India, Jan. 10 -- Chhapaak is based on the true story of acid-attack survivor Laxmi Aggarwal, renamed Malti in the film, and played by Deepika Padukone (who has also co-produced the film).

Part of the movie's mastery comes from the talent of Padukone and Vikrant Massey; much of it from director Meghna Gulzar's (Talvar; Raazi) firm hold on the story, which is told without an ounce of melodrama. What emerges as a result is a subtle, nuanced tale of a woman triumphant in the wake of a heinous crime that threatens, at first, to tip her life over a precipice.

Malti is 19, dreaming of being a singer, when a 'chhapaak' of acid alters the course of her life.

She finds new purpose working with an NGO for acid-attack survivors, while also fighting...