Genres: Action | Crime | Drama
Writers: Robin Bhatt, Aditya Dhar
Stars: Ajay Devgn, Akshaye Khanna, Bipasha Basu
Giving in to intense media pressure, the Home Minister in Delhi finally instructs the Central Bureau of Investigation to depute Special Officer Siddhant Chaturvedi to travel to Jhanjhar, Bihar, and work together with Pratap Kumar to try and locate three medical students from M.K. Gandhi Medical College. The three students, Gautam Sharma, Dhirush Patel and Dinu were in Jhanjhar to celebrate Dusshera and were scheduled to return back to Delhi. Ramesh Jain, the student Union President, informs the media that the trio were arrested by Jhanjhar Police and since then their whereabouts are unknown. Jhanjhar Police deny that the students were ever there, and are hostile, compelling the CBI to bring in more agents. While differences crop up between investigative tactics of the two agents, upper Caste Hindus, aided by the police, target the fearful Dalits and lower-caste Hindus, brutally torturing them and setting their houses on fire. With the entire local community refusing to come forward … Written by rAjOo (email@example.com)
|Plot Keywords: police, hindu, cbi, investigation, fire|
Release Date: 15 October 2010 (UK)
Besides the usual disclaimer that precedes a film that all incidents, characters and similarities portrayed within are coincidental at best, Priyadarshan's Aakrish takes one extra step to reinforce this point, as it wants to tackle the real world issue of "honour killing" on film, cobbling together a series of faux pas newspaper articles and stamping them as "Fact", before hammering a full size "Fiction" inter-title across the screen prior to the commencement of the film proper. And up until the last frame did it dawn upon me that the narrative also took issue, besides caste, with that of corrupt cops and politicians who exploit an inherently weak justice system.
The story is sufficient to make you seethe with rage as we follow the investigations into the disappearance of three students, whose final moments will get enacted in due course, but only as we gain a certain foothold and breakthrough as experienced by the police officers Sidhant Chaturvedi (Akshaye Khanna) and Pratap Kumar (Ajay Devgan). Arriving from Delhi under the orders of the central government under pressure by a demonstrating student group seeking answers, the two protagonist have to quickly learn and get comfortable with each other's working style to maintain a certain degree of sanity as they tackle an environment that is most hostile, and alien to Sidhant, whose by-the-book methods are in danger of collapsing anytime.
This especially so when faced with an uncooperative local police force who cooks up possibly every reason available not to do work, and through their blatant obstruction of justice, may seem to suggest some involvement in the primary case as well. While on one hand providing unintentional comedy, I feel the investigating officers' pain when they hit a brick wall from within their own support group who more often than not seem to be on the other side of the fence.
It's the culture of silence that is most deafening, and for the first hour before the interval, Aakrosh is quite frustrating to sit through not because of its relatively slow pace, but how we see how helpless our heroes can be given their operating within red tape, and letting others rip them apart because processes rightfully bound them from hitting out. Those who have information are also cowered by threats and an innate fear that it's best to keep one's mouth shut, otherwise punishment will come in the form of bodily harm, and even death as dished out by the masked militia of men who call themselves Shool's Army, intolerant individuals bandied together to bully others into submitting to their bigoted beliefs.
For those not versed in the caste system, this film may give you an idea what it's about as it laments about the state of current affairs, and how there's so much room for improvement in terms of people's attitudes. Director Priyadarshan, whom I associate with comedies like Billu Barber and De Dana Dan, goes all serious and doesn't mince his words in Aakrosh's epilogue, as he crafts a somewhat bleak film with an ending that will raise some eyebrows, suggesting at times that you got to play fire with fire, and some of the techniques employed by the cops here may highlight certain (il)legal framework that many may not be familiar with for us outside India, but so long as it works (and a brilliant plan and execution I must add).
The film works because of the great chemistry between the pairing of Aakshaye Khanna and Ajay Devgan as cops who have the potential to be the best of buddies, yet operating on different investigative philosophies that put them at loggerheads as well. They share some explosive charisma on screen that just chews up all the surrounding scenery, with magnetic qualities that help to tide through the less happening stages of the film, one of which I felt was overly long and probably unnecessary was the entire backstory song/dance routine for Ajay's Pratap and his one time lady love Geetha (Bipasha Basu), their relationship being a victim of caste hypocrisy.
