''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.
1 out of 2 found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.