Tollywood's tireless police-template mill never ceases to sedate.
You know, the one where research means picking the top 3 headlines off newspapers in the last 1 year. Where heroes get to personally slaughter the most inaccessible of the continent's Most Wanted lists. Where the emotional spectrum spans only black and white, peppered occasionally with the tacky red of a lust-filled romance. Where Hindi-speaking characters situated in Mumbai are made to speak Hindi so bad it hurts.
And when leading the show is a man whose increasing complacency with his (essentially mediocre) style gives rise to embarrassing results in most roles he dons, it's an unabashed snooze-fest all through.
Chattam is basically your standard-issue Inspector Vijay For Dummies, designed only for bored front-benchers. Jagapathi Babu plays a lazy, rotten, utterly bribable police inspector Gowri. Gowri is mostly insensitively indifferent to the heinous crimes taking place around him. One day, the perpetrators of these crimes - an acid-throwing incident and a replay of the infamous Vaishnavi kidnapping case
- start getting killed mysteriously.
Things hop on to Mumbai from there, where none other than the mighty Ajmal "Hasab" is taken on. Gowri's flashback is shown to have been tragically clouded by the 26/11 terrorist attack - with the valiant Hemanth Karkare being hilariously turned into Sumanth Marmare - which claimed the lives of his family.
Chattam isn't the most terrible of cop films (it has the police actually find "clues" and all during their searches), but has a narrative devoid of creativity, as is common with films of its league. If the cliches aren't bringing on the yawns, the attempts at adapting real-life incidents to the story are tickling the funny bones like no one's business. Kasab is turned into this maniacally cackling comic book villain who's given 5-star treatment in jail, and this frustrates Gowri so much that he gets into jail just to have access to Kasab.
Jagapathi Babu needs a lesson in harnessing his unconventional looks and diction to better use - or in changing them. Instead, he insists on sticking to a style that has never won any real critical or commercial acclaim. Indeed, his is a role that any half-talented aspirant could have pulled off, but all Jagapathi manages to do is look completely out of place and even league.
Vimala Raman mostly about skin, in a blah romance whose high point is a raunchy song that stretches normal Tollywood standards of flesh show.
Jeeva and Chalapathi Rao are wasted. Rao Ramesh is enthusiastic in a role that has no logical place in the flick. Murli Sharma struts importantly with a demeanor that is too classy for a film like this. The songs are painful, too, and overall, this is forgettable fare for the theatres this week.