Chakravyuh (2012 film)

Chakravyuh (transl.Wheel formation) is a 2012 Indian Hindi-language political action thriller film directed by Prakash Jha starring Arjun Rampal in the lead role with Abhay Deol, Esha Gupta, Manoj Bajpayee and Anjali Patil in supporting roles. Chakravyuh aims to be a social commentary on the issue of Naxalites.[6][7][8] The first theatrical trailer of Chakravyuh was released at midnight on 16–17 August 2012. The film released on Durga Puja.[2] Chakravyuh released in 1100 cinemas in India. Despite being well-praised and really close to reality, the movie failed to attract an audience.

Chakravyuh – A War You Cannot Escape
Directed byPrakash Jha
Produced byPrakash Jha
Sunil Lulla
Written byAnjum Rajabali
Sagar Pandya
Screenplay byAnjum Rajabali
Prakash Jha
StarringArjun Rampal
Esha Gupta
Manoj Bajpayee
Kabir Bedi
Om Puri
Anjali Patil
Abhay Deol
Music bySalim-Sulaiman, Aadesh Shrivastava, Shantanu Moitra, Sandesh Shandilya, Vijay Verma.
CinematographySachin Krishna
Edited bySantosh Mandal
Prakash Jha Productions
Eros International[1]
Distributed byBase Industries Groups
Release date
  • 24 October 2012 (2012-10-24)
Running time
152 minutes
Budget300 million (US$4.3 million)[3]
Box office170.3 million (US$2.5 million)
(3rd week domestic nett)[4][5]


Adil Khan (Arjun Rampal), a highly decorated police officer is posted to Nandighat, after martyrdom of 84 policemen and CRPF soldiers. Within days, he discovers that the Maoists, led by the ruthless Rajan (Manoj Bajpayee), effectively control the area. They are able to swiftly thwart Adil's most determined efforts. Despite holding a position of enormous power as the SSP of Nandighat, Adil has never felt so helpless in his career.

But then, into his life, re-enters his friend Kabir (Abhay Deol). Rootless, aimless, the quintessential rolling stone. His only anchor in life has always been his friendship with and his loyalty for Adil. The maverick proposes an outrageous plan: He will infiltrate Rajan's group and be Adil's informer, and together they will smash the Maoist organization in Nandighat. In spite of his apprehensions, Adil agrees.

Sure enough, Kabir gets in and craftily wins their confidence, as only he can. He secretly begins informing Adil, who starts attacking the Naxals with great success. An enormous cache of arms is raided; two top national leaders and 63 Naxals are killed at an arms-training camp, and Rajan himself is captured. Within weeks, Adil-Kabir turn the game, pushing the Maoists onto the back foot.

But Kabir also begins sympathising with abject helplessness of the rural poor, brutally displaced in the name of development, the fruits of which never reach them; their land, their forest, their water has been snatched to allow big business to exploit the area and its people further.

Kabir begins identifying and with Naxals. Juhi (Anjali Patil), a dedicated Naxal with a tender heart, who has seen pain like none other. She begins to fall in love with Kabir. The confusion in Kabir's heart intensifies dangerously until he is on the horns of a ghastly dilemma: Who does he support now? Who does he fight? He finds himself in a chakravyuh (labyrinth) from which there is no retreat now.

And yet, before Kabir can make one last desperate attempt to resolve this with his friend Adil, events hurtle him into making choices that would put him at war with him. A war that would change the future of the region. A war that can end only when one of them destroys the other.


  • Arjun Rampal as Adil Khan (Senior SP Nandighat).
    • He is the protagonist of the movie. He is a police officer and is on a mission to target the Naxals and capture their leader Rajan and ideologue Govind Suryavanshi. He sends his friend Kabir as an informer to get their information and foil their plans.[9][10]
  • Esha Gupta as Rhea Menon
  • Abhay Deol as Kabir / Comrade Azad
    • He is Adil's best friend who infiltrates the Naxal movement as an informer. He initially supports Adil in the mission but slowly starts getting impressed with the Naxals and becomes their leader, thus entering a stand-off with Adil.
  • Anjali Patil as Juhi
    • She is a Naxalite commander, playing a key role in the argument. She also develops romantic feelings towards Kabir.[13][14][15]
  • Manoj Bajpayee as Rajan
    • He is the leader of Naxalites.[16]
  • Om Puri as Govind Suryavanshi
  • Kabir Bedi as Mahanta
    • He is an industrialist and negotiator for the government.[19]
  • Mukesh Tiwari as Inspector General of Police (IGP).[20]
  • Murli Sharma as Naxalite area commander Naga.
  • Chetan Pandit as Inspector Madhav Rao.
  • Daya Shankar Pandey as Inspector Raja Ram.
  • Kiran Karmarkar as Home Minister.
  • Radhakrishna Dutta as Chief Minister.
  • Sameera Reddy in an item song Kunda Khol
  • Jagat Singh as Keshav.
  • Sharmin Tithi(Bagmara)
  • Zuyel Rana(Natore)


