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MOVIE REVIEW February 2006

January 2006
MOVIE REVIEW February 2006

Apaharan (Kidnapping)

Starring: Ajay Devgan, Bipasha Basu, Nana Patekar, Yashpal Sharma

Director: Prakash Jha

Music Director: Wayne Sharpe

Like all Prakash Jha films, this one too has his stamp all over it. The film is an incisive as well as entertaining look at the flourishing kidnapping industry in the Indian State of Bihar where the rich and the famous are abducted in broad daylight for what they call a high firouti (ransom). The story is about an educated, jobless youth who is caught in a conflict between the demands of a corrupt system and the Gandhian principles of his father. It's about how a weak moment drives him to the world of crime and violence ultimately leading him to his nemesis.

The colorful lingo unique to Bihar is in good measure here. Like did you know, reaching a hostage to a location unscathed was termed as ‘Maal li delivery, baghair defect' ? The film exposes the police-politician-mafia nexus and combined with the interesting terminology used by the goons, it makes for engrossing viewing.

It's a powerful film with riveting performances by Ajay Devgan, Nana Patekar and Yashpal Sharma, all Jha's favorites. Nana's portrayal of Tabrez Alam, an MLA who thinks he is chosen by Allah to set everything right, his haughty demeanor, and above all, his immaculate delivery of Bihar's dialect are stuff that lingers in your mind long after you've left the theatre. Oh yes, a deglamourised Bipasha Basu is there and does her two-bit job with sincerity. Just one jarring note: the length. Apaharan could have done with some editing.

Apaharan is an inspiring tale for the youth of today that is an eye-opener and effectively drives home some home truths. Can't we have more of such topical, sensible cinema?

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