Director: Prakash Jha
Producer: Prakash Jha
Cast: Ajay Devgan, Bipasha Basu, Nana Patekar, Mohan Agashe, Yashpal Sharma, Mukesh Tiwari, Chetan Pandit, Anoop Soni, Dayashankar Pandey, Akhilendra Mishra
Editing: Santosh Mandal
Screenplay: Prakash Jha, Shridhar Raghavan, Manoj Tyagi
Prakash Jha is known to make realistic and hard hitting films. While his previous endeavor GANGAAJAL presented the Bhagalpur blinding on screen, his new offering APAHARAN talks about the spate of kidnappings in Bihar. Apaharan is the story of a tumultuous and complex relationship between a father and son set against the backdrop of this thriving kidnapping industry.
Ajay Shastri (Ajay Devgan) aspires for a job in the police force, which is his ticket to a future of power, respectability, social status and a secure life with his childhood sweetheart Megha (Bipasha Basu). And he hopes it will make his father proud. Ajay is prepared to do anything to meet this end. Tragically his desperate attempt at success is snapped by the choices made by his father Professor Raghuvansh Shastri (Mohan Agashe). However, circumstances compel Ajay to charter a path that is completely divergent from that of his father. Ajay desires to join the police force, even raises money to bribe the higher-ups, but in vain. To repay back the loan of Rs. 5 lacs, Ajay decides to kidnap a government official and settle the account. But the plan goes awry as the main kidnapper develops cold feet at the last minute. Subsequently, Ajay is arrested.
Slowly, Ajay finds himself getting lured into the world of crime along with his friends [Ayub Khan and others]. Tabrez [Nana Patekar], a minority political leader, runs an empire, a parallel government that encompasses the political, the criminal, the bureaucratic, the mercenary, the philanthropic? He is instrumental in calling the shots, while his trusted lieutenant, Gaya [Yashpal Sharma], plans murders and kidnappings from within the bars of a jail. Ajay enters into a world from where there is no way out.
Apaharan makes an honest attempt to portray the state of affairs in Bihar but the film fails when it starts to combine reality with fiction. The first half of the film is very gripping and the director has very efficiently brought out the issue of kidnapping in Bihar. The director has studied the issue [kidnappings] minutely, which is why every sequence, right from the start of the film, manages to grab your attention. However the viewer starts feeling restless after a point since barring the kidnapping part, there's not much novelty in the script. The film drags post interval and the climax is a major drawback of the film.
Cinematography is excellent. Dialogues are the best part of the film. The lines that Nana gets to deliver are noteworthy. The background score sounds different to the ears. Performance-wise Nana Patekar is outstanding. It's a delight to watch Nana in complete form after a long time. Ajay Devgan is equally competent. Bipasha Basu is wasted. Rest of the cast lend able support.
On the whole Apaharan is a film for the thinking crowd and will not do good with the masses.