Opening below the mark, Meghna Gulzar-directorial Chhapaak, starring actors Deepika Padukone and Vikrant Massey in the lead, suffered in the Box Office competition with Kajol and Ajay Devgn’s Tanhaji. Witnessing an ordinary start, the movie merely grosses Rs 4.77 crore.

Sharing the diminutive figures on his social media handle, Indian film critic and trade analyst Taran Adarsh wrote, “#Chhapaak is ordinary on Day 1… Collects well at select high-end multiplexes… Biz at Tier-2 and 3 cities and also mass circuits is way below the mark… Growth on Day 2 and 3 crucial for a respectable weekend total… Fri ₹ 4.77 cr. #India biz. (sic).”

Deepika’s decision to make an appearance at JNU after many students were assaulted in an armed attack by a mob, has divided the nation and hashtags both in support of and against the actress has flooded social media since Tuesday. Soon after the actor’s pictures went viral, a section of people started trending #BoycottChhapaak, while declaring their support for Devgn’s Tanhaji. BJP leader, Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga, too declared that he would give out free tickets for Ajay Devgn’s ‘Tanhaji’.

To express his support for actress Deepika Padukone post her much-talked about JNU visit, Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav on Friday had organised a special screening of Chhapaak for party workers. As per an ANI report, a cinema hall in Lucknow had been booked for the same.

“We are also watching the film because our president Akhilesh Yadav has always been concerned about the problems of acid attack survivors. He (Mr Yadav) had set up the Sheroes Hangout cafe in Lucknow for acid attack survivors,” a senior party leader was quoted by news agency IANS.

From hailing the filmmaker’s “skilled direction” to lauding the actors “masterful performances”, the critics were seen swooning over the movie that hit the cinema screens on January 9, 2020. In Chhapaak, Deepika essays the role of Malti, a woman who rises like a phoenix from the ashes after facing an acid attack, in her upcoming film Chhapaak.

The film is based on a real-life acid attack survivor named Laxmi Agarwal who faced acid attack at the age of 15 in Delhi. Both Meghna and Deepika have maintained that the story of Chhapaak doesn’t portray acid attack survivors as weaker human beings rather it normalises their journey and reveals their unmatchable confidence and hope in life.