Chakravyuh is shot in Panchmarhi and Bhopal.[21][22] The movie was shot at Trinity Institute of Technology And Research, Bhopal and some scenes were shot at IES and MLB college.[23] The entire schedule of shooting was wrapped up in about 57 days.[24] The Madhya Zonal Committee of the CPI Maoists, has expressed gratitude for the film has, however, pointed out a few facts which are not in consonance with "their world". Maoists have given full credit to the film for being close to reality. Jha on his turn has said it was possible because of intense research in finalising the script, costumes and the plot.[25]


Sandeep Vyas as Production Management


Prakash Jha has come up with a unique way to promote his upcoming socio-political thriller Chakravyuh by launching an online comic series. The first episode of the series, 'The Sohble Encounters', starts with a bunch of youngsters rounded up from a party by Inspector Sohble (needless to say a clear dig at Inspector Dhoble). Jha has managed to pitch it cleverly in the backdrop of his film. The first instalment of the series went online.[26] [27]


Music for this film is composed by Salim-Sulaiman, Aadesh Shrivastava, Shantanu Moitra, Sandesh Shandilya, Vijay Verma, lyrics by Irshad Kamil, Panchhi Jalonvi, Ashish Sahu, A. M. Turaz. One song Tata, Birla, Ambani aur Bata had run into trouble with the Censor Board but was passed after a disclaimer saying these names have been used symbolically and it does not mean any harm or disrespect to any individual or brand.[28] One song Kunda Khol is picturised on Sameera Reddy and Murali sharma.[29] There is item song Tambai Rang Tera in the film, choreographed by Ganesh Acharya.[30] rated the album 6/10 quoting "This formation doesn’t work".[31]

Soundtrack album
ReleasedOctober 2012 (2012-10)
ProducerPrakash Jha

Track listing

1."Paro"Shaan, Aadesh, Sunidhi Chauhan 
2."Kunda Khol"Sunidhi Chauhan 
3."Chheen Ke Lenge"Sukhwinder Singh 
4."Mehngai"Kailash Kher 
5."Aiyo Piyaji"Ustad Rashid Khan 
6."Mehangai (Remix)"Amit Mishra 
7."Chakravyuh – Theme"Benny Dayal 
8."Tambai Sa Rang"Salim Merchant, Benny Dayal, Shaan 


Critical reception

Upon release,Chakravyuh received mixed to positive reviews from critics.[32] The Times of India gave 3.5 stars out of 5. According to TOI, "Chakravyuh is a hard film to make and marks must be given to Jha for sticking his neck out. Staying true to the subject, he gives us an insight into uncomfortable truths unfolding in our backyard. He is one of the few filmmakers with such audacious work to his credit."[33] Subhash K. Jha of Indo-Asian News Service gave the movie 4/5 stars and called it a "resolutely etched, firmly grounded drama".[34] Bikas Bhagat of Zeenews gave the movie 4/5 and wrote in their review, "Here’s a fight which we have heard about and seen through the ages – the fight between the Capitalists and the Communists. Prakash Jha presents it in his own way; and going by illustrious line of work, it would be a big mistake on your part if you happen to give ‘Chakravyuh’ a miss."[35] Gautam Batra & Roma Heer of Wassupbollywood gave the movie 2/5 saying, "Chakravyuh is surely a great concept but fails drastically on screen. Watch Prakash Jha’s past flicks on CD/DVD instead of wasting your time & money on it. Not Recommended."[36] Sukanya Verma of Rediff gave the movie 2.5/5 stars and wrote, "Chakravyuh maintains an aggressive cinematic tone with sufficient stock of blood and action to dole, but is nothing more than an average action flick in the garb of relevant cinema".[37] According to Hindustan times, Chakravyuh is, ultimately, a victim of typical Bollywood excesses and gave 2.5 out of 5 stars.[38] Bollywood portal Films of India said, "Shot flawlessly the movie is raw, gritty, with no frills. Watch Chakravyuh for its performances and high intense drama. If you’re a person who likes to use their mind, then the 3 and a half star Chakravyuh is definitely the movie for you."