Despite being passed with an Adults only rating in India and suffering 2 cuts from a reported 30 planned by the censor board there, Aakrosh is still a hard hitting investigative thriller. While the trailer may suggest high octane action, these sequences are fairly limited in the film, with nothing that especially stands out to wow. There's a rooftop chase sequence with a fair bit of parkour, but it's more reminiscent of Hollywood's Bourne series which delivered the action scenes with a bit more of a refined flair, with this being a bit rough off the edges. However a ballsy story without mincing its themes make Aakrosh the winner here.
First of all, a warm welcome to Priyadarshan and Akshaye Khanna. Priyadarshan had stopped making good films years ago, he was busy making guaranteed super flops with Mr. Kumar. Akshaye Khanna had disappeared from films long time ago. Both have made a good comeback with Aakrosh. And, after a long, long time, bollywood has come up with a brilliant and meaningful movie. Aakrosh deals with the honor killing that has been prominent in a few villages for the past few years. The movie also discloses the actual truth behind these alleged honor killings and the real culprits behind them.
Three students from New Delhi are found missing from the village called Jhaanjhar for the last two months. Two CBI officers ( Ajay Devgn and Akshaye Khanna ) team up to find out the truth behind their disappearance. The Jhaanjhar village, crowded with numerous corrupt politicians is terrified with the attacks going on and the police force under the Superintendent officer( Paresh Rawal) does nothing. The CBI officers have had time doing the investigation as no one in the whole village is gutsy enough to speak against the attacks and the one who tries to open his mouth is abducted by those groups. Ajay Devgn, the hot blooded, loses his cool and takes some strong actions and Akshaye Khanna, the man with the brain, takes his chances and gambles. Hard work pays off well in the end and the truth finally comes out and the village then rests in peace.
The movie has taken its inspirations from the recent cases of honor killing but on the whole it's a work of fiction.
Acting Department is ruled by Ajay Devgn and Paresh Rawal. Both are in top form in this movie. Both are trying to outdo each other with their strong expressions and dialogue delivery. Akshaye Khanna, too has acted well but Ajay Devgn and Paresh Rawal are the show stealers. Reema Sen does well. Bipasha Basu is wasted. Action Sequences are top notch. The chasing scene between Ajay Devgn and a group leader is outstanding. Dialogues are awesome. A few of them even manage to bring a smile on your face and compel you to clap and praise! Cinematography is average. Editing could be better. Priyadarshan has directed the movie splendidly this time. He is sure to win many accolades this time. The only absurd part of the movie is the romantic song between Ajay Devgn and Bipasah Basu.
To conclude, I would say go for it as finally a good Hindi movie has arrived (which actually is rare ) and for super strong performances of Ajay Devgn and Paresh Rawal.
My Rating: 8/10 Thanks and Regards.
Aakrosh boasts of a very good star-cast. But in the past we have seen many movies falter despite having a great star-cast. The reason (very obvious)—-Lack of a good Story Line. Well, its this aspect in which Aakrosh takes the lead from others. In India, the movies are made around the Interval. Its often that a movie builds its mood up-to the interval and then takes pace. But Aakrosh takes just initial 5 minutes in building the mood and manages (with aplomb)in keeping it up. The story is gripping. The action sequences are top-notch. The songs are few and well placed. The background score is terrific and the performances are fantastic. Though there is an excess of violence but it goes with the feel of the movie.
Overall, a good movie which should not be missed.
Watch or Not?: Definitely watch it as there is hardly any such good movies in Bollywood. and of course there is Ajay Devgan + Paresh Rawal.
As it happens, whenever you first hear about how great a movie is and then go n watch the movie, it just doesn't stands up to the expectation you have built it for the movie in your minds. However, being a Priyadarshan(Director) movie( who excels in comedy movies), my expectations weren't sky high. The film plot has great scope for an enthralling venture and thats why the movie is enjoyable supported by Ajay Devgan experience of acting in such social-oriented-plot movies. Watching him always makes you forget u have popcorn to eat. He simply captures your attention.
The story is about murder of 3 teenagers in a village n how a CBI officer(Akshay Khanna) and an Army officer(Ajay Devgan) goes about to solve it.
The best part of the movie is Paresh Rawal, acting as a shrewd local Police Officer. With the ease he portrays the villain character, reminds you of his villain roles in 90s.