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Shool (1999)

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Police Inspector Samar Pratap Singh is transferred to Motihari, in the Indian state of Bihar, along with his wife, Manjari and a daughter. He is honest and diligent and these attributes ... See full summary »


(as E. Nivas)


(dialogue), (screenplay) (as E. Nivas) , 3 more credits »
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Credited cast:
Samar Pratap Singh (as Manoj Bajpai)
Raveena Tandon ...
Manjari Singh
Sayaji Shinde ...
Bachoo Yadav
Yashpal Sharma ...
Lalan Singh
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nagesh Bhonsle ...
Lallan Vinod
Pratima Kazmi ...
Bacchoo Yadav's mother
Veerendra Saxena ...
Prawal Pratap Singh
Dancer (in song 'UP Bihar') (singing voice)
Shri Vallabh Vyas ...
Ganesh Yadav ...
Inspector Hussain


Police Inspector Samar Pratap Singh is transferred to Motihari, in the Indian state of Bihar, along with his wife, Manjari and a daughter. He is honest and diligent and these attributes sets him up against his superior - the District Superintendent of Police, as well as his subordinates and fellow officers. His diligence in maintaining law and order, and his belief in justice for all, regardless of one's background, makes him a powerful enemy in the shape and form of Bachu Yadav who is the local MLA of the ruling political party, and will not stop at anything to get rid of Samar and his family, by hook or by crook, and no one will dare to stop him. Written by rAjOo (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

5 November 1999 (India)  »

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Did You Know?


Rahul Dev auditioned for Sayaji Shinde role. See more »


References Who Pays the Piper (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

The Limit Of Tolerance
12 May 2008 | by (Fraggle Rock) – See all my reviews

Debutant director E Nivas bravely tells the story of a courageous police officer and his fight against the system for justice. Though the man-against-the-system story has been overused in Indian cinema, 'Shool' has a grittiness and honesty that makes that sets the tone apart. The movie doesn't merely show the battle but it delves into the psychology of the protagonist and his inner conflicts. The viewer can really connect to Samar Pratap Singh and his wife Manjiri.

Shot in washed out green-tinted colours and the use of the shaky camera and with the lack of overdone sets, 'Shool' looks very raw and authentic. The violence, though suggestive, implies very brutal and graphic mental images. The film starts with a telephone-call which is followed by a brutal murder and this already tells us what kind of a person Yadav (the antagonist played by Sayaji Shinde) is.

The performances are superb. Manoj Bajpai nails the part. The character seems to have been written for him and a lesser actor could have easily made a caricature out of this, but not Bajpai. He's simply excellent in displaying even the toughest expressions and this ranks among his best works. Sayaji Shinde is great. Even though his mannerisms are the same as other characters he's played, they perfectly suit Yadav's personality. Raveena Tandon takes the role of Manjiri after Juhi Chawla who had to walk out due to an accident which caused her to be hospitalized. 'Shool' couldn't have come at a better time for Ms. Tandon. After all the glamorous roles and comedies, the actress was looking for something different and in 'Shool' we see a deglamourized Raveena Tandon. Here she gives a very subtle, convincing and heartbreaking performance as Manjiri. The child actor is expressionless.

On the flip side, 'Shool' is quite predictable but one can't think of an alternative ending that would have made it better. Nonetheless, even though we know what will happen, the last scene is very effective, mostly due to Manoj Bajpai's performance and dialogue delivery. Anurag Kashyap's dialogues and E.Nivas's screenplay are good. Some scenes would have stood out more without the background score (which isn't that impressive). The songs are passable (and fit the situations) and of course there's the famous item number 'Main Aayi Hoon UP Bihar Lootney' filmed on a raunchy Shilpa Shetty. This is perhaps one of the few films where an item number actually works as it both fits the situation and tells more about the character of the actors (e.g. Sayaji acting all wild around Shilpa).

On the whole, 'Shool' is a great piece of Indian cinema. Although the story isn't new, it's presentation is and unlike others this one digs into both the protagonist's and antagonist's psychology.

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