Box office


Chakravyuh had an opening of 15 million (US$220,000) in first three days in India[39] Chakravyuh had low first week than expectations where it raked 158.8 million (US$2.3 million) nett.[5]


Chakravyuh grossed $300,000 in extended 5-day weekend in overseas.[40]

Awards and nominations

Award Category Recipients and nominees Result Ref.
5th Mirchi Music Awards Raag-Inspired Song of the Year "Aiyo Piyaji" Nominated [41]

See also


  1. Jha to start working on `Chakravyuh'
  2. Box Office India (27 July 2012). "Prakash Jha's Chakravyuh to premiere at London Film Festival". DNA. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  4. "Box Office Earnings 16/11/12 – 23/11/122 (Nett Collections in Ind Rs)". boxofficeindia. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  5. "Chakravyuh Week One Territorial Breakdown". boxofficeindia. Archived from the original on 8 November 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  6. "Chakravyuh's shoot begins in city". 30 March 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  7. "Arjun to enter 'Chakravyuh' next week". 30 March 2012. Archived from the original on 4 July 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  8. "Prakash Jha ties up with Eros International Media". 15 March 2012. Archived from the original on 13 July 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  9. "Arjun turns cop for Prakash Jha's Chakravyuh". The Times of India. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  10. Bollywood Hungama. "Arjun shoots intimate scenes with Esha Gupta - Latest Movie Features - Bollywood Hungama". Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  11. " : Bollywood News, Reviews, Celebrity News, Hollywood news, Entertainment News, Videos & Photos". Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  12. "Entertainment News - Latest Stories, Headlines, Events, Happenings - Hindustan Times". Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  13. "From the very first meeting, Prakash Sir had faith in me: Anjali Patil – Times Of India". 2 October 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  14. "Anjali Patil is a great actor: Esha Gupta- Times Of India". 2 October 2012. Archived from the original on 27 September 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-02.
  15. "Prakash Jha shoots a raunchy item song". The Times of India. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  16. Manoj Bajpai goes for facial fuzz
  17. "Entertainment News - Latest Stories, Headlines, Events, Happenings - Hindustan Times". Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  18. "Om Puri plays Maoist Kobad Ghandy". The Times of India. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  19. "Page:". Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  20. "I'm known as Wasooli uncle: Mukesh Tiwari". The Times of India. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  21. Priyanka Dasgupta (18 May 2012). "Celebrities face tough time in summer". Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  22. Esha Gupta to Play Cop in ‘Chakravyuh’ Archived 19 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  23. "Prakash Jha apologises, pays Rs 25,000 to Baiga troupes". 13 April 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  24. "I have met Naxalites, says Prakash Jha – Times Of India". The Times Of India.
  25. "Maoists give 4 stars to 'Chakravyuh' - The Times of India". The Times Of India. 11 November 2012.
  26. Bollywood Hungama. "Chakravyuh comic-series to highlight youth issues - Latest Movie Features - Bollywood Hungama". Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  27. "The naxal chakravyu - The Times of India". The Times Of India. 17 August 2012.
  28. "Chakravyuh in censor trouble - The Times of India". The Times Of India. 7 September 2012.
  29. "Item song pulls Praksh Jha back to Bhopal". Hindustan Times. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
  30. Upala KBR (24 April 2012). "Abhay's not comfortable with dancing: Prakash Jha – Times Of India". Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  31. "Chakravyuh". Archived from the original on 3 February 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  32. "CHAKRAVYUH MOVIE REVIEW". Reviewgang.
  33. "Chakravyuh - The Times of India". The Times Of India.
  34. "'Chakravyuh' resolutely etched, firmly grounded drama (IANS Movie Review - Rating: ****)". Yahoo Celebrity India. 24 October 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  35. "'Chakravyuh' review: Naxalism decoded by Prakash Jha". Zee News. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  36. "Chakravyuh Movie Analysis – Gautam Batra & Roma Heer". Archived from the original on 3 February 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  37. "Review: Chakravyuh is just your average action flick". Rediff. 24 October 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  38. "Suprateek Chatterjee's review: Chakravyuh". Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  39. "Chakravyuh Daily Three Day Business". Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  40. "Chakravyuh and Ajab Gazabb Love Have No Takers". BOXOFFICEINDIA. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  41. "Nominations - Mirchi Music Award Hindi 2012". Retrieved 27 April 2018.
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