Chamak Review: Star-Studded Cast Leaves You Dissatisfied With Crime-Musical

Trying to get into the background of the Punjabi music industry and showing us a grisly truth, SonyLIV’s gritty new crime-musical web series Chamak delivers a rather oddly made series that, from the beginning, has some gnarly edits that are painful to watch and some very awkward dialogue delivery that make you question why everyone looks so uncomfortable and whether they were ready for their scenes!

Created and directed by Rohit Jugraj, this Punjabi series stars Paramvir Singh Cheema as protagonist Kaala, who, while trying to run away from a vicious crime in Canada, stumbles across something sinister in his past when he lands in Punjab. As he goes deeper into the mysterious death of legendary singer Taara Singh, he realises that the secrets go deeper than they initially appeared. The series also stars Gippy Grewal, Isha Talwar, Akasa Singh, MC Square, Navneet Nishan, Rakesh Bedi, Prince Kanwaljit Singh, Mohit Malik and others.

The 6-episode series, each with a runtime of around 55 minutes, seems to forget for some reason that our protagonist is running from the authorities as he tries to find out the truth about his father that has been kept from him for all these years. Although he was old enough in the flashbacks that the audience is made to watch, sure, Kaala has forgotten the truth, maybe due to trauma. Either way, our protagonist is mostly an angry grump whose temperaments and mood swings will leave you feeling whiplash.

His relationship with Jazz (Isha Talwar) is just so weird and feels forced and unnecessary. Although Jazz has somewhat of a storyline, she always pops up whenever Kaala needs a support system. We don’t know why Jazz would give this man she met two days ago her debit card and password, and in the end, she turns out to be this ‘nothing’ character whose entire world revolves around this random man. There are several unbelievable moments like these that make this series feel rather silly at times. Plus, we forget about some big plot points after they are introduced that will continue to gnaw at your brain as the episodes move on.

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Kaala’s character, whom we follow primarily, is too much of a loose cannon. His actions sometimes are so deplorable that wanting good things for him feels unfair. Things happen to him conveniently the moment he lands in Punjab, and when something mildly annoying happens, he loses his mind. Unfortunately, you can’t even call him a grey character because he literally murdered someone, so I was constantly left unsure of where we stand with this person. He constantly feels pity for himself but doesn’t do much to change his pathetic life.

Paramvir Singh Cheema plays Kaala and he feels like he’s very uncomfortable in every frame of the show. He’s either overacting or underacting in different scenes. You also can’t really relate to his revenge quest since he’s so unpredictable and turns into a rather horrible person towards the end. However, the revenge story itself is quite interesting and even though the protagonist isn’t that great, the supporting actors are veterans in the field who do a great job. I think Cheema acts better with others rather than when he has to carry a scene alone.

Either way, the series has its moments of intrigue, and I was genuinely interested to know who murdered Tara Singh and why. However, at 1 hour per episode, the series isn’t able to hold onto your attention span because it tries to extend every little thing to a whole ordeal. Although it tries to keep a balance between Kaala’s revenge saga and his musical career, many scenes go too far, stretching things out for no reason. You tend to skip forward and get things to the next point to cut down on the runtime.

The music is pretty good and although sometimes the background score feels a bit distracting, it’s still nice to hear. However, in spite of watching the series for almost 6 hours, you will get absolutely no resolution of what happened. It’s like a slap right across the face of the audience as the series ends on a rather forced and unnecessary point which comes out of absolutely nowhere and adds nothing. The little intrigue you will be able to muster up to find out who killed Tara Singh will be lost when you finally realise that you have to wait for more episodes in the distant future. And, even then, things might be left off for a third season!

Chamak Review: Final Thoughts

Chamak‘s long runtime is its undoing. Although there are moments of intrigue and interest, the messy protagonist making horrible decisions makes the audience not care for him. The series also forgets some plot points that it introduces and acts as if the protagonist didn’t kill anyone (spoiler: he did). The actors do a below-average job, and some dialogues are extremely cringe, especially in the first episode. However, the worst part is that there is no resolution. With 6-hours worth of content, we still aren’t provided answers of any kind.

The series is streaming on SonyLIV.


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