Review - Aakrosh: slick, serious but disjointed

wogma rating: Add to 'must watch' list (?)
quick review:

Slick action, though the super-moves might be unwarranted for the genre. About a flaw in our society, but completely hidden in the midst of the action. All negatives are completely overshadowed by the brilliant portrayal of the futile and toothless system that prevails in some parts of the country.

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Wogma Review

The foreplay between the religious, political, and administrative systems is sickening in some parts of the country. Nothing new. But every once in a while, a film comes that reminds you of that 7th page news item you dismissed with a nod of helplessness. Throughout Aakrosh you want to ask the question, "how can these local goons/politicians/police get away with it?" And every time the film reminds you of the horrifying nexus which barely shakes by something we commoners call "HUGE" scam.

We see the world of the deteriorated legal system in Bihar through the eyes of the CBI investigators played by Ajay Devgn and Akshay Khanna. They are frustrated and left aghast by the situation, and so are we as an audience. This is when the issue of "honor killing" is barely talked about. In fact, it's assumed that the audience knows what the issue is. The reason for the atrocities are more or less left to our imagination. So people expecting ruthless bigotry won't see that. But ruthlessness, they'll see for sure. This ambiguous justification might as well be intentional. The issue could be anything, the vulnerability of the powerless, is after all, the same.

Only words like helpless and defenseless come to mind because as you see the massacre you wonder, "is fighting for the cause, however valid worth it?" Sure, t cause might be worth fight for. But when fighting for it ends up killing hopes and the people the hope belongs to, who is the fight for?

The fact that I can just spend three paragraphs just discussing the issue says that Priyadarshan has hit the nail. The direction is smart and razor-sharp. The joy of seeing a director, with so many awful films to his name, make such brilliant camera decisions is inexpressible. Because of his guidance, I witnessed some of the best performances from actors I've always admired.

Amongst the many villains of society, the policeman that Paresh Rawal plays is the one you want to see beaten to a pulp. Such emotion for an actor I look forward to watching - you can judge the power of his act. We've seen Ajay Devgn in similar roles, but you only want more, even if it's the same from him. True, his antics as Spiderman and James Bond do make you laugh. Though because it's all done well, the occasional 'whoa' does make an escape from your mouth. If only such action fit into the genre of social awakening.

The rest of the cast do their bit, albeit not necessarily as impressively. Any non-actor could easily have played Akshaye Khanna and Bipasha Basu and we wouldn't know the difference.

Also their characters aren't too detailed. While Bipasha Basu's character might serve the purpose of giving some backstory to other characters, Akshaye Khanna's character's only purpose seems to be to echo our thoughts, the thoughts of the city-bred audience. A person to whom an explanation can be given, so that the audience's question is also answered. The other flaw in the writing is that there is no flow between scenes. The events all look too disjointed.

While these things are somewhat acceptable, the songs and more so their abrupt placement in the film are just unforgivable. Not only are they obviously gratuitous, they completely ruin the build of the situation. This is also true of a few scenes where the pauses last a few seconds or the camera lingers longer than necessary. They make an otherwise well-paced film seem sluggish.

Yet, it is well worth the buck because Aakrosh has some of the most well-shot chase sequences - on foot, cycles and cars. Meanwhile, the issue raised is something that is not talked about too often. Even if people aren't killed too often, there are far too many couples who have to either part ways/live a very difficult life because they belong to different caste/region/religion. Nothing to be proud of, but needs to be documented. Hopefully the future generations will be able to take pride in the fact that they have evolved as human beings.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Loads and loads
  • Language: Hindu curses every once in a while and sexual references and insults too
  • Nudity & Sexual content: One 'item' song
  • Concept: 'Honor killing' - the strong nexus that supports it.
  • General Look and Feel: Dark and sepia. Not for kids for sure

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 3.5
  • Story: 3.5
  • Lead Actors: 3.5
  • Character Artists: 2
  • Dialogues: 3
  • Screenplay: 3
  • Music Director: 3
  • Lyrics: 3

Aakrosh - Movie Details

Aakrosh - Trailer

Comments (8)

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Jitaditya:

I want 2 watch this film simply because it deals with that issue...just like the powerless common men enjoyed the corrupt getting beaten up in the 70s & 80s, I'm going 2 enjoy those bigots getting beaten up...

but as u know...it again has originality issues plotwise...it'll dilute the impact...

I don't care about the music in such a film & it'll be better if the songs flop & get edited out....

meetu:

@Jitaditya you are right. songs are better-off absent in films like these. Originality issue - are you referring to Mississippi Burning?

Jitaditya:

ya...Mississippi Burning is the buzz...although we'll know the extent of "influence" only after watching it...:D

kay:

I think Ajay Devgan is trying to make a shift into different cinema that usual bollywood fans dont appreciate much but I like his approach. The movie itself could have had a better story with more realism in it.

-Kay
Latest in Bollywood

Bollywood News:

I would sure like to see this movie as it has one of my fav. actors Ajay Devgan. He is once again in the government official role (Remember Gangajal?) so I am sure he will be greate.

Rahul:

I like the colour coding for the external ratings.

yves:

Does this film anything to do with same-name film by Govind Nihalani in 1980?

meetu:

@yves not that i know of

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