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The Uneasy Dance of Art and Controversy: The Case of 'Chhapaak'

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BNN Correspondents
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The Uneasy Dance of Art and Controversy: The Case of 'Chhapaak'

Deepika Padukone's 2020 film, "Chhapaak"—a poignant portrayal of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal's life—fell short of box office expectations, a misfortune director Meghna Gulzar attributes to a controversial visit by the lead actress to Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). The visit, which occurred just days before the film's release, prompted calls for a boycott, potentially steering public sentiment away from the film's core message and impacting its commercial performance.

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Controversy Overshadows Film's Message

Meghna Gulzar acknowledged the detrimental impact of Deepika Padukone's JNU visit on the film's reception, stating that it shifted public discourse away from "Chhapaak's" focus on acid attack survivors. The film's box office performance suffered despite addressing a crucial social issue.

Chhapaak: A Tale of Resilience and Hope

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The film delves into the life of Malti, an acid attack survivor, played by Deepika Padukone, and her journey to seek justice and support other survivors. The film's impactful storytelling and performances underscore its significance in raising awareness about acid violence. The role of Malti is lauded for its emotional depth, while Vikrant Massey's performance as Amol, Malti's supporter, is noted for its nuance.

Deepika Padukone: Beyond the Silver Screen

Following the film's reception, Deepika Padukone has made strides in the business world with the launch of her skincare brand, 82°E. The brand, rooted in India but with a global outlook, aims to simplify and enhance self-care, reflecting Padukone’s journey as a modern woman.

Art, Controversy, and Commercial Success

The impact of Deepika Padukone's JNU visit on "Chhapaak" and its box office performance reflects the complex interplay between public perception, social issues, and commercial success in the film industry. It highlights the influence of external events and controversies on the reception of artistic works, underscoring the need for a delicate balance between societal engagement and commercial considerations.

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