Droh Kaal (1994) Poster


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Deep and powerful
kapil_l18 September 2005
One of the best given the topic 'Terrorism'. Remember, this movie was made in 1994, much before 9/11 and yet, one can see the similarities between 9/11 plot and this movie. For example, 9/11 hijackers hid among us, just as the terrorists in this movie wore the mask of a common man. 9/11 hijackers were known to be soft spoken and polite, yet extremely secretive. Same with the terrorists in this movie. Anyway, everything from the plot to characters were excellent. Even the music (by Jaidev) is extraordinary. Only the far-fetched bravado by Abhay Singh (Om Puri) seemed unreal, but then, it takes extraordinary courage and deeds to counter the 'cancer' of terrorism. In that respect, Abhay Singh's bravado also seems appropriate. As usual, Naseer puts the 'sher' in the character of Abbas Lodhi.

I remember, I was in Bombay during the film festival in Dec. 1994. This powerful movie made me cry and repeat it the very next day. Thanks to Govind Nihalani, who personally let me in his special movie, I could enjoy to the full. No wonder I am his fan and Thank you Govind!

If you are a Govind Nihalani or a Naseer or an Om Puri or a Amrish Puri fan, this movie is a MUST SEE.
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Another hardcore Police Story
Asphyxiod27 June 2005
"Droh Kaal" is by far another finest film ever made in Indian Parallel cinema. Its another Hard-Hitting Drama from Master Director Govind Nihalani.

To bring out a Script with thorough Practicality & Real-Life Approach of Rift between Police & Terrorits becomes very difficult task and possibly one may land up being conventional main stream cinema. This is not the case with this Film. May be Ardh Satya (earlier Nihalani's work) & Droh Kaal are the only Realistic Hardcore Police Stories ever told.

The Film is utmost Gripping & bears Hair Raising Moments. The Deputy Commissioner of Police Abhay Singh, played by Om Puri sends in "under-cover" squad amongst a terrorist group to reveal their complete conglomerate activities. The Top Secret operation is only known to him & his Colleague DCP Abbas Lodhi. Amongst the five terrorist groups, one of the group's commander, Bhadra played by Ashish Vidyarthi, gets caught and is in Police Custody. Even staying within the Custody the terrorist commander controls his terrorist force to threaten the DCP and plan an escapade. He is also aggravated by these Police officers' constant attempt to hamper their various activities. On his aggression, Commander Bhadra threatens DCP Abhay Singh by keeping his family on his target. The DCP had no option than just to work hand-in-hand with the Terrorist Group. He is forced to Shelter two terrorist in his home staying along his family. He is asked to provide all vital informations of Police operations. His Colleague, DCP Abbas Lodhi gets killed. Finally the film turns sharp in the end where there's an Opportunity, the DCP can get to destroy the enemies.

The Best thing in a Govind Nihalani Film, is conversations. He is the master of creating Hardcore Drama by vibrant human ideologies exhibited in true sense through perfectly-written Dialogues. The conversation between DCP Abhay Singh & Commander Bhadra in Interrogation Room & in Jungle are brilliant.

The End Part of the Film is as Gripping & Hair Raising like the end scene in "The Silence of the Lambs".

Naseeruddin Shah as DCP Lodhi is also fantastic. Finally the Film again belongs to Om Puri, who delivers a controlled & powerful performance.
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Movie ahead of its times when made
bluekid315 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
***Watch out for some spoiler descriptions of movie's characters. *** After 20+ years of its release, I bought this DVD off internet and watched the movie for first time and was intrigued at its story and script execution. Droh Kaal literally refers to a time period when dark forces are rampant and out to destroy humanity. I had been advised as a teen soon after the movies release that it is a dark deep movie edge of the seat - type thriller. I did not least expect it would be so in tune to current times and happenings too. The script is based on a tight depiction of events related to an accomplished anti-terrorist squad and leading up to confrontation of the resolute determined squad lead with the fearsome ideologically motivated cell leader, while at the same time the (squad lead) has to watch his team members annihilated one by one by this terrorist cell forces and while the tentacles of terror cell engulfs his family's honor and values. As "Droh Kaal" nears terror forces gain control, begin to choke the squad's lifeline and in a set of smartly executed of events launched with an intent to destroy very fabric of the cop's professional and family life that holds him together. For a layman like me, the movie clarifies motives of a terrorist cell that has well-educated members and supposed rationale behind their operations. The character of cell leader regularly draws great satisfaction employing powerful ideological assault techniques targeted at undermining core values of anti terrorist squad members and in the process destroying them in spirit and physically. How a terrorist cell functions and operated is no longer a theme for Fred Forsyth type books, it is a powerful anti-life product of our society now.
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Above average
innerproduct22 July 2002
When I first saw this movie I thought it was one of the best movies I'd ever seen. When I saw it again a couple of years ago, as a more experienced viewer, my opinion diminished significantly. Having said that, the movie has some good performances.

