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Apaharan (2005)

 -  Action | Crime | Drama  -  2 December 2005 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,099 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 7 critic

Story of a tumultuous and complex relationship between a father (Mohan Agashe) and son (Ajay Devgan), set against the backdrop of a thriving kidnapping industry in the Hindi heartland of Bihar.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ajay Shastri
Nana Patekar ...
Tabrez Alam
...
Megha Basu
Ayub Khan ...
Kashinath
Mohan Agashe ...
Professor Raghuvansh Shastri
...
Anwar Khan
Yashpal Sharma ...
Gaya Singh
Anup Soni ...
Akash Ranjan (as Anoop Soni)
Chetan Pandit ...
Dinkar Pandey
Akhilendra Mishra ...
Brijnath Mishra
Daya Shankar Pandey ...
Daya Shankar (as Dayashankar Pandey)
Murli Sharma ...
Murlidhar
Ehsan Khan ...
DSP Shukla
Mukul Nag ...
Usman
Radhakrishna Dutta ...
Seth Soorajmal
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Storyline

Ajay lives with his stern, honest, disciplinarian and Gandhian widowed father, Prof. (retd.) Raghuvansh Shastri. Ajay works as a salesman, but soon finds himself out of work. He applies for a position with the Police, but is turned down, even though he always makes it to the merit list. Finally he borrows 5 lakh rupees to bribe his way on the merit list, & soon his name is shown on the shortlist. Just before his selection, major differences crop up between Home Minister Dinkar Pandey and his dad, with the later threatening to expose the corruption within the State Ministry. Dinkar ensures that Ajay's name is dropped from the shortlist, and the money-lender sends his goons after him, giving him 3 days to come up with the money. A desperate Ajay decides to be part of the lucrative kidnapping scheme in Bihar, abducts a Government official and demands a ransom so that he can re-pay his loan. Unfortunately, this Government official was under the protection of underworld Don, Gaya Singh, ... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Action | Crime | Drama

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2 December 2005 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

 
A gripping, realistic portrayal of the Bihar mafia
28 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This a very well-made picture from Mr Jha, who in the past directed Hip Hip Hurray, Damul and Gangajal among others.

Its set in Bihar where extortion and racketeering have become a way of life. The protagonist is forced into a life of crime after his father's principles come in the way of "buying into" the system. Unable to find a job, he joins the mafia kidnapping racket and becomes the henchman of political bigwigs, first the local MLA and later, the ministers who by then, have joined hands to form a ruling coalition. In the process, his love life goes astray, his father disowns him and he sinks lower into the dark abyss. The final confrontation brings closure to his estranged relationship with his dad as well as with his fate.

Re: acting, unlike what one poster said, Mohan Agashe did ample justice to the father's role. It called for deliberately understated acting and the late AMrish Puri could never have pulled off a sensitive portrayal of essentially a contented man, that although principled and devoutly Gandhian, isn't necessarily an *activist*. A professor who is ready to fight against injustice, he firmly believes the pen's mightier than the sword. Remaining cast also did a marvelous job including the one and only Nana Patekar. Ajay Devgan has starred in Jha films before and it seems like a successful partnership. Screenplay, dialogs and narrative are all top-notch. Jha belongs to that small group of Indian filmmakers who still make relevant and meaningful cinema. Without pandering to Western audiences a la Dipa Mehta or Mira Nair, selling sex like Ketan & co, or producing useless extravaganzas that no one cares about like the Bhasali dude, Mr Jha sticks to the point and drives home the bitter truth relentlessly.

There's some irony in this. What is his personal gain? And what are his creative desires? What do Indian filmmakers like Jha, Mahesh Manjrekar (Vaastav, Astitva), Madhur Bhandarkar (Chandni Bar, Page 3), Ashutosh Gowarikar (Swades, Lagaan) hope to achieve in that rotting sewer of an armpit called Bollywood? Do they make money on their films (doubtful)? They ostensibly are not in it for awards. Swades was a decent film if not flawless, that was sidelined by the Drollywood dodos in favor of the usual junk fare (read: you gotta kiss the behinds of many Hojars, Pochras, Tuddas, Haigs and other assorted yo-yos or you won't survive)

Realistically, 1 good film a year out of 100 is a good batting average for Bollywood....but "yeh dil mange more"!!


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