Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Rating : 6/10
Running Time : 150 Minutes
Release Date : August ‘03
Director & Co-Writer : Prakash Jha ; Music : AR Rahman
Starring : Ajay Devgan, Gracy Singh, Mohan Joshi, Yashpal Sharma, Mukesh Tiwari, Mohan Agashe

What if you walked into a job where your superior and all subordinates were on the take and were dancing on the tune of a local power broker and his wanton son and were mute spectators to the atrocities committed by them ? Question is, would you be able to reform your subordinates and take them on ? And even more interestingly, would you be able to do so realistically, without assuming superhero powers ? In the old hindi movies, in myriad such plots, the hero always became a guy who was able to miraculously bash up scores of evil henchmen, survive tens of attempts on his life, mouth potent dialogue with villains listening mutely etc. And finally, most interestingly for me, would such a situation justify the use of brute force with scant regard for the law (kind of like the use of torture by Messrs George Bush and his cohorts), including even killing and maiming potential suspects without going to the court ?

The last question is what Ajay Devgan, the new SP of Tezpur, struggles with in most of the second half, aided by the pin-pricks of his conscientious wife. The film is gritty, builds up fascinatingly, gets off to a great start and is helped along with some very good performances (the son played by Yashpal Sharma and Ajay Devgan at his brooding best in particular, and 2-3 of Ajay’s subordinates including Mukesh Tiwari). However, what lets it down is the end – too melodramatic, and the hero betraying traces of superhuman-ness…

Also, the question about the brute force doesn’t really get answered (the film is apparently inspired by the Bhagalpur blindings where some 30+ people were blinded while in police custody). In a country where the judicial system is a mess, senior cops are on the take and there is a high nexus between the politicians and the underworld, I’m not sure a strict adherence to the law is really going to make progress or even, more basically, allow the honest cop to remain alive.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I feel like watching the movie once now that I read your review.. let me go for it ..thanks, Bee