Subhash is a sincere IAS officer, who aims to cleanse the system. When he decides to take on realtors and their illegal dealings, it takes him directly into a web that also has top politicians and bureaucrats. Will he be able to emerge victorious in his mission?
Chambal begins with the protagonist's mother telling him the story of King Bali Chakravarthy and the Vamana avatar of Lord Vishnu. Just as young Subhash finishes listening to the tale, he asks his mother if there is no place for good people on earth, sympathising with King Bali's death. This sets the tone for the narrative, and director Jacob Varghese doesn't shy away from calling a spade what it is. The tone of the film is akin to the honesty and earnestness we saw in Prithvi.
Now, coming to the big question — whether or not the film is inspired by late IAS officer DK Ravi. Let's just say that the opening statement of the film sets the tone and the film is refreshingly real. There are similarities and inspirations, no doubt, but this tale of an IAS officer, who wants to set things right has moments that give goosebumps, is fictionalised in some ways and it deserves praise.
The story is told without much frills and sans any melodrama. This proves to be engaging and elevates the tale. There are a couple of songs in the film and one wonders if those could have been done away with, as they seem to be bumps in an otherwise well-scripted narrative. The first half has multiple tales being unraveled, which are connected well together in the second half of the film.
Sathish Ninasam leads the ensemble with a fine act. Each of the characters in the film have been cast well. Be it Sonu Gowda , Roger Narayan, Achyuth Kumar, Sardar Sathya, Mahantesh or Pawan Kumar, all the primary characters make an impression. The unconventional cinematography, which seems guerrilla at times, is another highlight. Kishore, in a cameo, is effective.
Chambal is a story that is relevant and needs to be told. Films about the prevalent system that are told without filters are barely any in Kannada and this sets the film apart. The film does have that little trigger that acts as a catalyst in making you feel uneasy about the world around you. Go ahead, this is worth a watch.