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Kagaar teeters on the edge
Jyoti Shukla |
October 31, 2003 20:22 IST
Director N Chandra's movie Kagaar (Precipice) is based on the true life story of a Mumbai cop, encounter specialist sub-inspector Daya Nayak, who has been given special thanks in the movie's credits.
Dedicated to the 'brave Mumbai Police', it has no songs, a tight script and real locations. Kagaar holds a mirror to real-life situations in Mumbai.
Sub-inspector Bhaskar Sarnaik (Amitabh Dayal) and his childhood friend Adi (Anoop Soni) come to Mumbai. Bhaskar, who starts working as a waiter, joins the police force and becomes a sub-inspector. Adi becomes rich by turning into a hitman.
They are both killers now -- one is on the right side of the law, an encounter specialist who has killed 70 criminals in fake encounters. The other is on the wrong side of the law and kills people for money.
In their new 'careers', they are enemies trying to eliminate each other.
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Bhaskar is the protégé of sub-inspector Gokhale (Om Puri), an upright cop who has killed criminals in fake encounters because eliminating criminals is his duty. Bhaskar's wife Aditi (Nandita Das) is very accommodating and understanding, but can't shake the feeling that her husband is, after all, another killer who kills in the name of duty.
The way the movie opens, and the way the characters are established, is not impressive. The director seems to have equated innocence with moronic behaviour when he decided to present Dayal as a rustic youth.
Both Dayal and Das try hard to look natural but end up overacting. They are more convincing in the second half where they portray the struggle of an honest cop and his wife facing injustice and hardship.
Dayal, who debuts in this film, has done justice to the character of the wide-eyed, new cop-turned-ruthless shooter. Om Puri as Gokhale is relaxed and lends credence to the drama.
But it is Adi, who has a love-hate relationship with his childhood friend, Bhaskar, who captivates the audience. Soni's part is small, but he portrays the changes in Adi so subtly, yet so enchantingly, that you cannot bring yourself to hate him.
Kagaar is watchable. But if you are looking for entertainment, this movie is not for you.
The cops in this movie do not live in posh bungalows or sing songs around trees. They are as human as you and me, or the criminals in the movie. They also cry in hard times and get depressed like anyone else.
Neither is Kagaar a typical good-versus-evil struggle. The hero and anti-hero believe in the philosophy that the end justifies the means. It is a struggle for survival, and the survivor will be the winner, morals notwithstanding.
Cast: Om Puri, Nandita Das, Amitabh Dayal, Anoop Soni
Director: N Chandra
Producer: Dr Mrunalini Suryakanta Patil
Music: Shantanu Moitra
Writer: Sujeet Sen
Cinematography: Manoj Gupta