Apaharan (2005) Poster


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Prakash Jha does it one more time.
Naresh Kanyal13 December 2005
I went in to watch this movie expecting something very good from Prakash Jha and it was worth. The promos of the movie were released just a week or two in advance of the movie; so there was not much hype, hoopla or curiosity surrounding the movie. As always, director has done a lot of research in writing the script and his efforts have paid well.

As the title suggests, it is about the thriving kidnapping industry in the Indian state of bihar. Many of the characters may actually resemble the real life people. The movie makes you aware of the whole kidnapping process. The hostage is referred as "delivery" and it exchanges hands with 2 or more different parties, before landing with the one who decided, planned and ordered the kidnap. Each party (or intermediary) keeps account of all the expenses/cost incurred during their task (including vehicles, arms and meals). Everyone in the state administration - includes police, ministers - gets cut in the ransom - WOW, what a perfect business model.

Alongwith is a story of a Professor Shastri who wants to fight the corruption in the old Gandhian ways and will in no way compromise with his value system, not even for his unemployed son, who is unable to make his way in this system through honest ways. When he tries to bend and makes slight adjustments (by offering bribe, even when his name was there in the first merit list for state police officers), his unluck prevails landing himself into big trouble. He decides to get into the kidnapping industry - the one he once wanted to fight against. First half of the movie is awesome, but it looses its steam in the last one hour and is just like any other movie of this kind. End was not at all good - I still can't understand, why even directors of this genre believe that movies always have to end on a positive note.

The main characters have delivered power packed performance. Ajay Devagan and Nana Patekar once again prove themselves. Other Parkash Jha regulars like Mohan Agashe, Yashpal Sharma and Ayub Khan are also good. Once in the lifetime opportunity to watch fully clothed Bipasha Basu, but her role is useless and movie was very much possible without her.
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Something expected from Mr. Prakash Jha
Harsh Gupta2 December 2005
This movie is really a good one....... after Gangajal, Prakash Jha again brought the truth prevailing in Bhiar on screen.... The movie makes u think what is going on in this heartbreaking corrupt political scenario........ acting showed the power of the actors for which they should be well rewarded............ This time the language was more towards physical rather than dialog delivery........ the power statements laid with eyes by Ajay Devgan & Nana Patekar impressed many....... this movie is surely gonna be hit at box office. i think Indians should go and watch this movie so that they get a view of what all can happen with power and money and especially in states like Bihar.....
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a movie made with genuine intentions,research and cast.
rupendu banerjee15 January 2006
Apaharan brings together the winning duo of Prakash Jha and Ajay Devgan once again. and adding to the awesome twosome is Nana Patekar as the corrupt political leader(Tabrez Alam). when all of Ajay Shastri's(Ajay Devgan) efforts to achieve the job that he desires and deserves go unrewarded, he takes the crooked path. entering the business of "apaharan" (kidnapping) under the "able" guidance of Tabrez Alam he gets all that he craved for - power, money and authority. he however pays the prices too- love,society,friends, family and life. the film also explores the subtle relationship between a father Professor Raghuvansh Shastri( Mohan Aghase) and son which is also reflective of changing times and clashing ideologies.
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A near excellent movie
narayans8011 December 2005
A couple of things I knew before seeing the movie were:

* It was based on the Bihar kidnapping (industry ?!). * ..and Nana Patekar, Ajay Devgan and Bips acted in it.

Point 2 was the prime motivator, a serious subject sounded even better :).

The characters in the movie are not something new to movie watchers. An aspiring son, an idealist father caught in a cruel world of the good, bad and the ruthless. The story is told in an elegant fashion without any sleaze or exaggerations. At no point of time does the movie glorify a character to make them look larger than life. Falling a genre of crime/drama, more focus is laid on the 'Clash of Titans' than on blood spatters and gunshots (there were a few, but way less than you would expect).

