Amma (Smita Patil) and her son Benwa (Ranjit Chowdhry) become Bombay’s slum-dwellers after running away from their village, after her husband kills a moneylender who tried to rape her. The husband is then shot trying to steal some tin to build a hut.
In Bombay, Amma has a lover who provides for her and her son. Since the lover is a truck driver who travels most of the time, Amma takes on another lover - a vain pimp and petty crook, Lukka (Naseeruddin Shah), who becomes Benwa’s idol. Lukka is on parole and ordered to be present before the police every day.
Benwa marries the young Amli (Alka Kubal). Amma meanwhile becomes pregnant, though it is never clear whose child it is. Amma, of course, lets Anna (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) know that it is his because she knows that of her two lovers, he alone is capable and responsible enough to take care of her and her child.
Lukka reappears, ravaged by syphilis and drugs; he is now a changed man and is disenchanted with the criminal life. But he still lives a life of crime and it is implied that there is no other choice for him. He even tries to dissuade Benwa from a life of crime without much success. Lukka is assaulted by the police at his illicit liquor den. The climax has Lukka assaulting a chemist who refuses to give him medicines unless he pays for it. Lukka grabs some medicines and makes a run for it, is chased by the police and hides in Amma’s hut. The cops find him and arrest both him and Benwa, beating them brutally in the process. Amma has a miscarriage in the scuffle. In the end, bulldozers arrives to flatten the entire slum. A sort of exodus is shown in the final moments of the movie - and Benwa & Amli move on to a new slum, and a new shanty hut to continue the CHAKRA The Wheel of Life.
- Genre: Romantic
- Runtime: 140 Minutes
- Awards: 1980 - Smita Patil National Film Award for Best Actress, 1981 Rabindra Dharmaraj Best Director at Locarno International Film Festival, Naseeruddin Shah Filmfare Award for Best Actor, Smita Patil Filmfare Award for Best Actress
Chakra is a 1981 Hindi movie directed by Rabindra Dharmaraj. The film stars Smita Patil, Naseeruddin Shah and Kulbhushan Kharbanda.