Cast: Abhay Deol, Emraan Hashmi, Kalki Koechlin…
The film revolves around a case to hunt down the murderers of a well known political activist, Dr. Ahemadi, very effectively essayed by Prosenjit Chatterjee (whose eyes convey a lot) after he is run over by a speeding vehicle. He is killed because his enemies do not want him to provoke their people to stall the million dollar corporate project of constructing an International Business Park or IBP in short in a fictional town named Bharat Nagar.
The treatment is very similar to that of the European kind of political cinema with a desi feel. Inspired from the Greek classic called ‘Z’ by Vassilis Vassilikos, director Dibankar Banerjee adds a classy touch to it with a perfect eye-to-detail approach. by incorporating small moments like the football’s interruption during the progress of an investigation or slipping on wet floors or the sudden attack in Krishnan’s room while praying from his Laptop’s recital etc.
Adding to this is the neat editing. The production design, the art department and the entire technical team need to be lauded for their painstaking and thoughtful detailing work in creating an ambience and a feel of a typical Bharat Nagar which showcases protests and noisy political rallies amidst the busy town along with a background score that’s in perfect sync with the film’s mood.
Abhay Deol as an upright IAS officer delivers a restrained and subtle performance.. His one man army’s crusade against the order of his higher authorities to cover up this murder is brought out well despite his wobbly Tamil accent. Emraan Hashmi ( Jogi), a photographer with a paunch and stained teeth, handles his role naturally; his body language and his desi English accent are a treat to watch. Kalki Koechlin as Shalini Sahay puts up a neat show with convincing expressions as she helps in narrowing down the person who killed her activist teacher.
Farooq Sheikh as the boss to Krishnan and right hand to the CM scores well as a corrupt bureaucrat and Supriya Pathak’ s role as the CM is just as that of a passerby .The slow paced first half is compensated by an intense and engaging second half. The Bharat Mata ki song is really a foot tapping number. Overall the film becomes predictable, sadly missing the interesting element of suspense in it though it is powerful and incisive. The climax involving a war of words between Krishnan and his boss is the best scene of this movie.
Bottomline: A rustic and an intense desi drama with a predictable plot.
S. Siddharth Samson, Final Year B.E., Panimalar Engineering College
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