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).
NFDC India is coming up with its Cinema Outreach Initiative, Film Aaj Kal, a radio show as well as the Ground-Activation event – Film Aaj Kal Screenings and Conversations to build film communities and empower the viewer.
As part of the 360-degree initiative, NFDC collaborates with 92.7 Big FM for a weekly radio show named, ‘Film Aaj Kal’ on Cinema Education and Awareness program which has the filmmakers discussing about the classics, bringing these films back to the fore.Continue reading “‘NFDC Film Aaj Kal’ – A Marathon of NFDC Classics In Mumbai To Begin From July 15”
It is rather surprising that with all the war movies that have been made in India, not one has ever focused on our naval forces, let alone one set in a submarine. Therefore, the promos of The Ghazi Attack brought with them a sense of intrigue. When one thinks of movies set on a submarine, the mind goes to the dark and claustrophobic Das Boot, the tense Cold War thriller, The Hunt for Red October, the gripping Crimson Tide, and the classic, Run Silent Run Deep. The question here is, can debutant director Sankalp Reddy make an impact, through the narration of a war tale, long forgotten, the tale of the sinking of PNS Ghazi?Continue reading “The Ghazi Attack Movie Review: Thunder Down Under”
Viceroy’s House is an upcoming British-Indian historical drama film directed by Gurinder Chadha and written by Paul Mayeda Berges, Moira Buffini, and Chadha. The film stars Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson, Manish Dayal, Huma Qureshi, Om Puri, Sarah Jane-Dias, Neeraj Kabi etc. It is a tale that depicts the inside life of the Viceroy’s House in 1947 during the Partition of India. The music of the film is composed by A.R.Rahman.Continue reading “Viceroy’s House: Trailer”
Actor In Law is an upcoming 2016 Pakistani comedy film directed by Nabeel Qureshi, co-written and produced by Fizza Ali Meerza. The film is scheduled for release on September 13 in Pakistan. Featuring Fahad Mustafa in the lead, the film also has Mehwish Hayat, Om Puri and Alyy Khan.
Continue reading “Actor in Law: Trailer”
Indian population can be divided in to 2 groups: Those who have watched Jungle Book on Doordarshan and those who haven’t- Only because they weren’t born then! This animated story originally written by Rudyard Kipling was synonymous with the 10 AM Sunday slot and most of us woke up ‘early’ with the song- Chaddi Pehen Ke- as the alarm clock.
I must begin this review by stating that director Rajkumar Santoshi‘s stunning debut feature Ghayal is one of my all time favorites featuring one of the most explosive climax ever, that lasts for a good thirty minutes before Ajay Mehra (Sunny Deol) kills his nemesis Balwant Rai (Amrish Puri). I had seen this film on the first day at Metro talkies in Bombay and had paid almost double the amount in black compared what I paid today for the ticket of Ghayal Once Again. Indeed those were the days 🙂
Now 26 years and several delays later, Sunny Deol returns with a sequel to his vigilante classic and also dons the directorial responsibilities for the film.
Ghayal Once Again begins exactly where Ghayal ended. After completing his life sentence, Ajay starts a newspaper called Satyakam, making a credible name for himself in investigative journalism and earning a credible fan following in the process, especially among the youngsters. Four of his teenage fans, accidentally record a murder on camera whilst on an expedition, and it shows two of the city’s most powerful people involved in it. The kids get entangled in this mess and find themselves on the run from the most powerful man in the city. Whether Ajay is able to save these kids from the impending danger or not is what forms the crux of the film.
The movie starts with scenes of Ghayal playing in black and white and immediately grabs your attention. It unfolds slowly as a thriller, making the patronizing Ghayal fans glued to their seats in anticipation of another explosive and long climax. The film keeps moving briskly and before the interval, we are rewarded with a heart-pounding chase sequence, but that is no match to the climax chase or the fish market chase witnessed in the original.
One of the best characters in the prequel was that of the no nonsense serious cop ACP Joe D’Souza played by Om Puri, who provided the right balance in the mayhem that ensues in the climax. But here he returns as a retired funny officer, who loves eating butter chicken with his wife. The villain here is played by the suave Narendra Jha, who plays Raj Bansal – a powerful man having a strong nexus between media, politicians and police. One couldn’t help but notice uncanny similarities Raj Bansal and Mukesh Ambani. However with ‘Antilia’ doubling up for Bansal Mansion made me root for Ajay Mehra. 🙂
Sunny Deol chews up the scenes with his dangerous frown, flaring nostrils and the dhaai kilo ka haath. Honestly, I don’t remember when was the last time I enjoyed watching him with such glee, while destroying the villains.
The film tries being true and faithful to its original and is therefore engaging, though it may appear clichéd to the average viewer for this very reason. But for a diehard Ghayal fan, these cliches doesn’t matter and neither does it dampen their viewing experience.
But sadly, post interval, the ‘curse of second half’ continues. The film has a gripping start and then everything goes haywire. This happens very often in the movies now a days and now I wonder why.
Ghayal Once Again is very clichéd and silly, but honestly I feel in its current form, it would not have been possible even for Raj Kumar Santoshi to match the thrill of original.
We have always loved the Sunny of the JP Dutta, Santoshi and Rahul Rawail films and here we only get glimpse of it. Go, Watch the film in the hope that it may work for you and also for Sunny who badly needs a hit.
Rating – ***
Jai Ho Democracy is a satirical comedy from the veteran writer of Jaane Bhi Do Yaara (1983).Continue reading “Jai Ho Democracy: Trailer”