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The media reacts to Apaharan

That Jha is a talented filmmaker is no revelation, and his film begins with great intensity…

…The truly brilliant part of the film is the dialogue. With a crisp and clever use of metaphor and idioms, the lines pack a terrific, applause-worthy punch, especially in the hands of a very talented cast.

In Apaharan, Jha has achieved a balance -- not always neat but constantly riveting -- between drama and documentation, irony and tension without letting go of his beliefs. He has his dependable cast to support his cause. Nana Patekar, Yashpal Sharma and Mukesh Tiwari (as an honest cop trying hard not to buckle under corruption) are outstanding. Devgan proves once again that he knows his job.

BBC Movies

After a run of romantic comedies it's refreshing and surprising to see a serious film like Apaharan come out of Bollywood stable. And it's thanks to gutsy and intelligent filmmakers like Jha that politically sensitive topics like those at the core of this film are dealt with sensibly. By casting popular character actors Devgan and Patekar in leading roles he cleverly appeals to the working-class Indian masses the story the message of courage triumphing over greed isn't overshadowed by their characters's religious differences. The end result helps you pardon the near three-hour length.

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The Indian Express

Very few films live up to the hopes raised by both what the film-maker has done before, and to reports of how it has shaped up. Apaharan scores high on both counts. Prakash Jha, back in Bihar after Mrityudand and Gangajal, with a window on the murky world of corruption, cops and kidnappings, is still in crackling form, and delivers a film which spares you none of the savagery which goes with the territory. The film hits hard and makes you think.

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The Hindustan Times

As far as his cinematic idiom goes, Jha can perhaps never go wrong handling a Bihar theme. His knowledge of the grassroots socio-political set-up is too sound - as has been revealed aptly in his earlier films - and he probably writes Bihar screenplays in his sleep these days.

So, when Jha returns to Bihar and takes up the topical issue of kidnapping in the state, you're definitely interested. Apaharan tackles the issue head-on, weaving into it the ideological battle of a father and son duo.

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Prakash Jha returns with the kind of cinema that he is known for - socially relevant, realistic and compelling. If Bollywood had a choice, it would want us to believe that other than the Mumbai underworld, there exists no crime in any part of the country…

…At times, the narrative turns too grim and thereby hampers the flow of the film. The smooth first half isn't backed as well by the second - the climax could have been shortened in length. Overall, the lazy editing disappoints.

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Sunday Mid-day

When director Jha revisits Bihar's hinterlands for a hard-hitting, reality take on corruption, you expect a Gangaajal sequel, especially with Devgan in the lead again. But Apaharan doesn't just involve stacks of money changing hands. By taking on the kidnapping racket, it explores new ground despite its predictable story of a man who gets sucked into the nexus.

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Mumbai Mirror

As a statement of fact about a state, where facts have surpassed limits of popular fiction, Apaharan is an achievement. That it makes it to the screen just as Bihar sees a sudden ray of hope with the fall of Laloo's goon-government, lends the film a touch of optimism that may be missing from its screenplay. A sure-watch then.

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Daily News & Analysis
Even the most news-savvy viewer will be startled by Prakash Jha's expose of the Apaharan trade in his homeland, which no other film maker has visited with such relentless concern.
Right from the raw Damul to the more polished Gangaajal, Jha's agenda has been to report on the state's rampant corruption, political savagery and the absence of social justice.
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Prakash Jha has, most of the times, attempted realistic, hard-hitting films. The films seem straight out of life, as if you're watching a real-life incident unfold right in front of your eyes. Such socially relevant films act as an eye-opener since the films at least make an effort to prick your conscience.
Many critics have slammed Apaharan for being too grim and dark a film for mainstream audiences. Au contraire, I found the film to be Jha's most commercially engrossing venture. The scenes of kidnapping and Ajay beating up Gaya Singh are directed with very intentional mainstream chutzpah. Don't let the reviews fool you. Apaharan is factual yet interesting, gritty yet absorbing.


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.
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The New York Times reader's review

This movie is worth seeing. A total paisa wasool movie at least for the viewers belonging to Bihar and UP.

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The Times of India

Jha picks his narrative straight from the current headlines but he backs it with intensive research and great drama… Apaharan is a powerful film with riveting performances by Ajay Devgan, Nana Patekar and Yashpal Sharma.

The Free Press Journal

Apaharan will find a berth among the outstanding political films of the present times.

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