In spite of the presence of stalwarts like Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri, it is Ashish Vidyarthi who has the film's best performance.

In my opinion, Droh Kaal is one of Govind Nihalani's lesser films. I recommend Aakrosh as an example of one of his better ones. Ardh Satya isn't too bad either.

Govind Nihalani is a fine film-maker from India, and I recommend his films (especially his earlier films). At the same time, and without a great deal of effort, I can think of at least three other Indian film-makers who have consistently made significantly better films: Satyajit Ray, Shyam Benegal, and Girish Karnad.
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Excellent movie
rosh_dsa-16 June 2009
If anybody finds a DVD of this movie, please post the link to the DVD sale.This is the best movie I have seen on a terrorist-police plot. Excellent direction, script, story and acting. I have not seen a movie so good in International cinema or in Hollywood. Govind Nihlani has done an excellent job. It is a little slow but engrossing, the ending is unexpected. This is Govind Nihlani's best work. This movie is way better than "Roja" in terms of content and character. Roja is more picturesque but Drohkaal has more character. Not to be missed, a jewel of Bollywood. Wish it was on DVD If anybody finds a DVD on this, please post the link to the DVD sale.
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Govind Nihalani's gripping cop
manishrvce3 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
''Times of Betrayal'',this was the title which followed the poster of Govind Nihalani's violent saga.Nihalani a former assistant of Shyam Benegal shot into fame as a director in early 80-s for his hard-hitting violent sagas-Aakrosh and Ardh Satya.The violence of his films was a bit different from other violent movies.The films had more of internal violence going in the character's mind rather than kicks and punches.Needless to say that with Aakrosh he touched the pinnacle of alternate cinema making Naseer-ud-din Shah deliver another power packed performance and bringing Om Puri into limelight.

