man who is about to die of blood cancer, and decides that the last few days of one's life must be spent trying to emote beyond one's means. So he tries to be this hyperactive and funny neighbourhood wizard, quickly healing people's problems and helping them become better human beings before anybody else can do it.
The film starts showing him sprinting from a bunch of vivacious goons and perching in Sahara Colony, a residential colony without any long-term goal. He smooth-talks an old man Padmanabham (the veteran Padmanabham, playing himself) into letting him stay with the latter in return for his chirpy company, his help in running errands, and his huge capacity to be taught dialogue-delivery.
This neighbourhood has more than its fair share of non-performing residents, with its biggest problems being adulterous women, corrupt inhabitants, unscrupulous youngsters and Charmy trying to speak Telugu. Chakram decides that one has to be realistic in one's ambitions, and that 3 out of 4 ain't bad. Besides, he's anyway dying.
The first half of the film goes in showing what a brilliant actor SRK really is. Really, you'd think that a man as experienced as Krishna Vamsi would know what kind of people to pick for what roles - you don't take rookies to play roles that are as heavy on character-building as this. Ditto for Charmy - she's strictly shouldn't open her mouth; people in the theater are actually laughing when she's uttering her heavy-duty dialogues. What's with using people who can't speak Telugu for Telugu films, anyway?
Chakram goes about healing the malaise in the lives of the people of the neighbourhood with his personal charisma (strictly quoting from the script). He also overtakes Lord Krishna in the amount of preaching he does, and to people twice his age. Krishna Vamsi requires a good dialogue-writer who knows what the spelling s-u-b-t-l-e-t-y leads to.
Soon, though, it's time for a flashback, and we see how Chakram has to run away from his family and his love Lakshmi (Asin), right from the marriage pandal, when he discovers he has cancer. His dad, Seema factionist Prakash Raj, is searching for him, and finally finds him at the colony. Chakram has to answer to the heart-broken Lakshmi, and decides to make her hate him. But she knows, too.
Like we said, the film is clearly inspired by Kal Ho Naa Ho, but completely lacks the emoting artillery of the original, and in imagination in the lead character's moments. It is heavy-handed in all the places that it should be subtle. The second half has too much bawling: everybody is trying his/her hand at wailing all over the place. The relation between dad and son is too much in your face, and is awkward to watch rather than poignant.
Prabhas is best for the action roles - this one needed someone who can show a lot of energy and flair for humor. Charmy is fine after her initial outburst, since the director seems to have wisened up and cut her dialogue to zero. Asin is the most graceful of 'em all. Prakash Raj is his usual talented self. The comedy is tolerable only in traces, but the music is good on the whole.
Not worth a watch unless there is nothing better around.