Celebrated Indian director Prakash Jha makes a welcome return with Apaharan, a hard-hitting tale set against the backdrop of India's notorious Hindi heartland, Bihar, where kidnapping has become a booming industry for law breakers and makers alike. Pitted against this social and political background is Ajay Shastri (Ajay Devgan), a young man whose dreams of becoming a police officer clash with his father's upright philosophies. Dark, dirty and morally corrupt, this crime story will leave you feeling as disillusioned as its protagonists.
All Ajay (Devgan) wants to do is become a police officer. Ironically, the obstacle in his path is the choices made by his father Professor Raghuvansh (Mohan Agashe) who works to expose the corrupt police and politicians that benefit from the dirty, yet lucrative, money pool of kidnappings for ransom. After one knock-back too many, a dejected Ajay is sucked into the very world he once aimed to eradicate, coming face to face with ruthless Muslim community leader Tabraz Alam (Nana Patekar). That's when the real power struggle begins.
"GUTSY AND INTELLIGENT"
After a run of romantic comedies it's both refreshing and surprising to see a serious film like Apaharan come out of the Bollywood stable. And it's thanks to gutsy and intelligent filmmakers like Jha that politically sensitive topics like those at the core of this film are dealt with sensibly. By casting popular character actors Devgan and Patekar in leading roles he cleverly appeals to the working-class Indian masses the story is predominantly aimed at. Their fine acting also ensures the message of courage triumphing over greed isn't over shadowed by their characters' religious differences. The end result helps you pardon the near three-hour length.
In Hindi with English subtitles.