The movie begins with 2 senior police officers(Naseer-ud-din Shah and Om Puri) encouraging new recruits of the police force.They wanted a few young officers to mix-up with the militants in such a way that they earn their trust and pass on information.The pack included one Dhanush(Milind Gunanji) and 2 other young officers.Naseer is a Muslim and is the senior officer and is a simple but tough guy.Om,a Hindu is also tough but is not that hard-hearted.Despite the difference in religion they were great friends and their families interact and celebrate festivals together.Om is married to Mita Vashisth and has a small kid.Their main target is a guy who runs a terrorist outfit(Ashish Vidyarthi). Om also looks upon on his senior (Amrish Puri) as a philosopher and guide.He manages to catch hold of Vidyarthi but is not able to get any information from him.He is surprised to see that Vidyarthi is not an uneducated man but a highly educated and a sensible young man who is against the country.He is scared by the mentality that is on the rise in the country.However he is not able to change much as he realises that he is a pawn in this big game of chess.Events take a turn in such a way that Ashish controls Om's life even while being in prison.Om's family is troubled and the problem escalates when Vidyarthi's associate(Annu Kapoor) starts staying at Om's place posing a threat to his wife and son.Meanwhile Dhanush's other aid are caught by the terrorists and killed.However Dhanush is still on the hide and has won the confidence of everyone. Due to the evil forces Naseer is killed and Amrish commits suicide.Om kills Ashish but in order to catch the entire gang of terrorists dies at the hands of Dhanush so that Dhanush can become the commander and foil all plans of the terrorists group. Nihalani advertised his recently released flop -Dev as the sequel to Ardh Satya.However for a Govind Nihalani fan and even for a normal person who has seen this movie,Drohkaal looks and fits correctly as the movie which follows Ardh Satya. The story of Drohkaal like most Govind Nihalani's movies is hard and is set against a backdrop of terrorism.The story is brilliant and it tries to look at the network of terrorists.The screenplay is good,although some scenes have traces of Amitabh Bachchan starrer-Benaam(read my review for details).The terrorising of a family by a criminal,attacking a child and killing of the dog was all present in Benaam.However except that there is no similarity in both the movies.The editing is good although some scenes especially the bed-scenes between Om Puri and Mita Vashishtha tend to get too slow.The scene where Anu Kapoor sexually abuses Mita is not in proper taste and tends to drag.The dialogs are brilliant and the dialogs between Om Puri and Ashish Vidyarthi form the highlight of the movie.The sound recording and cinematography is brilliant.Govind Nihalanis totally controls the script by his brilliant direction.Although ,Ardh Satya,Aakrosh and Vijeta are the best works of the director yet Drohkaal is not very far from them.Amrish Puri again gets a role of an elderly man like in Aakrosh,Aaghaat and Ardh Satya.His character has negative shades and he delivers another good performance.While most people know about Om,others tend to overlook the fact that even Amrish Puri has been a favourite actor of Govind-Aaghaat,Aakrosh,Vijeta,Ardh Satya,Thakshak(read my review) and even the weak Dev.His death scene comes as a thrilling sequence. Mita Vashishth is just OK and so is Anu Kapoor.Milind Gunanji does adequate job in his debut(although I dreamt of Nana Patekar in his place in the role).However the show belongs to Ashish Vidyarthi.In his debut film Vidyarthi gives his carrier best performance.If Ardh Satya brought Sadashiv Amrapurkar as a villain in a big way,Drohkaal brought Vidyarthi to Bombay.His dialog delivery,diction and expressions make him a real good actor and he matches the skills of both Om Puri and Naseer. Ashish got a national award for the best supporting actor that year although he lost to Mithun Chakraborty who won the Filmfare for the best villain for the B-grade Jallad.Unfortunately like most theatre actors except Naseer and Amrish Puri,Vidyarthi also could not get much success after his sensational debut.He is reduced to a B-grade villain and none of his performances except in Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin and to an extent Major Saab are anything to write.His confrontation scene with Om Puri in the forest deserves special mention.
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Govind Nihalani delivers another slow-paced riveting tale
anjshaik21 December 2005
This movie was another tale passionately written by Govind Nihalani and other scriptwriters this movie shows that Govind Nihalani is a dialogue master Atul Tiwari did write the dialogues and Govind Nihalani added additional dialogues to the film with G.P Deshpande this movie is tough to watch because it is very slow paced but it does have moments in there that make up for the slow scenes the action by Amin Ghani is great if only Nihalani could have made it a little better for the camera scenery then it will be more fun to watch overall great performance by all actors especially Nasseudin Shah he's my favorite actor definitely powerful performance by Om Puri as the main character caught under a terrorist struggle pretty good drama to watch Nihalani delivers once again a tale on how to be fair as a human and be fair to life and those around you
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Truly miserable
*Ben2 January 2001
Drohkaal is perhaps the worst non-American movie I've ever seen. It would be bad at two hours but at three it was miserable. Long, boring scenes of the protagonist's happy family life juxtaposed with violent episodes as predictable as they are bloody. Don't be fooled by the somewhat intriguing subject matter (terrorist movement in Northern India), Drohkaal isn't even good as an action movie.
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Nihalani's Preachiest, Most Absurd and Weakest Film
Chrysanthepop9 August 2012
Govind Nihalani casts his favourite actor Om Puri again, this time with Naseeruddin Shah, Ila Arun, Mita Vashisht and Ashish Vidyarti. Nihalani has earned a reputation of making hard-hitting raw films depicting that darkness of middle-class society that is weaved from corruption, chaos and crime. His 'Ardh Satya' was definitely notable and 'Thakshak' and 'Hazaar Chaurasi ki Maa' were quite decent and 'Dev' highlighted Om Puri's performance. Puri has done some of his best works in Nihalani's films and 'Droh Kaal' is no exception.

However, as a film, it's among the director's weakest. The writing is very poor and some of the plotpoints are quite ridiculous. Not only is the script full of plot holes, but the pacing is extremely slow. Things only get a tad better in the second half as the pace picks up and there is an attempt to build suspense. At times, quite frequently, it gets preachy. It tries to make some political point but that's all lost in the writing. I was also surprised by the flat cinematography (considering that Nihalani is also a well-reputed cinematographer).

What stands out are the performances. Puri is brilliantly supported by Mita Vashisht. Naseeruddin Shah and Manoj Bajpai are wasted. Ila Arun does well in a brief role. Ashish Vidyarti is passable.

Overall, 'Droh Kaal' is a major disappointment. It doesn't have anything new to offer. It's lacking in both style and substance.
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Just watch once
varghesejunior21 March 2012
A harsh movie. That's how I'd describe Droh Kaal.

I watched this only recently simply out of curiosity. I remember watching Kamal Hassan's Drohi some 15 years ago, and I feel the original Droh Kaal is definitely better.

It is an unconventional film revolving around cops who fight terrorism and terrorists who take advantage of the corrupt system into manipulating the law.

Acting is good on part of the actors. The best actor is perhaps none other than Om puri.Film is draggy at times. THERE ARE NO SONGS AT ALL. This film is not suited for kids for the violence and some explicit scenes. And no one can watch it more than once.
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