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apaharan movie review

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Cast Ajay Devgan, Bipasha Basu, Mohan Agashe, Nana Patekar    more...
Director Prakash Jha
Action / Drama / Crime

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The apaharan Movie Review

By N K Deoshi
Rating: 0.5/5

Prakash Jha's movie Apaharan is a hard-hitting tale of a youth who gradually gets lured into the world of crime. The movie, an exposť of the kidnapping 'industry' in Bihar, is gritty but too grim a tale to digest.

Socially relevant films have always had selected audience, no matter how wise the intention behind making such films. The fact that kidnappings have become a lucrative business - and a prospering one at that - in Bihar is known to many.

Apaharan attempts to recreate on celluloid the entire kidnapping machinery with all its nuts and bolts, the politicians and corrupt cops, the goons and the middlemen, et al. And caught in this scrum is the common man, who either toes the non-rewarding path of honesty or takes the easy route into the whirlpool of crime.

The movie's protagonist Ajay Shastri (Ajay Devgan) tries the first path. Fails. Then he takes the latter path. And then there is no turning back.

Ajay is the son of an idealist, self-righteous father, Prof. Raghuvansh Shastri (Mohan Agashe). Professor Shastri is a highly principled man who has high expectations from his son Ajay.

Ajay Shastri wants to join the police force. He even raises money to grease a few palms to get his lucky break. But all his attempts go in vain, leaving him in deeper troubles.

Disillusioned, Ajay is then left with no choice but to take law in his hands. He, along with a bunch of other underachievers, kidnaps a government official. But the kidnapping goes awry. The middleman backs out, and the man refuses to pay ransom. This is when Ajay takes his big step into the world of crime.

Ajay is caught, put behind the bars. He faces humiliation, insult and contempt. All this makes clearer in his head the path he has to take. He begins to distance himself from his past - his girlfriend Megha (Bipasha Basu). He becomes cold and rather indifferent towards her.

Ajay then joins Tabrez Khan (Nana Patekar), an influential politician who runs an undercover racket of kidnappings and murders via his henchman Gaya (Yashpal Sharma). Gaya operates the entire racket from within the jail.

The remaining story is about Ajay's transition from a simpleton to a suave criminal. But the law would eventually take its course.

By now, Prakash Jha has acquired a deft command over making films on hard-hitting subjects. Without sacrificing realism for the sake of entertainment, Jha tells a tale that stirs you and disturbs you. The portrayal of the criminal impunity of the strong ones and the vulnerability of ordinary people who take the blow, makes you feel frustrated about the breakdown of law and order situation in a state within the world's largest democracy.

But, all this begins to get a little too grim and heavy after some time. By the time the movie's second half moves to its last laps, the viewer is almost pummeled by this grim scenario of crime, confusion, mayhem, injustice and hopelessness.

Of the performances, Nana Patekar definitely makes an impact with his act of Bihari-speaking, crass-but-intelligent politician and kingpin. Thankfully, Patekar restrains his act at many places and this underplaying lends a stern and somber look to his character.

Ajay Devgan delivers adequately. Such serious roles come to him naturally. Bipasha Basu has a small role, but it is refreshing to see her do something different on screen.

In a nutshell, Apaharan is a serious film on a socially relevant issue. For the sake of entertainment all that the movie offers is a brief appearance by Cleo Isaacs and a cleavage-revealing song by her.

As for the movie's subject, Jha succeeds in making an impact in a viewer's mind. But the feeling of this impact is so grim and dark that you wouldn't wish to watch this movie again.

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Movie Review : The apaharan Review (0.5/5)
Prakash Jha's movie Apaharan is a hard-hitting tale of a youth who gradually gets lured into the world of crime. The movie, an exposť of the kidnapping 'industry' in Bihar, is gritty but too grim a tale to digest.Socially relevant films have always had selected audience, no matter how...
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