The characters were a perfect fit and the script made sure they don't get too focused as well. Nana Patekar who plays Tabrez Alam had that subtle ruthlessness written in his eyes was simply a class act. His dialogues were short and powerful. His character is a lesson modern day villains need to learn. Ajay Devgan (one of my favorites :) ) shows a lot of versatility as an innocent, aspiring, angry, calm and broken character of Ajay Shastri. The scene where he refuses to 'run away from reality' was the pick of scenes. Bips did'nt have much to do, I thought she'd play something similar to her role in Footpath and turns out more like Katrina's in Sarkar. Ajay's father character was good, but not the perfect, executed what he was sent out to do. If Amrish Puri was alive today, I wish he have played the father character.

One more feather to the cap, there are no songs and no romantic scenes, so if you are a 'Mills and Boons' fan..stay away ;) .

The movie has a few flaws too, not that it disturbed the flow, but kind of looked odd in such a well made movie. Ajay's friends involvement in the kidnapping did'nt look believable at all. Nevertheless the movie had many positives to still hold it high.

Overall A 40% script, 40% performance, 15% violence and 5% flaws is one step short of perfect and three steps ahead of very good. Needless to say me liked the movie, the only sad part was I could'nt understand all the dialogues. I would see it again if I get a version with subtitles.
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A gripping, realistic portrayal of the Bihar mafia
Aam Aadmi28 December 2005
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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A great, hard-hitting movie
bollywoodplusplus18 March 2006
Prakash Jha creates yet another masterpiece in his inimitable style. If you loved Gangajal, you'll love this even more. Very well acted by Nana Patekar and Ajay Devgan. (why do Indian movies have to give credits to 'hero' 'heroine' & 'villlain' always??). Bipasha Basu's character is less significant than many other supporting characters in the movie.

Great editing, camera-work, background music, art, of the movie makes the narrative very effective! And the storyline weaves through true Bihar politics & mafia nexus, and is narrated very effectively. Deserves attention of the Critics Choice award! The movie is worth watching for Nana Patekar's acting itself. Its been a long time, we haven't seen Parinda's Nana in another bone-chilling act (although this comes nowhere close to Parinda).

Overall, this movie is a must watch for the socially aware people.
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Stunning portrayal of nexus between politicians & gangsters.
hemant_balz13 June 2010
Absolutely breathtaking performances we see from Prakash Jha's film named Apaharan.We see some fascinating & captivating performances from both Ajay Devgan & Nana Patekar.Here we see Ajay as a young gangster who just wants success whereas on the other hand is Nana Patekar who is an old politician who is fulfilling his extortion dreams.Ajay rises up as a gangster and gives conclusions to a lot of kidnapping & extortion's.Ajay's father Mohan Agashe acting is terrific as it can get.Then you have Mukesh Tiwari as DIG Anwar Khan who as an honest cops just does tremendous justice to his role.Prakash Jha has directed another superb film after Gangajal.But the stand out performer again was Ajay Devgan.He is a great actor.And such roles just suit him so much rather then those stupid Golmaal types films.The ending is stupendous.Soundtrack in the end is very good.This is a very good film focusing on the nexus between politicians & gangsters.
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Good movie
silvan-desouza4 November 2009
Prakash Jha after the memorable GANGAAJAL made APARAHAN

The film is a nice take on kidnapping which hasn't been seen before on screen in such a way

The best part being the film keeps you involved throughout Ajay's characterization is well handled the problems he faces are so real to life

The first half is a bit slow but manages to keep your interest alive Nana's scenes are pure magic and Ajay-Nana's first scene together is nothing short of great

The second half focuses on how Ajay changes and becomes a person of Nana's group, this part is too filmy though but yet it's believably handled

Even the climax though clichéd is well handled

Direction by Prakash Jha is awesome Music(only 1 song) suits the theme Background music is apt

