It starts with a rousing monologue. The revolutionary soliloquy leaves no space for ambiguity as far as the ideology of the filmmaker is concerned. But yet, it contains enough to indicate that he is also capable of unbiased introspection.
India is facing a challenge, we do not have vaccines, the Government is busy building a palace for Prime Minister Modi, while Indians all over the country are dying due to lack of oxygen, beds and vaccines. The Government is not paying heed to it has made this crisis worse and has hit the middle class and cities. This makes me wonder, what about people who do not have access to technology? How do they air their grievances? The prologue is related to the theme of the movie Aakrosh. What do the voiceless do when they are failed by the very system which is supposed to protect them?
Aakrosh begins as a legal thriller where we see Lahanya (Om Puri) being accused of murdering his wife and the film directly does not answer the question for a major part of the film. The film is not interested in the crime or condemning it, but more interested in how of it and not the why of it.
Then we have Dusane (Amrish Puri) who is from the Tribal community but has been assimilated into the upper class society because of the position he holds. He knows he is a part of the society and shares the table with bigwigs because of his position. He is sure that he may be welcomed socially, but will never be a part of the upper caste club.
Then we have Bhaskar Kulkarni (Naseeruddin Shah) a rookie lawyer whose father has groomed Dusane and is an idealistic who is navigating the world of caste, politics, and justice. The film is mostly depicted through the viewpoint of this protagonist
At first, he is more concerned about his career and how it will affect his career as a lawyer. He is frustrated by what he thinks is a lack of cooperation by his client. He is met with silence everywhere he goes, he thinks that it is their arrogance or ungratefulness on how these people cannot work with this great system. What he does not know is the system is just to give a moral and legal cloak for those who are in power and can oppress those who do not have a voice.
Bhaskar is an interesting protagonist. He is not someone who is trying to change the system, his belief in the system is intact. You cannot fault him, for the person he is. And because of the genetic advantage of being born in a certain caste, he does not have to face discrimination in his life. When he discovers the gutter of corruption and greed, he is shaken and scared at first. He gets to fight the system in his way only to be greeted with disillusionment.
Nothing is black and white in this Govind Nihalani directorial debut where he is aided by the genius Vijay Tendulkar. This is not a film that gives any comfort. It is a film that causes you discomfort and makes you think that we all are part of the system and in a way, we also play an active part in this action.
Om Puri as Lahanya delivers one of the finest performances in his career. The anger which comes due to helplessness is solely conveyed through his eyes, and way he cries at the end of the movie is so haunting. Om went on to do another angry man role with panache in Nihalani’s next Ardh Satya.
Smita Patil‘s role sadly doesn’t have much scope to offer and it is sad she is just used as an ornamental piece in the film.
Amrish Puri cast in a role that is a far cry from his usual Bollywood roles reminds me why he is such a good actor. Naseeruddin Shah as a young lawyer is a delight to watch. But to think of a him as a Marathi Brahmin guy requires suspension of disbelief.
Govind has cast Marathi actors for non-important roles, but surprisingly for lead roles he went with a non-Marathi cast who do not look or talk like Marathis. Not that I am holding a grouse against him for this, but casting Marathi actors in key roles would have helped the film a lot.
That aside, Aakrosh is one of the best films to come out of India. Do give it a try.
The film is streaming on Amazon Prime India and Hotstar (in a censored version).
Jagran Film Festival, has reached its 4th and concluding stage. Besides proudly presenting an exciting line up of national and international feature and short films across various genres from every corner of the world, the festival has also created a platform for cinephiles to discuss and get acquainted with various aspects of national as well as international cinema from global viewpoint.
Under the banner of Master Class, key representatives of national and international cinema are going to connect with each other for special insightful discussions on films. Sriram Raghavan, Govind Nihalani, Mahesh Bhatt, Saurabh Shukla, Piyush Mishra, Kamlesh Pandey, Pavan Malhotra, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Goutam Ghose, Swanand Kirkire, Farouque M. Shaikh and Atul Tiwari are some of the names forming the part of the panel. There are going to be two panel discussions and one workshop to be held under the banner of Master Class.
LA Film Council on Co-productions : This is the first panel discussion under this banner going to be held on 25th September 2013, Wednesday at 11.30 am at Zee Preview, Fun Republic 1, Andheri West, Mumbai. The objective of this panel discussion is to facilitate Indian productions and investment in California, and similarly, encourage Hollywood productions and investment in India. It is also aimed to find solutions to overcome various production and distribution challenges faced by each of these industries in the other’s market. It offers a platform for commercial collaboration and knowledge exchange, which would support the technological development of the Hollywood and Indian film industries. It will also assist in cross-industry talent acquisition and creative collaboration.
Date and venue details : 25th September 2013, Wednesday at 11.30 am at Zee Preview, Fun Republic 1, Andheri West, Mumbai.
Master Class – Dervis Zaim : This is a workshop to be held on 26th September 2013 at 11:30 am by the famous Turkish Director Dervis Zaim. He is best known for his film The Cycle. Through this workshop, the festival provides an opportunity to everyone to learn his style of film making and get acquainted with his approach to cinema. In this workshop, which is mostly targeted to youngsters, the Turkish master teaches the art of cinema to the participans
Time and date : 26th September 2013 at 11:30 am Zee Preview, Fun Republic 1, Andheri West, Mumbai.
Master Class – Finding Money For Films : It is the second panel discussion under the banner, which is going to be held on 27th September 2013, Friday at the same venue and time. It is going to be a very interactive and fruitful discussion by the experts of the industry, which will guide and provide consultancy to new film makers and budding talents on how to find the right source to fund their upcoming projects.
Time and date : 27th September 2013 at 11.30 am
Venue: Fun Republic
Anumati (The Consent) is a film directed by prolific Marathi filmmaker Gajendra Ahire, who at one particular point had almost 11 films in various stage of production. Gajendra Ahire always seems to take interesting subjects for his films, but rarely is he able to sketch out the subject and if you add to that his substandard production values, you can skip most of his films. At the same time I was looking forward to watch Anumati as it is produced by the makers of Shaala, which in my view is one of the best Indian films in recent times.Continue reading “Anumati Movie Review: Interesting Premise, Faulty Execution”
‘Auteur‘is a French word which translated in English means ‘author’, the creator of the work. Having said that, cinema unlike the other arts like poetry, painting etc. is a collective art and includes contributions from other artists to make it a completed film and is not the work of a sole artist. However, the ‘Auteur Theory’ suggests that there is one prime force that leads to the creation of the film and that individual guides all the processes of filmmaking. It is the vision and worldview of this individual who makes the film special and thus a work of art. Continue reading “Anurag Kashyap: An Auteur Demystified”
Out of the blue here comes an animation film Kamlu that’s been written, edited, directed & produced by none other than Govind Nihalani. Co-produced by Krayon Pictures which is also the Animation Studio for the film, Kamlu is all about a camel who wants to fly. Continue reading “Kamlu-Trailer”
“These awards are a joke….. its a place where the industry likes to get-together and pat each other’s back……” – Naseeruddin Shah, CNN IBN
Its raining awards in Bollywood.The biggest blockbusters are making their ways into the nominations for the best film, director, actors, supporting actors. the list is endless. The question which arises over here is are these films indeed the best works of the previous year or are we overlooking better films simply because they could not make it big at the box office ?Continue reading “The farce called Bollywood Awards”