Amongst actors Nana proves yet again why he is one of the best actors, he acts the character so perfectly and gives an understated performance Ajay Devgan too excels in his part, people may say that it's the same kinda acting but i don't agree with that He suits the role and is a complete natural In fact I would like to see Ajay in such a role more Bipasha in a small role is okay Amongst rest Mukesh Tiwari another person who is doing nonsense nowdays is excellent in this film, In fact Ajay and Tiwari in ZAMEEN, GANGAAJAL played opp roles then in this(in Gangaajal and ZAMEEN Ajay played the good guy and Mukesh the grey shaded guy here it's the opposite) Dr. Mohan Agashe excels in his role while Anup Soni is adequate Yashpal Sharma repeats his goon act
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Realistic Cinema with an unbeatable punch of Nana and Ajay!
kathuria_nidhi2 August 2006
Apharan is a story set against the milieu of Kidnapping, which is a booming industry in Bihar, India. The writer and director Prakash Jha has tactfully captured the pulse of the crime city and translated it realistically and most effectively in the movie. The business of kidnapping is so mechanized that even the smallest part of the machinery, which is a 'pan wallah' performs his part in crime with precision. From a middleman to a police officer, to a high profiled politician behind the crime, kidnapping is the name of the game everyone likes to play for high cuts and speedy gains. The protests are curbed, lives are taken without a thought and the city is on the one-way road to becoming a 'jungle-raj', where the whole process of raising voice for the victim and the protector assuring them of solving crimes, is nothing but a facade. It is difficult not to feel revulsion and empathy at the same time for the generation that is fast becoming the victim and perpetrator of such racket. Apharan is also a story of a complex father-son relationship that falls out because both see each other as the culprit to the ideals and values they hold high. There are no black and whites when one views their relationship from outside, but the director in Prakash Jha chose to conclude the story where the poetic justice must be met. This however, leash the creative genius what the film was capable of becoming. It's a great film nevertheless, and a must watch for Nana Patekar's fans that would like to see him in the same element as the thespian was in Parinda. Prakash Jha after Gangajal has again managed to extract simply breathtaking performance by Ajay Devgan as Ajay Shastri who once dreamt of becoming a police officer. He refused to live like a failure and switched lanes that only led him to the path of success, power and eventually self-destruction. The item number in Apharan is quite weak compared to 'Babuji Zara Dheere Chalo', which shot model Yana Gupta to instant fame in Gangajal. Because of a herd of characters that are not all essential to the plot, film loses its pace after the interval. The climax could certainly have been more heroic. Actors Mukesh Tiwari in the role of honest police officer Anwar Khan and Yashpal Sharma as Tabrez Alam's (Nana Patekar) key kidnapper who operates from jail, are simply brilliant and actors to watch out for. Mohan Agashe, Ayub Khan, Murali Sharma, Mukul Nag and Ehsaan Khan also did justice to their roles. Bipasha Basu as Megha Basu, playing Ajay's ladylove didn't come across very naturally, though her performance was satisfactory. Why watch Apharan? Because it's an undeniable eye-opener, boasts of realistic acting, effective cinematography, fitting premise and production, and has almost a flawless direction.

The Story: Ajay Shastri (Ajay Devgan) aspires for a job in the police force, which is his ticket to a future of power, respectability, social status and a secure life with his childhood sweetheart Megha (Bipasha Basu). And he hopes it will make his father (Mohan Agashe) proud too. Ajay is prepared to do anything to meet this end. Tragically, his desperate attempt at success is snapped by the choices made by his father. Dejected and disillusioned, Ajay is drawn into a dark world from which there is no return…Under the aegis of self-proclaimed minority political leader Tabrez Alam (Nana Patekar), Ajay soon tastes success and power.

What happens when power and ambition clash with ideals and values? Is there a way Ajay's repentance can lead to his redemption as well? Watch Apharan to find out!
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Kidnapping as an industry ...
meet_grn8 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
A very tautly made film that is gripping for the most part. Excellent script with some very clever tongue-in-cheek humor adds to lighten the mood up in what is an otherwise desolate journey into the extremely sad state of affairs in that particular province. The end was a bit of an anti-climax, but i guess that was needed to let people walk out of the movie hall with at least some sense of justice having prevailed, although i am sure that the reality is far more bitter. Would have been great if Mr. Jha had shown the kind of ending that really comes of these tales, where the criminal mastermind convinced about his work being God's work, continues on with the carnage, without having any punishment for his "sins" in either life or death ... isn't that how it always happens.

The movie makes you think and definitely is worth a watch for someone who wants to watch a movie to be able to appreciate acting, screenplay and logic, rather than item number, bare skin, blood, foreign locales and hams ..
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